Saturday, July 16, 2011

It's Harry Potter season again

The kids have been counting the days, waiting for the last episode of the Harry Potter movies to be released in Malaysia. And the mom is as bad as the kids. I am so looking forward to see the last episode-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 2. I wonder if it is as good as the book? The last book, to me is a bit loopsided. The first part is almost disappointingly slow you can't help wondering whether it would be devoid of actions to the end. Just as you are about to give up hope, the actions just roll in and never stop till the end.

I was delightfully surprised with how wonderful they have turned the first part of the last book into a movie. With clever dialogues, and a little bit of twisting of the plot (that's my impression), they have succeeded in making it such a good movie.

My addiction with the Harry Potter series is accidental. Firstly, one couldn't help but wonder what it was all when the whole world was talking about it way back in 1998 after the first book was published. Secondly, my daughter started reading the book when she was in year 2, and as a parent I felt that I had to read whatever she's reading, just in case...and guess what? I got as hooked as the little girl that we had to buy all the books. Then watched all the movies...and bought all the dvds...

It has been fun watching the actors grew up. The cute little Harry, Ron, Hermione and their Hogwarts' friends turning into handsome and beautiful people. I bet it's going to be a teary goodbye for me when I watch the final episode. Typical mushy me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Being a mom

I've not had the energy to write in the past few days. As the kids grow, they have more and more demands.

Eldest girl, for one, had to compete in a girl guide speech competition last week. She asked me to discuss the points with her, which I gladly did. But...she wouln't have me suggest sentences for her ("I won't remember it if I don't write it on my own"- ok, proud of that, girl- "besides, you use big words that I don't even understand"- oh, well, I tend to forget that you are only 13 dear). After she had prepared the speech, she asked her younger sister to time her practice, which was supposed to be 5 minutes. But when I asked her to practice in front of me, hmm, she said "I have already practiced in front of aunty (who happened to be her girl guides' teacher at school)", and stubbornly refused to do it. I told myself, "that's ok big girl. You will learn what a hard thing giving speech is", and simply reminded her that a good speech takes a good deal of knowing what one is saying, and a good deal of practice.

To make long story short, she went for that competition, apparently forgot her points on the stage for some long seconds (enough to cause her aunty some panic), admitted to the judges she forgot the particular points she was going to say, and told them "seeing that I forgot, I'd just move on to the next one...". She managed to convince the judges in the second part, the impromptu speech, that she was quite good to get second place. And so she got second place at school level, and since she has to compete at district level next week, I have to be disqualified from being one of the judges, which I had been so looking forward to do :). Life's irony...At least she admitted that "it felt good not to have made a fool of myself on the stage, which I almost did". Hopefully, she has enough sense to practice for the bigger competition. But I know better not to remind her. When one is 13, aren't mom's words so not important?

Anyway, eldest daughter went to girl guides patrol leaders'camp this morning. I reminded her to prepare everything much earlier since a few days ago. As usual, despite her "ok, ok", she didn't really take me seriously. Ended up waking up late, making the brother and sister late to arrive at school, and forgetting stuffs that I had to send to the campsite later. Oh dear...I pray that the camp will change her a bit...please God, make her become more responsible (like I was when I was her least that's what I think :)).

At least, despite the chaos and stress I had to go through this week, I had fun listening to JJ and Ian's (, 100.8 fm) tongue twisters this morning:

"The freshly fried flying fish"

which is kind of normal.

"unique new york"

which is still ok.


"red lorry yellow lorry"

definitely sounded so funny spoken by somebody with an Indian accent (no offence to the person saying it on the radio this morning).

Life is still good...with all the little things that make it wonderful, like tongue twisters :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

of pink bra and school demerit

It's first school report pick-up-time for eldest daughter today. Since she's the first in high school for me, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Turned out to be a normal session of class teacher explaining her strengths and weaknesses, lavishing her with praises for the good things she does...but, giving me a shock by saying that she has a demerit of 10 marks because of wearing a pink bra! Class Teacher quickly said "not to worry, it's only 10 marks" before dismissing us, and of course, before I digested the info, although alarm bells have started ringing in my head then. As I am a bit slow in responding to shocking things, I didn't get to respond appropriately to Class Teacher on the spot.

Later, when we were at the car and about to leave the parking spot, I asked Daughter "what was that pink bra all about again?". So she explained that one day in May, there was a disciplinary check-up at her class, during which, the prefect on duty checked to see her bra colour and decided that, since it was pink, she had to get a demerit of 10 marks. "So how did you feel about it?", I asked as casually as I could. "It feels weird, as if I'm being violated", she responded. "That's the thing, didn't you see that that's one form of unfairness? Why didn't you tell anyone then?", I couldn't hold it anymore. "I did feel that it's unfair! But I didn't want to get into more trouble!", she defended herself hotly. "Well you should have told me. I would have complained to your teacher", I told her.

Daughter and I discussed the matter, and I explained to her that checking somebody's bra is indeed a violation of privacy. Firstly, it is basic human right to wear whatever colour underwears they want. Secondly, that particular color might be the only one in which they can find their size. Thirdly, it could be the only one available to wear at that time. I reminded her to fight for her rights, although being an aspiring prefect herself at her age, I know she would rather dismiss the thing as unimportant rather than jeopardize her chance of being selected as a permanent prefect. (That is how successful the system is in brainwashing the young ones to compromise their basic rights in exchange of power. It is so disturbing.)

We checked the school's discipline booklet, and to my horror there's a clause that states "Hanya baju dalam (bra) yang mirip warna kulit (skin ccolour) dibenarkan" (Only skin-coloured bras are allowed). What the heck?!!! Why do people make such a big fuss about bra colours? It's not as if she is going to strip and show it off to others! Phew, I still feel angry so I'm going to have to postpone writing the letter of complain I was going to write to the principal...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The ugly side of me poking its head

Youngest son wanted a toy badly. Again. As usual, he was boring his sisters and me with his infamous "I NEED a toy...". As I was in no mood to argue with him, I made him sacrifice one of the things he had wanted for a long time in exchange of this particular toy. After some bargaining, he got his wish. Excitedly, he picked up a toy that he had been eyeing since we entered the department store about half an hour earlier. Since it was Saturday, the queue to the checkout counter was impossibly long. So I made the mistake of not asking the guys to check whether the toy was working well.

Which was not. Son discovered it in the car, halfway home, when he put the batteries in. As expected, he threw tantrums, and I promised to take the toy back to be replaced the next day. Anything, as long as I got my peace and quiet back! "What if they don't want to accept it back?", he demanded. "We'll worry about that tomorrow", I said. But in my heart, a whisper of doubt started. In some places in KK, they just don't allow this kind of thing.

On Sunday, I took the toy back to the store. Another long queue at the checkout counter. The doubt about whether or not they would swap the toy with a good one poked its ugly head again. And despite my normal self (I think I'm normally much nicer :)), I was beginning to visualize possible ugly scenarios right there at the counter. The guy would say to me "it's your fault for not having it checked when you paid for it yesterday". I'd say to him "oh really? What kind of store is this with this kind of policy? Don't you know that customer should always be right?" Not good enough. Another response. "If you say so. I'll just take a picture of this toy, post it on the internet so people know you sell lousy stuffs". And on and on nasty responses played in my head.

Finally, it was my turn. I explained the problem, and a young guy took the toy without a word from me. And the dialogues in my head grew more intense. After a few minutes, he returned and told me that "yes, the toy is faulty and we'd replace it with a new one". I looked at him with disbelief. It took me a moment to realize that I'd been playing long nasty dialogues in my head for nothing! It dawned on me that I'd been really nasty for no reason. Ashamed of myself, I quietly let him do the swap, showed me how the toy worked, and bagged it for me. I thanked him meekly after, saying that "it's my fault for not having it checked yesterday". Served me well for having been such a jerk!

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