Saturday, October 20, 2007

An outing that was...

We took the kids skating at Sunway Pyramid yesterday.

The plan was (if you could call it a "plan" that is) - that we would send Hanna and a friend to join four other friends there, and one of her friends' parents would be there to accompany them, and Ayah, Hasya, Hilman and I would just do some (window) shopping for a couple of hours before fetching Hanna and her friends and send them to one of the friends' house where they would stay on for dinner (I know...it's pretty confusing - so many friends maaa!)

THAT was THE plan.

But, this was what actually happened.

When we reached Sunway Pyramid, the friend whose parent was supposed to accompany the kids was not there yet, and we waited a while. As luck had it, the ice rink was being resurfaced and everybody had to wait for half an hour before they could go in and skate. Half an hour gone. We noticed all of her friends who were supposed to join the skating session were there - but...no parents around.

Apparently, Hanna told the friend concerned that Ayah and I were there, so THE parent concerned just dropped her daughter and left! You would have thought that after what happened to Nurin Jazlin, parents would be more alert and cautious, wouldn't you? Apparently NOT. None of the parents made any efforts to call Ayah and I to make sure their kids would be under adults supervision.

What if the girls were making up stories that there would be adults around, when there were none? What if the girls wander off somewhere, instead of spending the time skating at Sunway Pyramid? What if there were perverts around preying for their next victim(s)? Nauzubillah.... I just cringed to think of all the possibilities...

Honestly, we don't mind keeping an eye on the kids IF somebody were to tell or ask us to be there and supervise them. We wouldn't have minded to keep an eye on the kids IF it the outing was properly planned and organized, and we were tasked to be there for 4 hours in the first place, or if we were to take turns with another parent to supervise the kids. No problemo.

But, apparently, Hanna and her friends had planned the outing on their own, and they took it for granted that ONE of their parents would be there throughout their skating outing. And, it just so happened that we were there.

We had no choice, but to stay on. And Hasya and Hilman joined their big sister and her gang gliding on the ice (well...in Hilman's case, it was more like "walking" on ice... Hehehe!). We were quite surprised that both Hasya and Hilman took the whole thing like duck to water (or is it "penguin to ice"?), being first-timers on the ice. Of course, Hilman probably fell down more than 20 times maybe? Hasya, being a gymnast that she is, she was quite poised, even though she also had her fair share of falling down flat on her b**t. But, they were okay with the whole thing. They didn't cry, they just laughed it off. They had fun. Hanna was quite good at it as she had gone ice-skating before.

When Ayah left for Solat Jumaat at 12:45p.m, I was left alone to look after the kids. They were resurfacing the rink again, and the kids took a 30-minute lunch break while waiting for the rink to be re-opened. Another friend joined the party at 2:15p.m - this time around, the mother called to speak to me to make sure that there would be adults around. Hmmm...there's still hope. There are still responsible and cautious parents out there, I thought to myself.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Ayah and I are perfect parents. Far from it. But, come on laaa... All these are basic parenting know-hows, and sheer common sense. It's called p-a-r-e-n-t-a-l r-e-s-p-o-n-s-i-b-i-l-i-t-i-e-s. What happened before this should stay in the past. We could not change what was in the past, but we should have learnt our lesson. If we used to be quite laxed with our kids whereabouts before the Nurin Tragedy, we should have a different attitude now.

The outing which was supposed to end at 3:00p.m, dragged on until 4:00p.m because one of the girls' driver could only come and fetch her at 4:00p.m. So, all of us had to wait to make sure that she would be safe and sound in the car before we were to make our way home. 4:15p.m - still no driver in sight. 4:20p.m, the friend got a call. The driver was waiting for her in front of OUR house in SD! Somewhere somehow there was a miscommunication, or rather, everything was not clearly planned. We had to make arrangements for the driver to fetch the girl at Hanna's friend's house in Section 11.

By this time Ayah and I were starting to lose our patience. Ayah especially, as he had his clinic to go to at 5:00p.m! We were supposed to be there only from 12:00 p.m until 3:00 p.m, and the girls were still dilly-dallying behind us. We hurried everybody back to the car, and drove them to Hanna's friend's house in Section 11, PJ. We dropped everybody there - EXCEPT Hanna. We decided that because the outing was not properly planned, and because she had taken both Ayah and I for granted the whole time, she would not be joining her friends for dinner at Section 11.

Hanna, everything said and done, we did all these because we love you VERY much, and we want you to learn a valuable lesson in respecting us, and also to be more responsible. Mommy knows that it may not be your fault totally that the outing was poorly planned, BUT, Mommy and Ayah care about you, and we want YOU to appreciate that, okay?

Anyway, we went back to Mak's house in PJ, and Ayah went straight to the hospital after Solat A'sar. Mak had invited a few friends and relatives for a Raya Dinner at her place, and as yesterday was our final day for Puasa Enam, we decided to celebrate it with a feast in PJ (having said that, Ayah only managed to join us at 8:15p.m as his clinic only ended at 8:00p.m last night!).

And what a feast it was - Mak had ordered Nasi Dagang with Gulai Ikan Tongkol, Ayam Percik and Jelatah, Sambal Tumis Udang, Daging Dendeng, Egg Salad, and what do you call that Jawa dish - with veges, tofu, tempe, soohoon tu? She also ordered the famous Sate Sa**ri Kajang (from Uptown, by the way...), and of course, complete with Mak's bibik's yummylicious Sambal Belacan and Ulam Timun... Yummy! Yummy! Yummy... (All weight lost in Ramadhan, gained again last night! Whatever....Hahaha!)

We reached SD just before midnight. Eventhough Hanna had apologised to both Ayah and I earlier, we decided that there will not be anymore outings with friends for her - until further notice. She knew she was at fault and she accepted the punishment willingly.

The moral of the story - just be with your kids ALL the time.

The moral of the story- kids will be kids, and you cannot trust them to be responsible and take responsibilities.

The moral of the story - kids will be kids, and they will always take us for granted - intentionally or unintentionally.

The moral of the story - you must be understanding enough to forgive them...but, you must also be strict enough to punish them...(because you can't be punishing other kids, can you?!) ;)

(And finally - if you want to have a really good feast, go eat at your parents' or in-laws' house...)

Wassalam.

18 comments:

Mior Azhar said...

Wanshana,
Our eldest daughter Alia is just like that. She and her friends will make plan which more often than not require us to be involved as unofficial chaperone. And we don't like that one bit. But fortunately most of her friends' parents are "repsonible" except for a few ones.
Kids will be kids...tunggu ler when they get older ye tak...

Ayah said...

I was thinking to myself many a times whether we are overreacting or over-protective of our kidz. But in the light of recent events I feel our feelings and actions were just. I agree, Mommy...we have no control over other people's kidz or the kidz' parents, but we will do our best to be the responsible n loving parents to our kidz.

And Mior Azhar...I shudder to think of the kind of problems we are likely to face when our kidz start to find members of the opposite gender group a bit more than just interesting! Haa..yang tu I have to hand it over to their Mommy lah.. ;p

Hanna dear... Please read what Mommy has written carefully. Our expression of love to you comes in many different guises...

After all that...

"Aku terbang tinggi ke awan
Hasrat ku ingin menjadi angkasawan
Peristiwa lalu kujadikan pengajaran
Buat pedoman di masa hadapan"

Err..that, btw, is the 'If-u-do-it-again-I-will-take-away-ur-handphone-for-good pantun'

Ayah :)

WANSHANA said...

Dear Mior Azhar,

I guess it's the same everywhere...

We just have to go through the whole process of being parents - all lock, stock and barrel.

Hmmmm...when they are older, another kind of headache la pulak, ye tak?

God give us strength, insya Allah. Amin...

Do convey my salam to Azian, please. Thanks! I hope she's feeling much better.

Take care :)

WANSHANA said...

Ayah,

I guess it's better to overreact now than living with regrets later...

I think Hanna has learnt her lesson the hard way (like always laaa...)

-Mommy-

Mahariz said...

you guys do it again!

i can't imagine what it'd be like if 20 years ago my parents blogged and i get to read their thoughts like you and haizal are doing here.

WANSHANA said...

Mahariz,

Salams. Sorry to have missed you while you were back in KL the other day! We meant to meet up with you, but, we knew just how jam-packed your schedule was.

This posting is like a double-layered nag -the first being the verbal nag, and the second being the written version. Hopefully it'll be more effective in putting the message across to our kids...(we wished!)

Sometimes things that you find somewhat difficult to convey verbally, seem easier to be expressed in writing, I guess...

Take care.

MAMAMIA said...

If you had known in advance, that you were expected to be there throughout the session, you could have joined them skating. Betul tak?

Next time, bila the kids buat their own plans, we as parents kenalah double check with the other parents. These kids kadang2 pandai2 dia orang aje...

WANSHANA said...

Mamamia,

Me skating?!!! Gone are the days...Used to skate at Queensway Ice Rink masa muda belia dulu.

Had my fair share of falling, and aches and pains everywhere then. Only terasa the effects of the falls when I was carrying my babies in my tummy - REALLY bad backpain...

I suppose we can't blame the parents totally, as they themselves may not have been rightly informed by their daughters about the outing, too.

Ayah and I have met all of the skating kids' parents before(except for one). We know the supposed-to-be chaperone parent for that day and thought we would just see her when we sent Hanna. Her daughter must have told her that Ayah and I had agreed to take over the role of chaperone for the day, and she felt safe to leave her daughter with us (according to Hanna, almost all of her friends parents only allow them to go for an outing if Ayah and/or I (and not other parents!) are there with them! We take that as a compliment :)

Lesson learnt - next time we have to confirm EVERY single detail with ALL of the parents concerned before letting our kids go for an outing with their friends.

Take care :)

Azian Hasan said...

Hi Wanshana,
Once, i offered my Alia's friend to tumpang i balik after school. The parents don't even say hi to me..say thank you jauh sekali ..anaknya pun buat i macam driver dia jer..
whatever happened to sikap menghormati orang tua dan berbaik sangka sesama kita?

WANSHANA said...

Azian,

Tu la kan? Memang sakit jiwer dibuatnya kadang-kadang tu.

But, my principle is - as long as WE teach and instill good and noble values in OUR own kids, that would be good enough, insya Allah.

As for other kids, if they share the same values and attitude, syukur alhamdulillah...If they don't, "Good Luck to their parents when the kids become adults..."

Take care.

Ayah said...

Someone once told me, "In the first 2 years of ur children's life u spend time teaching them how to walk and talk...and the rest of the time telling them to sit down and shut up!" ;p

Mommy..we r still learning the trade of how to become good parents. May Allah show us the way.. :)

Ayah

WANSHANA said...

Ayah,

In a way, that is SOOOO true!

But, what came to my mind is Hanna, Hasya and Hilman with their "Why", "How" and "What" questions, and me passing them to you, and vise versa to answer their queries! Mana la pulak sampai hati nak nak tell them to "Shut up!", ye dak?!

Paling-paling pun when we are bombarded with 1001 questions, the standard reply would be - "Ask Mommy/Ayah!" :D

Ibu ( Cerita Ibu ) said...

Eh! Apsal tak bagitau? Boleh I drop of Idin, Hafiz & Ameer kat situ sekali. Hee hee heeeeee..... acah jer!

WANSHANA said...

Ibu,

No problem... Gua charge lu RM50/= PER hour, PER child. So, kalau ikut the hours hari tu, sikit lebih kurang RM750/=! Can aaaarrr?!

Errr...beli nak buat 'semi' open house ni?

;-)

Dad of Four said...

Shana...dont they lurve to just plan amongst them and leave the parents in the lurch? So far it's amongst cousins for my kids....Belum tiba saat amongst frenz!

Once we had an end of term outing/party planned by Khadijah's silat club (supposedly by the teachers)..It turned out planned by the seniors...Luckily we are vigiliant...Although we had paid after the first letter, we refused to let her go after our "invsetigation"! What about other parents who just rely on the kids' words?

WANSHANA said...

Dad of Four,

It seems that these kind of things are becoming a norm among kids nowadays.

And as mentioned - kids will always be kids. And as you rightly said it - we as parents must always be vigilant. It's not that we do not trust them. It's their naivety, and what's out there which we're so worried about...

Superwomanwannabe said...

I hate other parents who do that- I always wonder- dont they WANT To know who their kids' friends are or who the friends' parents are?? ITs so blardie annoying.

Jab is a bit relax about the kids' safety ( I feel) because he wants the kids to enjoy childhood- I however have NO problem stifling them if it means keeping them safe ! Hmm how to achieve a balance? But dropping off and going away...that is a no no.

WANSHANA said...

Superwomanwannabe,

I shouldn't be saying "nasib baik NOT ALL parents are like that" because ideally, and sepatutnya NONE of the parents should be so complacent and laid back about their children's safety. Let's just hope and pray that they will not regret it later.

I admit that Haizal and I are not the perfect parents, but we don't compromise when it comes to our kids' safety.

And I suppose, if before this there were parents who were quite laxed about the whole thing, they should now be more cautious.

It's a very dangerous and unsafe place out there.