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...)