I am that Ibu Murid

The new school year started in March and it was going to be a physical full school session. Timetables were sent out to parents for the new semester, but something was amiss. The school ended too late on Wednesday and Thursday – at 145pm.

Initially, I thought of giving this new timetable a try although I know that it would be challenging to rush it all within the lunch hour. What more for my son and niece to make it in time for their Sekolah agama in the afternoon at 230pm. I had to do something about this but before anything, I have to prepare myself.

Check the school session times for other schools

I clarified with my friends regarding their kid’s school time. I needed to see if this is a standard going home time for all schools within the state. I asked for their children’s timetables to compare and even sought from those who live in different states. Turns out that most schools are able to finish their school session earlier which made me wonder ‘how is it possible?”. It gets more interesting to see more high performing schools being able to complete their school session earlier every day.

Academic week

I came across this policy where schools are given the autonomy to decide on their academic weeks while fulfilling the minimum hours for their subjects to complete for the year. I learned that schools can choose a minimum of 36 academic weeks per year. Having said that, I was certain in my mind that even with a min of 36 weeks, the subject hours could be covered automatically.

So I would need to ask the headmaster if there was a change in academic weeks which led to a change in the school timetable. Turns out there was no change in academic weeks. So, why is the timetable longer? What changed?

Longer recess hours from 20 mins to 30 mins. Later school starting times.

Writing the email

The purpose of the email was to make it a formal, documented complaint. which would require a formal seat-in where both receiver and the person who makes the complaint have time to prepare for the session. The headmaster did say that I could just knock on his door and talk, instead of sending the email to the district education office. I feel that it would cost me at least two trips to get it sorted and ‘leave’ is a luxury nowadays. d

The headmaster called me and arranged a meeting. During the session, the headmaster appears quite defensive but a few hours later, after discussion with ‘the others’, he was able to come up with a better conclusion than the earlier one. Recess was shortened to 25 mins. The school session starts earlier by 10 mins.

I was pleased with the outcome and sent another email – this time to make it known that he’s done a good job and hope that it would boost his morale to continue doing the best for the school. To be honest, he was running the school by the book and needed just the right input and influence to assimilate policy and real-life situations.

This experience in a way made me wonder if I should be a more proactive member of the PTA association. If in the near future, there will be a greater room for improvement for not only my kids, and my nieces but also for other kids in general.


Mothering up

We always talk about child and adolescent development but Erikson kind of made it clear that human beings grow and develop themselves their whole lives. Recently, my youngest daughter asked me if I have any more babies in my tummy because she wanted to become a big sister. I told her I don’t have any more babies and that she could always become a bigger sister to her baby cousins. It was at that moment, that it became clear to me that yes, I have made a conscious decision to complete my family.

Having said that, it would mean shifting my focus toward raising a son who is already in his early adolescence year and my daughter who is in preschool. Thus, it would be wise to let go of all the baby stuff and revamp the house environment to support the development of my kids into personalities that will bring them further in life.

As of now, this will be a mental note.

  • I am currently too exhausted to do spring cleaning during Ramadhan but I guess I am ready to say goodbye to all the strollers, baby carriers, soft toys, baby books, baby Tupperware and all. so, there will be mass decluttering later after Raya and I have lots of candidates at my workplace, those who are still building a family who might want these things for their children.
  • I would need to be more active in not only their studies but also their emotional well-being, especially my son who will at one point undergo puberty. The recent experience of forwarding my complaint to the school’s headmaster kind of mustered my courage to do more for not only my kids and my nieces but also for their friends.
  • Planning ahead a direction for their future. Money. Type of school. Something that spells out ambition.
  • character consolidation. kids should turn out better than the parents. better than me.

Thinking about this is making me tired already. *yawn*

PICKids Malaysia coming to an end

The nation’s Covid-19 vaccination programme is coming to an end. I am not sure what the numbers are at the moment – I don’t really know how many parents choose to vaccinate their children but I daresay that my state has achieved its target. I’ve had my firstborn vaccinated but my daughter hasn’t got her jab yet as she doesn’t fulfil the vaccination criteria for kids.

Once PICKids end in Mid-May, those who wish to vaccinate their kids will need to get it at a private clinic with a fee as it is no longer funded by the Ministry of Health. My daughter would most likely get a Pfizer or Sinovac later. It doesn’t really matter to me as long as she is protected in one way or another. As for my son, he was OK after the jab. No fever. Just minor arm pain. Kind of had the experience recorded and uploaded on YT.

We are in the ‘transition to endemic’ phase and already we are swamped with the pre-COvid KPIs etc. So, in a way, we really need to get our focus back on preventing diabetes, hypertension, and heart diseases. We need to divert our effort better to our antenatal care, our adolescents and whatnot. We need to get back to our TB screening, STDs, methadone clients and dengue risks.

We need to get into the new normal soon.

Son dropped water on my study table

It was partly my fault. I left a glass half full with water on my table the night before. Unfortunately, it was knocked over by my 9 year old son as he wanted to read his Doraemon comic at my table for light. What followed afterwards was an observation of how there were parts of parenting I could improve to nurture my son into a better person.

When the glass was knocked over, the first thing he did was put the glass back upright (fair enough) but just stood there and watched the water continue to flood the table, with my laptop and books still on it, then continued to watch water trickle down the table.

I had to intervene. I removed the essentials from the wet area and instructed him to get a cloth to wipe it all. He ran out of the room and made me wonder, where the heck is he going? Turned out he went to the kitchen to take the only rag he knew of in the house that could wipe water. That small rag you put at the sink to wipe down the table after every meal. I gave him a look and took a different cloth and wiped the mess. Grumbling at the same time and sent him to the living room.

After the experience, I reflected on the situation a bit. It was a simple scenario of mishap but why is it that my son couldn’t solve the problem? It could be due to ;

  • he has never been in such situation before
  • even if he has, perhaps the scenario was a bit different and he was unable to use the knowledge that he knows, tweak it a bit to suit the current situation. Something we call creative thinking? Or is it logical thinking?

He knew basically that if water spills, you take a cloth and wipe it clean. And the only cloth he knows that could do the job is the one by the kitchen sink. He was limited to that pathway of wiping the spill and that option of cloth/rag in the house. He had no idea that if you spill water on a table with important things, you need to remove those things away. He had no idea that he could just use the kain batik and shawl I have hanging on the chair to contain the area and wipe it off. Even if he still wanted to use the kitchen cloth, he could have picked a bigger on than the cinonet one to wipe the mess.

It got me to somehow think of other problems in life and how people solve them. Sometimes an issue needs only a simple solution and yet a few make it so complicated. In a way, I was drawn to something that happened at work recently.

Due to Covid19, a lot of daily work practices have to be adapted to a new norm. For example in ways of conducting a meeting or course in the form of webinars. To attend a webinar meeting for an hour or so at the workplace is fine as you would resume your tasks at work after. What I don’t understand is why a one-day webinar that requires the presence of only one participant needs to be held in the clinic premise as well. Why can’t we take it as attending a one day course ( it is after all a one day course – online form) and allow the participant to take the course at the comfort of their own home using their own residential data connection. Webinar meeting for 1 hour is less excruciating than an 8 hour webinar course. If the superior worries of the subordinates playing truant or not paying attention, the subordinate could actually do the same at the workplace. Infact, even during physical online course, the organizer cannot guarantee that participants are paying full attention to it.

It also got me thinking about the less fortunate members of the society and the words of our former Education Minister, Dr Maszlee. Him saying that some people are only capable to think and solve their issues at a certain level because that is the only way they know how. They were not taught to think better nor shown on the options they have in life. Very few are able to think creatively and critically but more often they can’t. It’s like some people, they just know that begging brings them money. They are unaware that they could apply for benefits from JKM to buffer their circumstances for the time being.

Anyway, after my son had his morning shower we sat down and went through the situation again. I asked him first on what he should do if the water spills? After he answered, I proceeded to add on other ideas to clean up the mess like moving important things away, using nearby resources etc.

Things like this taught me that what seems logical and easy to you may not appear the same to other people because we are not wired the same way. Parenting is never easy as we are not just raising and preparing another human being for the world but also learning about ourselves and figuring out how we could be better ourselves.

Purchased RAK BESI and started sorting stuff

My husband pissed me off. So I was on a Cleaning Mode. Lucky bastard! By the way, if you’re reading to find out what he said, you’re not going to find it here. Anyway, I get into this really zealous mode of cleaning whenever I get mad at something. The energy has shifted from reckless driving & shouting in the car to Marie Kondo mode. Then, I start throwing everything into the trash or donate everything to the recycling clothes bin. Sometimes I forgot to say thank you to the stuff.

I ordered 4 sets of steel racks from Rak Besi, a small enterprise based in Melaka. The racks were delivered and assembled at my house and upon completion, I transferred the money online to the seller. Total damage was RM675.00.

I rearranged my kids toys in the dark, activity room. I am still finding ways to make it cozy. The husband had a lousy design idea when he renovated the house. So we will have to make do with what we have.

And then I took on the big task of sorting out the porch. The porch which is rarely swept, rarely cleaned yet housing all sorts of junk. Including a big, unused motorcycle! It was damaged in an accident where my husband dislocated his finger a few years. He is having a hard time to let it go. I honestly don’t know what he plans to do with it.

I underestimated the weight of the bike as I soon discovered handling it is no small feat. But because I had so much anger, I had enough strength to maneuver it around as I also, dragged the biggest rack of all from my living room to the porch. I am expecting a 500g weight loss on my scale coming morning with all this heavy lifting!

There’s still a lot of things to be done. I still need to clean the porch floor. Declutter my storage area. Sell my books. Once I get all that sorted out, I can start with my garden project, sell my car and then maybe, plan a holiday.

PKPP will start today till 30th August 2020.

One can’t just go buy a new house whenever you feel like it. A house needs to be maintained and given a fresh makeover every now and again. We should learn how to fix things or at least know how to find someone who can do the fixing for you. As homeowners, we should schedule yearly cleanups of some sort like cuci tangki.

Same thing with having a wife. Some men are lucky they have wives who can maintain themselves and schedule activities to alleviate personal stress and such. Some wives kurang bernasib baik as they don’t have the means to do so. Consequently, some men end up leaving them and look for prettier pastures. Eh, tetiba.. marah sgt neh.. hehe