Like all children, the girls love to watch TV (we have no Astro, so they can only watch DVDs which we purchased for them), and also play games on the iPad.
Like a tiger mom, I only allow them to watch TV or have a 20~30min go on iPad when they have done what I’d assigned them to do for the day. It can be writing their journal or doing worksheets, depending. And if they have misbehaved, for example, fighting over who goes first on the iPad, then they’ll be grounded; and they will have to go without iPad or TV for a day/a week (depending on the severity of what they’d done).
On no gadgets and TV days, the girls will come out with all kinds of activities to keep themselves occupied; and of course having a sister each means they can still have a blast. Here are some moments of them doing things together on such days.
Reading a comic together.
Playing word games. They try to create as many words as possible using only the letters of a word (elephant, for example)
Climbing door frame. I was told, if a kid has done this, it means they have had an awesome child hood!
Pretending they were super heros, and designing their own super costumes and weapons.
Building a tent in the room and camping
Playing limbo rock using a stick they found in the house.
At times, no games are required, they just chi-chat.
How has school been after 2 weeks? If you are my FB friend, you’ll know that I’m pretty pissed with Zaria’s teacher. Here is what happened.
6th day of school (Wednesday 9th Jan) , and Zaria got caned! She didn’t want to tell us what happened, but I overheard her telling Zara about it.
After much coaxing during dinner, she told us while going to the toilet with her friend, they started playing, she gave the girl a punch, and the girl received it with clenched up feast. They were laughing at their games and WHACK, down came the cane, on her elbow, and on her friend’s.
After she related the incident, she had tears in her eyes. “That’s why I don’t want to go to school. I want to stay at home and learn myself. I’ll do worksheet on my own.”
We have to tell her we’ll monitor her teacher, and she had to tell us all about the scolding and caning she received and we’ll decide if the teacher is fair or just being mean. If the teacher is being mean, we’ll raise it to the principal.
Then today, Daddy went to speak to the teacher, just to tell her she should not caned anyone without first issuing warning, and she should not cane anywhere else except the palm. And guess what? The teacher denied! She said she didn’t cane Zaria.
If this only involved Zaria, maybe for some reason, Zaria just may have made that up. But she caned 2 kids! The other girl carpool in our car and they both related the incident to me (after much coaxing of course), and I confirmed the incident again when I picked them.
Since the teacher
lied denied, we went to speak to the assistant headmaster about it, just to record the incident.
And….. Zaria told us over dinner that her teacher said sorry to her, “After daddy left, my teacher said Sorry yeah, Sorry yeah, 你这样乖，我做什么要打你 (you are so well behaved, why should I smack you).” o.O”
(Was she just being sarcastic for saying sorry? Or it was her way to admit it and apologise?)
Zaria then added, “I think my teacher is… “ (she made circles next to her ear with her pointer) o.O”
(Now don’t get me wrong. I think the girls’ school is a good school, small community, very good racial mix, and children come from all walks of life. The headmaster listens to feedback and take action. So if you’d asked me again, I would still have sent them there, unless of course I strike lottery and can afford private/international school.)
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Not that Zaria likes school since day 1, with the above incident, she began asking me :
“Why can you stay at home when I have to go to school?”
“When is Standard One Finishing?”
“After jiejie’s birthday.”
“After Primary school is what?”
“YAY! Then I can change school…. Got aircon one or not?”
And then one day, when I walked her to the classroom where her extra-curicular activity was held together with the other children. She whispered to me, “So much 帅哥 in this school.” (referring to all the handsome boys in school). That’s probably her motivation to go to school.
*Mind her English, she speaks broken English unlike Zara.
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How about Zara? She’s doing fine, she really takes care of her sister.
She will look Zaria up during recess to go to the canteen together, and will look her up after school to walk to the waiting area together. Their class rooms being next to each other help.
As our carpool group consists of her and 3 Std 1 kids, she’ll be the one leading them to the waiting area, leading them to their extra curicular activities. Sometimes she’s frustrated with this, “Why do the older one always have to be responsible for everything?” But she’ll still do it.
I was away during the weekend accompanying my dad to do his chemo in Singapore. When I got back, I saw this piece of writing by Zaria about Zaria.
Bad spelling, and bad punctuation aside, it shows that she adores her sister.
She’s always amaze at Zara’s ability, especially Zara’s ability to ‘swish’ her hips on the hula hoop.
And here are the girls on the hula hoops. Zara is a pro.
While Zaria is still learning.
The girls get along perfectly most of the time. Enjoying the same TV shows, playing the same iPad games, singing the same songs, playing the same silly self created games.
There are times when they tease or annoy each other, especially on long car journeys. And common complaints we get are :
“Maa, jiejie is annoying me.”
“Maa, jiejie spit at me.”
“Mum, Zaria doesn’t want to share the arm rest”
“Mum, Zaria copying (immitating) everything I say.”
I normally ignore them, until they get physical with each other, and start
punching each other pushing and shoving.
For every movie that they watch together, they like to identify who is which character in the show. E.g.
Zara : Zaria, Jiejie is Blossom, you are Butter Cup because you always frown.
Alice In Wonderland the movie.
Zara : I’m the White Queen.
Zaria Jiejie said I’m the Red Queen.
And then sometmes they cannot agree with each other.
Zaria : Why jiejie always want me to be the villian
Zara : Ya.. because you always get angry.
Zara is also constantly reminding Zaria she’s the jiejie. E.g.
Zaria : (asking me) Why you didn’t buy for Zara?
Zara : It’s jie jie ok. not Zara.. you need to call me jiejie.
I like listening to their conversation with each other, it can be quite entertaining. I caught these few.
The girls were reading about Sleeping Beauty, and this version started with the King inviting 12 wise women to the party to celebrate the birth of the pricess.
Zaria : (referring to the picture in the story) How come there’s only women in the party and no boy except the King?
Zara : Have you heard of men being wise? Only women are wise, that’s why there are only wise women to invite.
Zara was meant to go to MIL’s place while Zaria was attending Yamaha JMC class, but she decided she wanted to stay home, so she called MIL.
(MIL speaks only Cantonese and Mandarin)
Zara : (on the phone) 我不要去你的家了。我要在家做我自己的东西 (I don’t want to go to your house, I want to stay home to do my own things). Bye bye.
Zaria : 再见 (zai-jian), you should say 再见 (zai-jian). Bye is English. Mama cannot speak English.
Zara : Every body can understand bye ok? Even if you don’t understand English.
Zaria : (enlightened) Oh
Zara joined in the school Bahasa Malaysia singing contest and got 2nd place, so she brought home a silver trophy.
Zara showed Zaria the trophy and told her about her contest.
Zaria : Wah. Jie, good…. you got a trophy.
Then she continued : But jie, how come your trophy is silver and not gold?
Zara : Because I got 2nd place. If you get 1st place, your trophy will be gold.
Zaria : (another enlightenment) Oh
But the 2nd day, when Zara is not around.
Zaria : Ma, you know, I don’t like jiejie’s trophy. Jiejie’s trophy is silver.. I like a gold one
Me : Next time when you are standard 1.. you go to jiejie’s primary school.. you go on stage to sing and get the gold trophy ok?
Zaria : I’ll go on stage.. but I won’t sing.. I’ll snatch the gold trophy from the 校长 (headmaster) o.O”
If only every day is like this.. (the littlest one is my bestie’s daughter Maya).
Zaria: Jie, your boy friend is PhangSY, R, BeiYQ?
Zara : Ya
Zaria: Are you going to get married to all of them?
Zara : I’m not a bigamist ok!
So she’s not a bigamist, but what do the girls say about getting married?
Maybe it’s my fault, I showed them a video of me giving birth to Zaria, and told them getting married means having babies; since the video of me giving birth to Zaria was filled with gore and blood, they had this conversation one day.
Zara : I’m not going to get married
Zaria: Ya jie, me too.
Zara : I can spend time on my own.
We can go bow and shooting together Zaria. o.O
Zaria: We can go for treasure hunts o.O
Do painting, go shopping, go have dinner (together)
We can go Disneyland
Zara : Zaria, by then, you don’t want to go Disneyland, you want to go Ikano
Zaria: We can go to the cinema to watch Harry Potter
(sounds like a great plan to me, so much freedom, so much sparetime to do things enjoyable. I wish I had thought about this before I tied the knot)
Zara : Ya. We don’t want to get married and have children
Me : Then why do I have children?
Zara : Because you are married that’s why. You can’t change that!
At times the girls get along beautifully, at times, they fight like they are the worst enemies. I guess this is the same in most housewhole.
We notice that Zara sometimes can be a big bully. When she wants something Zaria is holding, she’ll snatch from her, without asking. She doesn’t do that to her friends, this ‘rudeness’ is only reserved for her sister.
Zaria on the other hand, blames Zara for everything!
When she fell once in the living room, immediately she said, “Jiejie make me fall.”
I went o.O” because I saw the whole thing. I asked her how could have Zara caused her to fall as Zara was siting on the sofa far from her.
She replied, “Just because jiejie moved the sofa, so I don’t know where to step.” (Zara repositioned the sofa earlier on, but the sofa was far from where Zaria tripped and fell on her own). o.O
Another time, Zara accidentally stepped on Zaria’s feet. Immediately, the accusation began, “Jiejie stepped on me.” Then she checked her toes. “Jiejie stepped on me now my toes cannot straighten already.” o.O”
(actually, she’s born with a toe slightly crooked, but she now blamed Zara for that)
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When one of the girls are naughty, and we want to punish them, the other would quickly search for the cane, bring it right to us.
When Zaria is the naughty one, Zara happily fetch the cane for us to punish Zaria. However, she won’t allow us to carry out certain punishment on Zaria.
Once Zaria was really naughty, i.e. she smacked Daddy when Daddy scolded her, when Daddy smacked her, she kicked Daddy repeatedly, and then she wailed loudly non-stop.
I wanted to put her outside the house (within the compound), and Zara blocked my way, claiming, “Even when Zaria is naughty, you cannot put her outside of the house. What if bad people catch her?”
I pushed past her and got Zaria to stand outside.
Zara was standing at the door, watching and guarding over Zaria, and kept turning to glare at us. She got so upset and angry, she didn’t want to talk to us for a while after that.
When Zara is the naughty one, Zaria would somehow behaved really well, and then tell us something like jiejie is so naughty, but she’s so good girl. o.O”
When we punished Zara, and Zara started crying, Zaria will be fetching tissues to wipe Zara’s tears, and then will be hugging Zara.
This is the way they show their sisterly love.
The girls get along so well sometimes, we smile just observing them play together, enjoying each other’s company.
However, they spend a lot of time squabbling too. Zara the annoying one, Zaria the easily annoyed. On days like that, I am the
screamer mediator, the referee who tries to tone down their screaming and teasing.
On Sunday, Daddy however decided to step in, when the squabbling started just after we left the house for an outing.
Daddy said, “Since the two of you cannot get along, I think we’ll have to send you to different families. One to Karen yi-yi’s house, another to Teresa yi-yi’s house. OK?”
Zaria was the first to react, “If you say (said) that again, I’ll kick your teeth off.” (there was once, she even told Daddy, she’ll kick his penis if he scolded her again)
Zara responded slowly and calmly, “I think you are an alien. You should just take a spaceship and go to another planet.”
Zaria chipped in, “Ya, go to another planet.”
Daddy said, “Are you sure you want me to go to another planet? Daddy is a wise old man. Without Daddy, nobody will give you wise advice.”
Zara replied, “Mum is even more wiser than you.”
Now you may think we should not let our kids talk back to us. However, Daddy said he prefers his daughters to respond to him intelligently, than to be so afraid of him they are quiet around him. I on the other hand, will not allow them to say use any derogatory words/phrases like, stupid, useless, you are nothing; but I don’t discourage them from expressing themselves even if they were showing dissatisfaction towards us. That’s our parenting style anyway. You may beg to defer.
On another unrelated incident, we were reading a book about dinosaurs, and after the book, I told Zaria, “I think I know what dinosaur you are. You are a cryasaurous.” Zara replied to me, “And you are a scoldasaurous.”
I added, “What about you?”
Zara replied, “I’m the annoyedasauraus. I always annoy meimei!”
At least she admits.
Most weekends, we bring the girls out for meals, or to visit their cousins. Kai-kai (Chinese : Outing) is a must or they’ll complain.
A typical ‘kai-kai’ trip will take us around 15-20mins to arrive at destination, and the girls sitting at the back in their respective car seat will either entertain us or annoy us.
Here is a typical peaceful and entertaining car ride, which makes Daddy and I very happy, and glad to have 2 girls who can get along.
Girls singing nursery rhymes or some sound track from their DVDs.
Girls talking to each other about certain things, and laughing at each other’s silly jokes.
Zara : What do you call a witch at the beach?… Sandwitch!!
Both girls : Ah Hahahaha
(Repeating dialogue from Backyardigans)
Girls taking turns to be baby, and the one who’s not baby teaching the baby how to speak. Normally, Zaria will be the baby, and repeating what Zara asked her to say.
Zara : Baby, says carot
Zaria : *purposely mispronuncing*Keh-yot
Zara : Baby, says mummy
Zaria : Mah-mah.
When they do the above, it allows Daddy and I to have a conversation without being interupted, and sometimes we join in their merry making too.
Most of the times, however, the journey is a tiring one with 2 of them bickering away, a typical one will be something like this.
Zaria : Mummy jiejie teasing me.
Zara : I didn’t do anything, you baby.
Zaria : Mummy jiejie call(ed) me a baby.
Me : Zara..
Zara : I didn’t do anything wut. BUEK.
Zaria : Mummy jiejie stick out her tongue at me.
Me : Zara..
Zara : You are such a baby!
Zaria : Mummy jiejie call(ed) me a baby.
Me : *pretends not to hear*
Zaria : “Stop annoying me jie. Mummy! Look at jiejie
Me : *pretends not to hear*
Zaria : *louder* MumMY! MuMMY! MUMMY! Look at jiejie!!! JIE JIE STOPS ANNOYING ME. You are so irritating. *and starts kicking the back seat*
Me : What is it now?
Zaria : Mummy jiejie is irritating me.
Me : What did jiejie do?
Zara : I didn’t do anything, she’s just a baby.
Zaria : See, jiejie is irritating me. You are so annoying, jie.
Zara : You are the one who’s annoying.
Zaria : You!
Zara : It’s you!
Zaria : It’s YOU!
Zara : NO! It’s YOU!
Zaria : NO IT’S YOU! Mummy, jiejie said I’m annoying.
Zara : BABY BABY BABY!
Me : Stop it Zara
Zara : BABY!
Zaria : Jie, mummy said stop it. Mummy, Jiejie still calling me baby.
Me : ZARAAAAA
Zara : *immitates me*ZARAAAA
Zaria : Mummy, Jiejie still not stopping.
And it goes on…….