Saturday, August 16, 2008

Unconditional love

As parent we might not be aware of sibling rivalry among our children. If the rivalry is very obvious we might think our children are behaving badly and we sometimes punish them severely. If the rivalry is very subtle we tend to overlook.I realised the existence of the rivalry among my four children only after they grew up and I became wiser ( as one grow older ). I am thankful that I tackled the matter wisely like saying the right thing at the right time. Otherwise without realising I could have made them feel unhappy ( dissatified ) all their life.

My two daughters are very close. They played together all the time and rarely quarrel when they were small.One day the elder sister came to me (she was 10 at that time) and told me she did't like it when her friends came to play with her but tend to play with the sister too. She even asked me who is prettier,she or her sister.I assured her that she is prettier, but she said her friends always told her that her sister is pretty. I told her they said like that because your sister is still small and she did't go to school yet.

I was really amazed when four years later my youngest daughter popped the same question of "who is prettier, me or my sister" when she was about 10 years old. I then assured her that she is prettier. She then questioned me if she is prettier, then why did her friends said kakak is pretty? I told her that was because kakak is already in secondary school.To the two girls the answer I gave was satisfying enough at that time and it made them happy. Eventually ( when they were in college )I told them this story but they didn't seem to remember it at all.

This rivalry thing too happened to my third son and my youngest daughter ever since they were two years old and one year old respectively. Whenever the sister was sitting on my lap he will quietly and slowly sat near me and before I knew it the sister was already on the floor and he was on my lap. Until today I did't know how he did it,either he pushed the sister quietly or he just sat next to her until she felt uncomfortable and moved away.

My third son seemed to be really jealous of the younger sister and he never gave chance to her in anything whenever they were with us. Always the sister just gave in to the brother. But that scheming tiny lady always got what she wanted in the end by letting the brother win first.

When they were away from us he was very protective and looked after her well.They went to the same kindergarten and the sister always tagged along with him whenever he played with his friends. One dissatisfied friend of his complained to his mother why everybody else had three children ( he has got one brother and one sister ) only aunty had four children. The reason for this complaint was because my youngest daughter was a nuisance to him and got into his way whenever he was playing with my third son. Like I said that scheming little lady would't let her to be side stepped!It is "Either I'm in or you are out".

My first son is four years older than my eldest daughter and he went to boarding school after he completed his form three. The other three children got really close to each other since the brother left. The eldest brother then pursued his tertiary education and came back for holidays once a year. When the brother came back things were not like when they were small, he felt he was being left out --three against one. He felt since he was away for too long he was not loved enough by his siblings and even us. He felt we love the three more than we love him. Vice versa, the three of them felt that I love his brother the most for when he came back he got the extra attention.

Well, the first two of my children had already been married I hope when they have children of their own they will know what parents' love is.....that is unconditional love!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Down memory lane

Last week me and my youngest daughter drove up to Kuala Trengganu.We stayed there for three nights as my daughter had to attend a wedding that took two days consecutively.We started at eleven in the morning from KL and drove leisurely stopping at any place and any time we liked. We stopped for coffee at Petronas gas station in Gambang, after that we stopped at Dungun ,stopped again at Marang and finally we reached KT at about 7pm,checked in the hotel that was prebooked (otherwise you have to sleep in your car if you don't have anyone to tumpang as all the hotel will be fully booked during the weekends and during the holidays).

We had a long eating list to be done ,that is to eat keropok lekor for our breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner, also not to mention nasi dagang , laksam and all the goreng - gorengan thing like sotong goreng ,ikan goreng celup tepung and sata on everyday basis.After all you don't go to KT often.For this I have to check and double check my cholesterol pills,..well..., I don't want to land in hospital bed in a foreign land.

The very next morning we went to Pasar Payang supposedly to cuci mata, but we landed in buying gula kerek ( which is a dying product elsewhere in the country ), cili kering from Yunan ,rempah nasi dagang and other things that catch our imagination.

The dry market is clean (even though the building is old ) and on the first level they are selling all the batiks, songkets ( hand woven as well as machine made ) also barang-barang tembaga and others.Uniquely,most of the merchandise are locally produced and not laden with made in Siam or China things.

Since YAB Dato' Ahmad Said is very persistent in getting royalty money from the government ,I hope some of the money goes to reinventing Pasar Payang,to match the new building across the street.Also various courses for the sellers at Pasar Payang to match the ladies at Pasar Siti Khadijah who are very customer friendly. Some of the sellers in PP were very indifferent , we had to start talking or asking first then will only they start being warm to us.This attitude of 'tak sayang kedai' really exasperate us.But there's no denying that some of them are very friendly and really make us feel most welcome.Anyway we really enjoyed shopping there .

We fell in love with some homemade bread at this particular stall ,but the owner was not there. We waited for a while and then came two men who said they had already waited about half an hour ago.We decided to go elsewhere first and to come back later. My daughter told me that stall must have something good otherwise they won't be waiting that long. Soon after , the owner came with a trolley load of keropok lekor.They told us that keropok lekor is the best in KT. He said he sold fried keropok at his stall in Pulau Kambing,and his customer had to queue up everyday to buy the keropok.We were very excited and told him we will go to his stall to eat keropok goreng. We couldn't find signboard for Pulau Kambing,all we found were signboard for Pulau Duyung. In the end we had to give up the idea.

When buying food always choose the popular stalls. The unpopular ones will bring disaster to you, like for example the food is not tasty, the keropok is tough and extra oily due to being fried repeatedly. So we must be patient if the queue is long. We had this experience of oil splashing on our face when we bit the fried keropok lekor


We enjoyed going to Pantai Batu Buruk , to watch the sunset.I told my daughter that when she was small our family used to stop at BB Beach everytime we balik kampung to Pahang ( we were in Kota Baru for 5 years )and we used to eat at the beach stalls. My daughter was surprised when I told her she used to eat fried icecream here. She couldn't believe icecream goreng already existed in the 80's. But sadly enough she couldn't remember any part of the journey from KB to Rompin ,she said all she could remember was ,there were long journeys. I told her we used to break journeys at significant places like pantai BB,we also used to stopped at Pusat Peranginan Sekayu and we really make the journey balik kampung like an expedition to our children.

I felt so touched when she asked me were they such a nuisance to us during those long journeys. I explained to her that all of them are very precious to us and everything we did were for them ,they were our first priority.She even asked were they good as children. Maybe she thinks it is so tough to be married and to raise small children.Being a carier woman herself she might feel she can't cope with all the responsibilities. Now I understand why she shudders when the topic of marriage crops up.