Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Challenges with Anastassia

The smile didnt last very long. Although both Puteri and Zaryff dia quite well in their exams, Anastassia did not. Which is not a suprise, really.

I'm really at a loss on how to handle Anastassia. And I'm not just talking about the exam results. She's been difficult to handle. It started last year but became unbearable this year.

Waking her up and getting her up in the morning is a chore. She would start kicking and wailing taknak bangun. The same happens if I wake her from her afternoon sleep for tuition. She would start wailing till I loose my temper.

Her school gives tonnes of homework. She has homework from tuition too. Tapi dia macam couldnt care less nak taknak buat. So I have to force her and duduk depan dia sampai dia habis homework. Ada one time tu, dia tak buat homework (dia tipu Helena kata dah habis). Tengok2 pukul 6:30 am lepas pakai baju sekolah, terkial2 nak buat homework. Padahal we leave for school at 6:40 am. So, apa nak buat. Ponteng la.

Bila Helena pikir balik, maybe she had it too easy before. Dia ni cerdik semacam. Cikgu dia kata dia ni ada photographic memory. From std 1, memang dia aje yg jadi best student. Anugerah punyala banyak dapat, padahal students lain nak dapat 1 anugerah pun is a big deal. And she accomplished all this without having to do a single thing. No effort at all on her side. Tak usik langsung buku dia.
(Pernah Mia menangis sebab sedih and confuse sebab Mia yg berhempas pulas belajar, tapi adiknya yg spend time with tv and reading story books yg dapat 100 memanjang)

But then bila masuk std 4 (and now std 5), obviously syllabus dah banyak. Masalahnya, dia still buat peel dia tu. Tak belajar, tak buat homwork kalau Helena tak leter and terpekik2 mengamuk. Dah lepas kena marah, dia buat kerja. Tapi itu pun sambil lewa aje.

So outcomenya, instead of getting good results, she gets average results aje. I dont mind kalau dia get results macam tu, kalau I nampak dia belajar. Tapi attitude dia yg dia taknak belajar dan berusaha langsung yang buat Helena naik darah!

Few months ago, dia start dengar lagu (with headphone) sambil buat homework. Bila Helena took the headphone away, dia mulala mengantuk and terlentuk. Bila kasi headphone balik, cergas dia dan berkobar2 buat homework sambil enjoy the songs. Helena tak berkenan budak2 belajar sambil dengar lagu. (Tapi pikir balik, some of my friends do that, and they score gila2 jugak.)

What should I do?

1. How to change attitude Anastassia ni?

2. What do you think about students yang belajar sambil dengar lagu? Masuk ke kat kepala apa yang dipelajari?

Monday, May 21, 2007

What made me smile last week

I've had a bad week at the office since last week. In fact I'm still fuming mad.

So, since taknak my blood pressure naik, I want to think only nice stuffs that made me smile.

1. On 16 May, went to school for lunch with the teachers sempena Hari Guru. Was approached by Puteri's English Teacher who told me that Puteri was the only girl in std 2 who got full marks in the English exam. She was beaming ear to ear and also told Puteri's class teacher who walked to our table.

(It looks like Puteri dah ikut jejak Mia and Anastassia, being able to beat the non-malays esp Indians who are obviously more proficient in the language) When Mia first started to achieve this, her English teacher who is an Indian teacher said that this is the 1st time a malay girl scored highest in English, in which Mia did this continuously. A huge accomplishment in a school with only 40% malay students. Syukur Alhamdullillah.

2. I picked Zaryff up from school on Thursday. Bila masuk aje kereta, he handed his Maths exam paper. He got 100 for Maths again! Mmmm the car hasnt moved, tapi dah demand hadiah... hehe. He got 95 for BM, sayang sangat sebab careless semuanya. Tapi takpala. Janji Maths 100... hehe

3. Mia called from college. (Dia mimpi ke apa tu?) She sounded so happy over the phone, which Helena rasa lega sangat-sangat because the last time I saw and talked to her, she was in tears, risaukan exams dia. (Her exams will only be over this Wednesday)

She told me that she followed my advice. And I was very pleased to see semangat berkobar2 tu ada lagi. Risau bila tgk dia macam hilang semangat last week. To me its the effort yang important.

4. Had a great family outing on Sunday. Went to see Spiderman 3 and lepak kat shopping complex makan2 (burp!) until petang. It put a smile on my face to see Zaryff and Puteri getting excited over nothing the whole day. The effect of spiderman on kids! Hehe.

5. Anastassia has been showing me signs that tells me that she wont be little girl much longer. I hope it'll be next year, though..... Dia tak cukup mature lagi tu.... hehe

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Permintaan Puteri

Puteri and Zaryff jenguk blog ni yesterday.

"Mama, kenapa mama letak gambar Puteri & Zaryff.... nampak belakang aje?" Puteri asked.

"Mama tak ready lagi nak share pictures..." I said.

"Kenapa mama?" Puteri asked, her eyes getting bigger with curiosity.

"Mama taknak orang kenal kita" I answered dgn style takda mood I tu.

"Kenapa mama?" Puteri asked again.

"Mmmm..." I sighed after realizing that she would keep on bugging me until she's satisfied with the answers.

"Puteri nak mama letak gambar Puteri ke?" I tanya Puteri pulak... konon nak tukar taktik.

"Nak....." she said. "Boleh tak mama? Letak gambar Puteri dengan Zaryff?"

"Tak malu ke nanti semua orang tengok? Nanti semua orang kenal Puteri tau....."

Puteri kept quiet. Then she said " Mama letak ajela gambar yang ada dalam computer Mama tu... Yang Puteri suruh scan sebab cikgu suruh lekat gambar Puteri masa kecik kat buku sekolah tu."

"Itu kan gambar lama" I said.

"Takpela gambar lama, janji muka Puteri masuk dalam cerita mama.... Boleh tak mama?" she asked again.

Mmmm..... oklah Puteri....

This picture was taken when Puteri was around 2 years plus and Zaryff was 1 year old....

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mid Year Exam

All my children will be sitting for their mid year exam today.

"First of all, mama nak minta maaf sebab tak dapat bersama2 dengan anak2 mama mengulangkaji pelajaran. Buat masa ini, mama tak berupaya dan juga mama tak mahu sakit mama menyangkit pada anak2 mama. Mama harap anak2 mama dapat menjawab soalan dengan tenang. Mulakan menjawab dgn doa dan jangan careless, ok?"
"To Mia, dont worry too much about it. I have faith in you. Yang penting Mia berusaha. My heart goes out to you semalam masa mama nak balik. I was really fighting for the tears not to drop. Take care sayang. I love you."
"To Anastassia, please give your all for this exam. Remember what I said, the results will determine a lot of important things. Things that you want, things that matters, things that you dream of. Its just at your fingertips, waiting for you to grab it. A change in attitude will be the best Mothers Day gift for me."
"To Puteri, best of luck for your exam. You have prepared well, do tackle the tricky questions carefully and no careless mistakes, okay?"
"To Zafry, try to understand the importance of exams. My wish is for you to read the questions properly, jangan gopoh. I know you can do it. Pay attention and try to be less playfull this week, ye?"

Last night, I was rearranging Zaryff's school bag, when something caught my eye.

Written on the cover on one of his school exercise book, under Perkara is Al - Crok An.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Minggu Sakit

The last 2 weeks have been really difficult for me. It was frustrating, and it was depressing. Hubby being away for almost the entire time did not make it any easier.

I'm still weak. My reflexes are slow, I cant seem to analyze issues rationally, and I'm actually in a daze most of the time. Yesterday, as I was picking up the girls from school, I got honked again. Made a turn without realizing that there's a car zooming past me. Nasib baik takde apa2. It dawned to me that I've been driving dangerously these few days, due to my slow reflexes.

Yesterday, about noon, I felt dizzy and a bit lightheaded. As I was contemplating whether I should go home, I got a call from my maid, telling me that Zaryff is not back from school. Its already 2pm, and dia selalu tiba rumah at 1:30pm. I called the van driver that was supposed to pick him up. Rupa2nya Zaryff did not get on the van. Apparently the van driver tried to contact me, but I tak perasan my hp ringing in my bag.

Dengan rasa yg nak pitam tu, I drove to his school which is 1/2 an hour away. Macam2 bermain dalam hati I, dia kena kidnapped ke.... dia naik salah van ke.... Yin's face terbayang2 jugak kat kepala I.

After parking, I ran to the school. Masa tu tengah drizzling. So tak weird sangatla kalau orang tgk I berlari2 anak. (or was it 100 metres dash) As I entered the gate, I saw Zaryff's standing just near it, looking worried and with a red nose. I sighed in relief. Cepat2 I hugged him.

"Zaryff, what happened?" I asked.

"Tadi kasut Zaryff hilang, lama Zaryff cari tak jumpa2" Zaryff tried to explain.

"Kenapa bukak kasut?"

"Masa kelas agama, Zaryff pergi surau... Zaryff lama cari kasut, pastu bila dah jumpa, tengok2 van dah pergi"

"Jumpa tak kasut tu?"

"Jumpa, mama. Kasut tu bawah beg kawan Zaryff...."

"Laaa...... Zaryff nangis ke tadi?"

"Ha'ah.... sebab tak jumpa kasut...."

"Nangis tak bila tgk van dah tak ada?"

"Tak..... sebab Zaryff tahu mama mesti datang"

It just dawned to me that I lupa nak ajar Zaryff pakai public phone.... so that he can call me should any thing like this happened.


All my kids LOVE to read. Memang bookstores and library yg entah apa2 kat my area ni is their favourite place to hang out. However, since Zaryff tak lancar sangat membaca, he is seldom frustrated with himself. (Ability Zaryff membaca at std 1 equals his sisters membaca at 5 years old. Kakak-kakaknya at 5 yrs semua dah boleh baca papers)

So it was a nice suprise to see him pick up the paper last Sunday and saw him reading. (Since masuk sekolah ni, nampak vast improvement in him) I was reading my Readers Digest and I saw him pegang Pancaindera (Mingguan Malaysia). Suddenly he said :

"Suami saya gila-kan isteri orang" and then looked at the cartoon characters in the DCCK column.

Dalam hati Helena, kenapalah, dia baca that page.... maybe sebab ada kartun kut.....

"Suami saya gilakan isteri orang" he repeated it again, this time much louder.

I buat tak tau, I pura2 tengah concerntrate baca my Readers Digest.

Then Puteri came in the room. "Zaryff baca apa tu?" she asked.

"Suami saya gilakan isteri orang" Zaryff told Puteri.

"Suami saya gilakan isteri orang?" Puteri asked and then terdiam.

"Ha'ah...... apa maknanya kakak? Zaryff asked.

Mmmmm..... this is interesting.....

"Maknanya.... ada suami tu gilakan ada isteri tu..." Puteri said confidently.

"Oh....." Zaryff said deep in thought.

"Kesiankan orang tu...... dah jadi gila....." Zaryff said.

"Ha'ah" Puteri said absent mindedly. (Puteri dah start colouring, dah lost interest in Zaryff)

"Kalau dah gila, mesti jumpa doctor kan..... kena makan ubat...." Zaryff said, slowly.

"Ha'ah" Puteri said again, her eyes still glued on her colouring paper.

Haha...... nak tergelak Helena.....

Monday, May 07, 2007

Sweet Mia is home again

I was sick for the last 2 weeks. And still is, actually..... tak fully recover lagi. However, what made it bearable was Mia's presence in the house. Yes! Mia was back for several days.

Mia's visit to her Sekolah Menengah School

Anastassia entered a colouring competition which was held in the school which most of Mia's ex-primary school friends goes to. (Mia would go to this school if tak dapat offer SBP) On the same day, the school also held its Canteen Day.

Since I planned to wait for Anastassia, I asked Mia to come along. After getting several SMSes from her friends, asking her to come to the school, Mia decided to tag along.

As she entered the school gate, Mia said "I feel funny.... what if Mia tak jumpa orang yang Mia kenal?"

The minute she finished that sentence, suddenly we heard someone shrieking and a group of girls rushed to her, hugging her... hehe.... she spoke too soon. I left her as I saw more girls rushing and running towards her. I dont want to be caught in a stampede. Haha.

After an hour, the results were announced. (Anastassia coloured beautifully) And it was time to head back home. I saw Mia under a tent with her friends and signalled to her that its time to go home. She came over to me, begging to let her stay for another hour. During the conversation, another Indian friend saw her and hugged her from behind, both of them jumping up and down, and they started to chatter nonstop, oblivious to my stares.

As I was starting to get another of my headaches, I just told Mia that we NEED to get back home. It took us another half an hour before I finally succeeded in dragging her out of the school.

My Mia had a great schooling experience in her primary years. She made several good friends there, and I hope they will be life long friends.

SBP Competition peringkat Kebangsaan

There was a competition held at Mia's college for SBP schools peringkat Kebangsaan. Mia wanted to go and see for experience sake, Helena pulak as usual memang menyibuk dalam bab2 begini. I brought Anastassia along, nak kasi semangat kat dia suruh belajar kuat2.

The tops SBPs were there, the competition was great. But the atmosphere was what made me go down MY memory lane. Yes, Helena terkenang zaman MRSM dulu, how I wish I could go back and relive the sweet memories again.

I was sitting right in front of the Alam Shah boys. Their semangat college, their semangat keluargaan and their naughtiness and cheekiness reminded me of the good old times. Whatmore when I see Mia's collegemates membalas dgn semangat college mereka, I was reminded further of the sweetness of college life. (MCKK, and other colleges tak ramai participants, so they were very2 well behaved)

Sighh.... I am really envious of Mia, how I wish I could be in her shoes.

The next morning, (we came back after 1am) I woke Zaryff up, and I said to him. "You know Zaryff.... if Zaryff tak masuk MCKK pun tak apa..... Sekolah Alam Shah pun cool jugak......"

My dad overheard and jeling ... hehe (my dad was in MCKK since he was 9 years old until Form 6)

Zaryff just said "Zaryff suka sekolah kakak Mia" And everyone laughed. Menggatal ke anak bujang I ni..... suka all girls school?

But sebenarnya, bukan senang nak masuk SBP and MRSM. 5As bukan tiketnya, active dalam koko pun bukan tiketnya. Because there are thousands with 5As and impressive koko achievements. So how do I ensure that all my kids dapat masuk SBP? I dont know. I really dont know.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Week of April 23rd and April 30th

I was very busy with work last week. Our company's Executive Vice President (and his group of VIPs) came to visit us last week with the Company's corporate jet.

We had all day meetings and then dinner till very late at night. Itu tak kira lagi preparations for the visit which obviously made us have late nights too.

My close encounter with our Exec VP was when we were having cocktail and I was talking to one of Malaysia's top management (Mr. P) , when I suddenly felt a hand holding my shoulder from behind, and Mr. P looked past me and said, "Hello Mr VP! Good to see you!" I almost choked on my mango juice. Mr. P then introduced me to the very tall and handsome VP. That was the first time I laid eyes on him, and boy..... he really does have charisma! I was so awed and impressed by him. Itu belum lagi dengar his speeches and talks......

After his visit, terus I demam panas and I was coughing non stop. Until now. So cuti ni memang i tidur in my room, whilst watching tv aje. Taknak menyangkit kat the kids.

So I managed to see Heroes Marathon on Sunday (yeay!) and other tv programs that I would normally miss!

But then last night, as I tucked the kids to bed, I realized how much I missed Zaryff. Its been several days since I last hugged him, kissed him. And I also realized how he resembled a baby bear, curling up in bed like that, dengan badan dia yang sedap digomol tu......

(Masa Helena demam ni, Puteri would come up to me, hugging me and kissing me, and we would hug each other while I tutup mulut taknak cakap so tak menyangkit. But Zaryff was engrossed with his toys. Thats why Helena rasa rindu kat Zaryff)