Friday, February 29, 2008

Bad Mommy...Bad, bad Mommy...

Ayah and I used to come up with our own mock exam papers for all of our kids every time they had their tests or exams before this - with Ayah taking charge of their Maths and Science, while I handled their English and Bahasa Malaysia papers. We would look through all their school text, exercise and activity books and would guess the types of questions which would probably be asked, and we would come up with a set of exam papers for all of their subjects for them to attempt within a specified time. The kids actually looked forward to all these, even though during these period I must admit their Mommy would most of the time be in quite a foul mood if they did not get 100%. Crazy, huh?!

Anyway, they'll be having their first tests for this year next week, but this time around Mommy and Ayah just could not find the time to sit down and work on their mock papers! So, yours truly decided to just get some activity books for them to practice on, in preparation for their tests instead.

So, right after Maghrib, the kids and I went to OneU and we headed straight to M*H. Hasya and Hilman chose 2 books for each subject while Hanna just went for a Science Revision/Activity book. Apparently her Tuition teachers had given her loads of exercises to do over the weekend yesterday. On top of these books, Hanna also bought two books by Stephenie Meyer - "New Moon" and "Eclipse", and Hilman bought his normal must-haves every time we go to M*H, i.e. an encyclopedia, and this time he chose one entitled "Tell Me Everything".

Just to make sure that the books Hanna bought were actually suitable for teenagers, I went to the Customer Service Counter to inquire. The girl at the counter seemed a bit annoyed with me when I asked her -

Me : Excuse me, adek...Could you just check if these books are suitable for my daughter, please? She's 12 years old.

The Girl : Errr....Buku ni memang pun untuk teenagers la Kak (with somewhat a disbelief look on her face as to why I asked her that question!)

Me : (Errrrr...excuse me?!! like I should know about all the books published for teenagers all over the world?!) Errr...okay, thanks.

All these while the kids were holding their own books (including the revision books) and I only asked them to put everything on the counter just as I was about to pay for them. Then only I realized that Hasya did not get anything at all for herself (apart from the activity books) which was rather strange as amongst the three, she's the one who's always with a book in her hands all the time everywhere she goes. And I asked her -

Me : You're not getting anything for yourself, Hasya?

Hasya : (A pause...) Hmmmmm....No...

Me : Why not?

Hasya : Mommy, can we go home now?

Me : ???? Why? You're not feeling well?

Hasya : No, I'm just tired. I wanna go home.

Me : Okay...but, we'll have our dinner first, okay?

Hasya : Okay (but, she was unusually and frighteningly VERY quiet. Definitely NOT her usual chirpy, choleric self)

We made a visit to Big Apple Donuts for some takeaway en route to TCRS. And Hasya did not request for any of her favourite donuts!

Upon reaching TCRS, and after ordering the food, Hanna and Hilman immediately started reading their new books while waiting for the food to come. And Hasya was still VERY quiet. I started feeling her forehead thinking that she might be coming down with something, but she was fine. No temperature whatsoever!

She suddenly put her hands across the table and rested her head on them, looking the other way. And I was asking Hilman about some of the things he was reading from his new encyclopedia when I noticed tears coming down Hasya's cheeks (and she was trying very hard to hide them from me!)

Now - those who know our Hasya would know that crying was NEVER in her vocabulary. She's one TOUGH cookie to crack. Even when she used to get REALLY SERIOUS scoldings here and there from her Ayah and myself, or when she's involved in fights with Hilman, it would be her lil' brother who would end up bawling! And when she was a baby, not even ONCE did she cry when she was having all her jabs. That's Hasya for you. So much so, I sometimes get SO frustrated when I do not get any reaction AT ALL from her when she gets a telling-off from me...

Anyway, seeing the tears on her cheeks, I immediately asked her what was wrong and she kept looking the other way and shook her head a few times. And I continued asking her.

Me : What's wrong Hasya? Do you have a tummy ache? Hasya pening ke? etc...

And THEN it hit me.

Me : Is it because you didn't get a book for yourself tadi?

I asked this a few times and she kept shaking her head.

And I asked her again.

Me : Hasya, please look at me, and tell me. Are you crying because you didn't get any books tadi?

Hasya : (Pause...and she slowly nodded her head)

Me : Why didn't you choose one or two just now when K.Long and Hilman were choosing theirs?

Hasya : (Tears still trickling down her cheeks -) ...You...didn't let me...

Me : What do you mean I didn't let you?!

Hasya : You told me that day that I could not buy anymore books because I lost my book at school hari tu...

Me :??????!!!

Did I?! Did I really?!

Then it all came back to me. It was about three weeks ago. Hasya had brought one of her Enid Blyton's O'Sullivan Twins Series to read in school, and she accidentally left it on one of the benches while she was waiting for me to fetch her and Hilman. And when she told me that she could not find it, I told her -

Me : Hasya, if you cannot take care of your books, I don't see any reason why I should be buying you anymore books. You should love and take good care of them! NO MORE BOOKS FOR YOU FROM NOW ON!!! (I must have had a REALLY bad time at work that day...)

So, for the last three weeks she had been reading whatever books there were around the house and she had also finished ALL of the Harry Potter series. She now does not have anything interesting that she wants to read or re-read anymore. And that was why, she felt VERY sad and upset when we were at M*H just now, and she could not buy anything for herself!

But, I for the life of me just did not remember punishing her with that VERY cruel punishment for an 8-year-old girl who can't survive a day without a good book in her hands every single second of her waking time...

And I felt REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BAD...

And I felt like going back to M*H there and then to get some books for her!

But, of course, I could not just leave TCRS as we have just ordered our food!

How could I have done that to her???!!!

And I spoke to her softly -

Me : Okay...we'll go back to M*H after this, okay? That is, if it's still open, okay?

Hasya : (Nodding her head slowly, tears still trickling down her cheeks...) Okay...

After dinner and after settling the bill, we walked back towards M*H on the way to the parking lot, and just as we reached The Oval, I looked at my watch. It was 10:15p.m. I wasn't sure if M*H was still open, but, I asked Hasya -

Me : Shall we go and check if M*H is still open? We can get your books tonight if you want.

Hasya : Naaaaah...no thank you. We can come again tomorrow.

(Smart girl. She knows that she would not have had the chance to REALLY browse through and choose her books if we were to rush ourselves there tonight!)

So, tomorrow it is then...

But, I could not stop feeling so guilty, and I kept telling myself - "Oh No...What have I done?! What was I thinking?! Or rather, WHY wasn't I thinking?! I'm such a BAD Mommy...

I'm so sorry, my dear...

SOBS.... :(

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

salam ...

awww ... sian hasya!!!

i was worried as well as i read on that she was not her usual self but i am glad to know that she was okay ...

anyway ... you're not a bad mom la kak shana ... i guess it slipped out of your mind about what you told her and kids being kids ... they remember everything we say!!!

hope you're well ... our love to the family ye ...

take care :)

~ murni

Anonymous said...

k.shana,

that was one great reading. yeah, am easily impressed but seriously... when i become a mother one day, insyallah.... i will read your blog again.

thank you for forgiving me into thkg that u r onair... my memory is just as bad or i guess lagi teruk kot. hence, i have forgotten abt 'the other shana'..

you left in 85 rite? well, that was my first year in jb...

nah, dun thk u wud remember me... anyway, i'll be back and let's just call me neko-chan k.

love ur writing....

hv a nice weekend.

-neko chan-

Mior Azhar said...

Shana,
You should be proud la... she's one girl who pegang pada janji... and she remembered. Susah nak cari kids mcm tu. Biasalah parents like us will spew out threats upon threats even if we don't mean it. Then we forgot about it.
If it were to be my daughters, or many other kids for that matter, surely they also sudah lupa pada whatever telling off.

wanshana said...

Murni,

Salams and thanks. Alhamdulillah we're fine here.

You know how Hasya is, right? So, you can imagine how worried I was when I saw her crying! The last time she cried was....(hmmmmmm, Gosh!I can't even remember when that was!)

Anyway, have to make a note to self - when angry, count to 10, when VERY angry, count to 100, before I open my mouth!

Take care, dear. Our love to all and do convey our salam to Hilmi, please :)

wanshana said...

Dear neko chan,

Thank you :)

Not an easy thing - this parenting thing, and there are no fixed templates on the best practices in parenting anywhere. That, I can tell you. But, when you have your own kids nanti, it'll just come naturally to you, insya Allah.

So, you must be in the same batch as Azlina Shamsudin - my "pick-sis" during 1st Formers Orientation Week 1985. I also remember Ina Zahid and Yati (my dorm-mates) and I think there was a girl called "Aiz" from your batch? Waaaah...not too bad, eh, my memory?!

You have a good weekend, too!

Take care.

wanshana said...

Mior,

Thank you for that very reassuring note. I feel much better this morning after reading your comment - but the guilt is still there, and right after the kids' chess class today, we'll be going straight to M*H!

Yes, I should be proud of Hasya. I guess you're right, not many kids would pegang pada janji, or would even remember the punishment they get, or why they are punished in the first place for that matter!

I will think very, very carefully before I reprimand any of our kids from now on, insya Allah.

You have a great weekend, Mior, and thanks again. :)

Ayah said...

Wow...Hasya actually cried, or rather, had tears in her eyes??? Wow!!!

She is one tough kid. Even as a wee lil' girl she never cried after getting all those immunisation jabs (note: Kak Long and Hilman were the exact opposites here!).

Well, she is after all, a normal kid with feelings.. and Mommy dear...my eyes welled up reading this posting...

Anonymous said...

salam auntie shana ...

in case you belum check your emails ...

wishing you A HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to a wonderful mom!!! (it's tomorrow over here)

have a 'cuppa' tea and put your feet up!!!

take care ...

wassalam ...

iman - irfan & parents

Anonymous said...

k shana,

i understand that its not easy but i've seen enough to differentiate a good parenting or otherwise...

i am glad to say that i am surrounded by friends who are good parents. by hasya's reaction, i know you've done your part as a good parent!

btw, ur reply to my comments had not deceived me into thinking that you are smart as your quick-witted, intelligent writings...
you hit it- bulls eye!!!!

REGARDS,
nekochan aka aiz!!!
(that was really hilarious and thank you for remembering my name...hahahahaha)

wanshana said...

Ayah,

Yep, she cried - not the "bawling" type, but rather the "silently-with-tears-trickling-down" type. You know how your daughter is.

(And I knew you would be "tersentuh" reading this posting...)

wanshana said...

Dearest Iman and Irfan,

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE MOTHER'S DAY WISHES!

Auntie will definitely put my feet up today (although we will only celebrate Mother's Day in May over here) - anything to use as an excuse to not do anything. Heehee :)

And please let Ibu know that Auntie has not opened and checked my YahooMail for quite some time now. She knows why...Hahahaa!

And please wish Ibu "HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!" from Auntie, Uncle, Kakak Hanna, Hasya and Hilman, okay?

P/S : I still remember exactly a year ago today we celebrated Mother's Day at Bangkok Cafe at Lowfriar's Street! How time flies!

wanshana said...

Neko-chan @ Aiz!!

HAHAHAHAHA!! Gosh!!! YOU'RE AIZ??! Such a coincidence!

Hmmmm...I have a confession to make - I've visited your blog a few times actually. Have been bog-hopping from Spena's. But, I never suspected "Neko-chan" = Aiz!!

And frankly speaking, even if I didn't know about your blog, etc, you would still be one of the few 1st Formers of 1985 whom I would remember ;) It's just one of those unexplained thingies...Hehehe!

Take care, and do visit again :)

Anonymous said...

k.shana, and the reason why i didn't use my blog id was because i didn't want u to know that i have a blog hahahahahahaha...

i am still full of nonsense and i guess it's shown all over my blog...

so, thx spena.... i got urs thru her too... hahahahahahahaha..

do take care...
i'll come back sometimes...

aiz

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

not that i know anything about parenting, let alone good parenting but those shedding tears from you tells us otherwise, that you're a great mother. dont be too hard on yourself, kak shana. The whole episode was just a minor glitch and the fact that it was all about books says alot how well the kids are being brought up under your and Mr Ayah's guidance.

wanshana said...

Aiz,

Yes, we have to thank Spena, eh?

Anyway, I think all of us are still full of nonsense after all these years - moi included, especially when we get together with our kakis. You're not alone there, so, don't worry ;)

You take care, too. I'll definitely be hopping by your blog again (and again).

Cheers!

wanshana said...

Dear Kerp,

Thank you for the kind words. Reading it brought tears to my eyes again.

Alamak...they say we tend to be extra sensitive and senang tersentuh when we get older. Looks like I'm now officially in that category. Hehehe...

You have a good rest, okay? You deserve it after all the hard work put into organizing the conference. By the sound of it, it went very, very well. Well done!

Take care.

afsi said...

Dear WS

Kids being kids, its quiet hard to predict how they will react in certain situations. Have been in that situation before... I am a bad disciplinarian parent, Mama is the parent with all the discipline (if you get what I am trying to say). You are not a bad mom... just that you would expect 'normal' behavior from the kids, and once in awhile they will surprise you with something out of the ordinary...been there

regards

D.N.A.S said...

I'd tell my kids the same thing when I'm really mad at them, especially when they refused to keep the toys in the drawers/baskets or lose their watch/wallet/pencil case etc but they never took me seriously and will keep on asking for more toys/books/pencil case/crayon. Maybe I don't know how to make a serious face, lah. Kena belajar ngan you K. Shana.

MrsNordin said...

You are not a bad mommy lah... had she asked for a book, you'd surely have gotten it for her, kan? I think she just needed some attention from you, that's all. Cheer up!

wanshana said...

Dear afsi,

Yes, you're right there. Sometimes kids do come up with unexpected reactions (and just when you thought you knew them inside out!)

Like Hasya - she is one kid with a VERY strong character, and crying has never been something which one would associate her with. But, I guess her love for books was just too strong too contain that day.

At home, I am the one who nags. But, they fear their Ayah more - he has the veto power. So, I'm like the UN General Assembly, and Ayah is like one of the permanent members in the Security Council! :)

wanshana said...

d.n.a.s,

Nak belajar dengan I?! Hehehe...

I, myself am not sure how or why, or what exactly Ayah and I did, but all our kids are like that.

When they're punished or being told off, they would accept whatever punishment they get and they would remember it. And after a week or two, they would apologize again and ask if they could be "ungrounded" or "unpunished", etc - and they would come up with a list of good things that they have done or achieved over those grounded period as a negotiating tool.

Beats me as to how they got the idea or who from! I guess because we always use the "carrot" rather than the "stick" method with them?!

wanshana said...

d.n.a.s,

....except, of course on that day when I punished Hasya with that cruel punishment. THAT was definitely a VERY BIG stick for her!

(As I mentioned - it must have been a REALLY bad day at work for me that day...)

wanshana said...

MrsNordin,

Thanks. And oh yes! If she had asked for her books that day, I surely would have bought them for her because I didn't really remember anything about the said punishment. She was the one who reminded me about it later.

Maybe, like you said, she just wanted some attention, but, I must say that she's NOT and never was an attention-seeker. It's just not her.

Different kids, different perangai...But, same headaches for us parents, eh?

Anonymous said...

salam ...

hehehe ... thanx for the wish ... went to 'orange grass' a new 'bangkok cafe' for us and it's just 5 minutes drive! next time you come can bring you there ... :)

yes ... still remember that time we went to bangkok cafe - our 'warung' over here! if only they have 'teh tarik'!

anyway ... no wonder la no replies from you ... hehehe ... tak apa ... understand ... *wink*

take care and missing our chats!

:o) murni

MrsNordin said...

Yes, you are right.

Helena said...

You make your own questions? Hey me too.... you r the only person i know who does that! Most of my friends only use the activity books.

Poor Hasya. And how responsible of her to remind you of her punishment.... Give her a hug for me, will you.... *hugs*

MAMAMIA said...

Left a comment earlier, tapi tak keluar pulak.

Had my episodes of guilt moments & rasanya jadi mama ni, we can expect many more to come.

Kadang2 rasa too lenient with the kids. Some other times, too harsh pulak...

MMmmmm, kalau U jumpa complete manual for motherhood / parenthood, please let me know, ok!!

wanshana said...

Murni,

Salams. Waaaaahhh! Got new lepak spot, eh? So, no more Bangkok Cafe or Basha?

Sorry about not checking my e-mails :)

Missing our chats, too! :(

Take care, you.

wanshana said...

MrsNordin,

;)

Can you imagine orang yang ada anak 10 tu?! Blood surely goes upstairs selalu... Hehehe!

wanshana said...

Helena,

:)

Yes, not many do what we do. It does take a lot of our time - that's why this time around, due to our busy schedule (busier than Pak Lah masa kempen Pilihanraya!) we decided to just rely on the activity books. Itu pun I tak sempat go through all of their answers...Sigh...

Will definitely "convey" your hugs to Hasya tomorrow when I see her :) Thanks. She's sleeping at her Wan's place tonight.

Take care, Helena.

wanshana said...

Mamamia,

I can't agree more - it is so difficult to strike a balance when you need to reprimand your children. How strict is strict? And how lenient is lenient? Selalu serba salah, kan?

Complete parenting manual? Hmmmm... now, let me see, hari tu ada nampak somebody jual kat Pasar Malam Section 17...How many copies do you want? Hahaha!

Take care, Mamamia. Cheers.

IBU said...

the feisty hasya?! shian dia...

errr... itu mock test paper for last year (year 6 & year 1) buleh pinjam ker?

wanshana said...

Ibu,

Yes, the feisty Hasya! Tu yang buat I terlebih guilty tu bila tengok Hasya pun boleh menangis...

Anyway, about mock papers tu, we all pun dok cari jugak Hasya's last years papers to give to Hilman, but, we couldn't find them. According to the kids they put them in one box.

Masalahnya, they can't remember which box, or where - PJ or SD? And punya lah banyak boxes kat both places...

Anyway, when we find them, of course you all can pinjam. I charge ikut kati...

ila de cute said...

kak shana, am really impress...imprss with the style u teach your kids, and impress the way ur kids keep their promise... u are such a loving and amazing mommy...i want to be like u...

wanshana said...

Alamak Ila...You're making me blush! But, thank you.

Nothing THAT special really when we think of the style we adopt. Sama with a lot of parents out there.

I guess yang penting is BOTH Mommy and Ayah have to be consistent with each child; with each punishment; everytime we reprimand the kids.

And of course, NEVER override the other's decision or method of reprimanding. Normally if they are "punished" by their Ayah, and if they want to be "unpunished", they have to ask and convince him, not me. Vise versa.

And if one of us dah membebel and reprimand them, the other one will not add to the "bebelan", etc. Sorang membebel dah cukup, we believe.

And if we want our children to keep to their promises, we have to keep to our promises, too :)

Take care, dear.

Kmar said...

Shana,

Sometimes, we as mother, ´terlepas cakap´ things that we didn´t meant. Bila angin ´push-push´ dah sampai and we are not in good mood, mula laa... our anger will go to our family members @ maid.. he.he... Dah le pulak tu bila anak-anak buat something yang memang tak betul. Lagi cepat naik darah.

We learn through our mistakes and your family will understand.

This time, I bet Hasya boleh le ´demand´ a few more extra books walaupun dia tak minta because you would like to get over the feeling of guiltiness... he.he.he..

More kids more ´headaches´.. just wondering how is the hell the old generation (our grandparents) can cope with their ´football team´ of kids!!

Eta My said...

Shana...

Kekadang some words just slip out of our mouth...but the kids remember..and as I read along..wawaeeeee...my kngah also...never cry one...no reactions at all kalu kena marah..dulu masa kecik2..I ingat dia ni special...but i think you are lucky shana...rasanya tahap 'mumayiz' hasya nya dah stable..is it not what we expect for all the islamic moral teachings

Being mum..kekadang jenuh gak kita menanya awatnya monyok...Sabarnya youuu Shana...as for me..instead of tanya dan tanya kenapa..I pulak kekadang yg malas nak care..so bila sampai umah dan ade yang grumble.dengan suara yang dah lain macam i'd say...hah! tadi tak mau cakap!..siapa nak pi balik kedai!!

.see..title bad mummy for u tak sesuai...very understanding one...that sort of criteria ..yg I rasa many anak2 wish for..

Shana...buat satu buku cerita la!!

Eta My said...

And Shana..I really love..all these academicians..they'd go extra mile..in this case..those mock papers...again...share la tip..perhaps another blog kot...

As for me..I selalu pikir parents must do their part..I selalu semangat kumpulkan soalan..just true berita harian punya didik and minda..tapi bila nak sit down dengan anak2...boleh kira ngan jari..bila yang i really commited..

Mana dtg energy u?

p/s: thnx for sharing.

wanshana said...

Kmar,

Tu la kan - bila bak kata you, "angin push-push" datang...Hehehe! Tapi, kalau selalu sangat, susah jugak kan? We might "push" the kids away pulak!

FYI, I have not got the books for Hasya until now. Managed to negotiate with her because it's exam week this week. I told her, it's not a good idea to get the books last weekend because -

(i) She was supposed to study and revise for the exam; and

(ii) The books would only distract her from her studies.

Both of us know that she would not have had the will-power NOT to read them when she knows the books are somewhere around the house...Hehehe!

So, we're going to M*H this Friday - and she'll get a double dose of new books :)

Take care, dear.

wanshana said...

EtaMy,

I think it's a "middle-child" trait, kot? (But then again, you have 4! So, how? :))

Thanks for your kind, reassuring words. All mothers have anak-anak with all sorts of different kerenah, and only we know how to handle each and every one of them. Betul tak? What which would work for one child, would not necessarily work for another child. Betul tak? And I know you are doing an excellent job with your daughters :)

About the mock papers, etc, I guess terbawak-bawak nature of our work home kot? Hehehe! And as to having the time to do it, and to sit down with the kids, well, frankly speaking, sometimes I pun tak sempat nak check their work thoroughly. But, I guess the flexible hours that we have, make it possible for us to spend relatively more time with the kids.

Nak buat buku?! Alahai...my PhD thesis pun tak habis-habis lagi Eta...Sigh...

simah said...

woah... u go thru all the trouble to do mock exams? mesti ur kids semua high flyer ni...

these things happen... u cant be perfect all the time la kan? so did she get her book?

wanshana said...

Simah,

We do try to come up with the mock papers when time permits. Unfortunately, this time around, tak sempat :(

Our kids, syukur alhamdulillah are doing okay in school, but Ayah and I are not taking all the credits of course! They have a number of very good teachers in school, and the kids themselves take responsibility for their own studies - our job made easier :)

Yes - agreed. There's no such thing as a "perfect mom". We should try to be the best mom, the best way we know how and just be there for them, which all of us do, insya Allah.

Nope - have yet to get Hasya the books. Managed to negotiate with her to wait until tomorrow. Explained to her that she needed to wait until her tests were over, and she's fine with that. So, off to M*H again tomorrow!

Take care, Simah ;)