My youngest child, Hana Alisha started kindergarten this year at 5 years old. When I was her age, I’m still running around playing in our backyard. Today, kid’s education start early. Some folks even send their kids to preschool at 4. It's a pity because they should be enjoying their childhood more at that tender age. Anyway after much deliberation we decided to enroll Hana to Children Islamic School (CIC) a franchise which has a branch nearby. Having been away at a nursery for as long as she could remember, Hana had no problem assimilating into kindergarten. On her first day we just leave her at the doorstep (sidewalk to be exact) and off she went. Sure sometimes she doesn’t feel like going to school but that’s only when her elder brother or sister skipped school as well. Maybe she’s jealous why they didn’t have to go to school when she has to. I think CIC is worth the (slightly higher) fee that we paid them. They teach a lot of English stuff and they make the kids count in English from 1 to a hundred. I know because Hana would come home almost every day and started counting from 1 to a hundred, whether the order is correct or they understand what they are is another matter.
After work I usually make the effort to pick her up from the transit early. I can’t bear the thought of leaving her another minute longer. I have never experienced living with another person let alone a nursery during my childhood so I thought it must be hard for my children to not be with her family for hours on end every week day. If we can afford to let your mother be a full time housewife we would. But living in the big city is expensive and dual income parent is best for everybody.
Hana Alisha at 5 years old is a sweet and adorable girl. Not a day goes by without us being entertained by her antics. Sure she could throw a tantrum once in a while, crying and screaming at the top of her lungs when she didn’t get a toy or snack that she craves. Occasionally she would fight with her sister or brother (usually her sister) but ultimately won since she’s still small and everyone just had to give in to her. Being the youngest and the cutest in the family also has its advantages. Hana is also fully weaned off her diapers by now. We would get her to pee first before bed and a few times she would wake us up to go to the bathroom. Not once has she wet her bed since. I wish she would stop sucking her thumb though.
Our second child Mia Ariana started standard 2 at school this year. By now she has got used to primary school life. While not as excellent in academics as her brother, she takes her education seriously. Always doing her homework early and makes an effort to learn from her mistakes. I don’t know whether it’s the middle child syndrome but Mia sometimes feel neglected by her parent who either show more love to their youngest Hana or give extra attention to their eldest Adam. The truth is we love all our children equally and while you might not always see it, trust us we do. Some day you will understand why we had to give in to your younger sister a bit more or why your elder brother gets more attention from us (clue: he’s sitting for a very important exam this year).
At 7 years old, Mia is a responsible and caring little sister. Occasionally she would help with the house chores, clean up her sister’s mess and sweep the floor sometimes without being asked to. Although they fight and squabble like all the time (who doesn't?), deep down inside I know they love each other very much. After all they’ve got nobody else but themselves. Mia started to learn to fast as well this year. She would get up without much fuss when we wake her up every morning, fasted the whole day and haven’t missed a single day yet so far this year. She did came close to giving up yesterday though although we managed to encourage her to hang on until sunset which she did. If she does miss her fasting one day in the future we’d completely understand. She’s still so young anyway. That’s why she still habitually suck her fingers from time to time.
Adam Farihin sits for his UPSR this year so understandably we make him focus on his studies extra hard. Adam is naturally a brilliant and gifted student, constantly getting good grades in his studies if he puts the extra effort into it. Sometimes though we could be alarmed at seeing him watching a bit too much YouTube or playing a lot of games on his computer. I had to regularly remind him to do less of those and study more at home. That said, he did join several study groups with his friends whether beside the pool downstairs, at an eatery in Bandar Putra Permai or even in library in Shah Alam. Sometimes he would surprise me by burning the midnight oil and study in the living room. Just yesterday we looked up his mid term exam result and surprise-surprise he got 5th place in his class and entire year 6. So he’s like officially the 5th smartest kid in the entire school. Of course there’s always room for improvement for Adam. He did got a B in Science and C in Information Technology, something ironic because he spent so much time in front of the computer.
At 12 years old, Adam seems to eat a lot. Understandable for a growing pre-adolescent kid. However I worry if he doesn’t control it he might get fat and chubby like me when I was his age. I have a good mind to take him running, to the gym and even hiking after he’s done with his UPSR. Right now I don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on him.
Hmm what do I say about my wife? March is usually a joyful month for us because it is usually the time when my wife gets her bonus. Not so much joy this year though because guess what? She didn’t get any. Totally unacceptable. It’s not like she didn’t meet her KPI or anything. Somehow her boss or somebody upstairs didn’t find it fit to reward her and most of her colleagues this year with any bonus. Although she’s allowed to appeal, she didn’t for fear of upsetting her boss. How screwed up is that? That’s why from then on, anytime Linda appear to be working extra time at the office (without extra pay of course) I would gently remind her not to. It’s not like there’s any guarantee she’ll be getting her bonus next year.
Without that extra cash, there’s no nice vacation at a faraway resort for us this year. Although I did pay for a brief stay at the Morib Gold Coast Resort in Sepang recently. In spite of that, Linda did save enough to do her lasik eye surgery this year. It cost over 7,000 ringgit at the Tun Hussein Onn Eye hospital to correct her vision. I know it’s almost absurd to pay so much money for that but now she could see clearly without her glasses and for her that’s a huge boost for her confidence. Now don’t forget to watch your diet and exercise regularly like you promised okay baby?
And finally some me update. Career wise, I’ve been doing pretty good at work. I’ve been doing the usual support thing at the school and also actively involved with the school’s Google website project. I was made to understand that I might be doing the website thingy full time 3 months into the job but now 5 months later no signs of that happening. It’s not like I don’t like working at the primary campus but you have to understand the secondary campus is only 8 minutes away from my home so a huge improvement for my travel time daily. Plus after over 3 years of doing pretty much the same thing at work, a new change is more than welcomed for me. Either way it’s fine by me. Working at Equine Park would be awesome for me but if I were to get stuck at Jalan Bellamy for the rest of my working days that’s fine as well. To tell you the truth, the Google website project has become increasingly numerous and more complex recently and although I get to spend one whole day every week at the secondary campus with my mentor it’s definitely not enough. That said I’m taking it one thing at a time. No need to pressure myself for something I have little control of. My main job description is as a technical assistant at the primary campus so that’s my priority over any other side projects. If the two clashes, you know very well which one I should put more emphasis on. My appraisal will be based on my works at Jalan Bellamy after all. Either get me full time on the project or you’ll have to be content with the current speed of the work. We’ll see how this goes next term.
Life wise I’ve made good progress of conquering 7 of the highest and toughest mountains in the country. The country as in the peninsular only. Only last month I’ve completed the challenging Chamah - Ulu Sepat trip. You can read all about my hardship in the previous post. After that I only have 2 more G7 mountains to conquer, namely Korbu and Gayong which is conveniently located next to each other at only 300 meters apart. So basically I’ll finish all 7 highest mountains in one single trip next time. Having said that, I am in no hurry whatsoever to do Korga. The horrors of CUS is still fresh in my memory and I won’t be doing any hardcore hiking until next year the earliest. Physically I have definitely gained weight :(, been slacking on my running and going to the gym. I have a perfectly good excuse because I injured my foot right after CUS but a month later I don’t think that’s valid anymore. It takes a whole lot of motivation to get me going on a fitness streak and not a lot to mess it up. I am stronger than this, I can do this. That’s all folks.
~ End of report ~