Thursday, May 28, 2009

Childhood books

I finished The Alchemist yesterday and am also halfway through one of my childhood favourites, Anne of Green Gables. The latter brings quite some laughter to my quiet moments alone at home when Caitlin is at school and Eugene is at work, while I'm waiting for Caitlin to get out of school or when I have a moment to spare for a few paragraphs. Can't write in length right now as I need to go get Caitlin from school. Unfortunately, Anne is not with me in my car today....

I think the next book I shall pick up after Anne is The Swish of the Curtain. It was the book that inspired my dreams of being in the performing arts.

Then I had the Famous Five, Secret Seven, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden mystery series....and all the Enid Blyton tales. I was never a romance fiction fan somehow although I did try a few copies of Mills & Boon....

Aah, childhood books take you back to a time when life was more carefree.

So effortless

Wish I could play like this!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rusty loves plants

Rusty has been a naughty boy this week. While he had chewed some plants before, they were bearable misdeeds but a few days ago, he decided to trample (and probably roll around) my flourishing flower bushes. So they're now all broken and that bush patch is a flattened area of broken and bent branches, wilted flowers. And all (previously only a few) of the succulent tips of my mother-in-law's tongue plants are all now jagged and chewed up. I'm amazed he didn't get sick from the poisonous sap he ingested (I discovered this plant's sap is poisonous to kids and pets only after planting them). And he's also dug up some holes in the grass, unearthing little stones which he plays with and leaves lying around on the floor.

It's obvious that he's discovered how to jump over the low fence barricading the plants. When I caught him behind the fence and yelled at him, he merely looked up with that innocent, adorable, quizzical look, fur ruffled and bits of tiny purple flowers adorning his ear....How angry can one get when presented with that picture? He was just being himself I guess, having fun bonding with nature and entertaining himself since his human playmates preferred to stay indoors and watch TV.

I gotta get a higher wire fencing now and see how I can save those poor plants. And this has been my first real attempt at gardening in my entire four decades of life...maybe I should just plant cacti all over. That'll surely teach him not to play with plants!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Exam week

This week, Caitlin is taking her school exams. She's been cool about it. I guess it's because you don't fear what you've not yet experienced. She seems to be a 'last-minute' kind of student, revising only the morning of the exam itself, during breakfast....and no, no jitters even at that moment. The only 'worry' she voiced on the first morning of her exam was "What if I get below 90?". She's not worried because she won't get an A, but more because 'below 90' translates into not getting the reward of one storybook that I promised her for each subject she scores 90 and above.

Compared to the English language, her Bahasa Malaysia is not as good so subjects taught in that language tend to suffer a little more I would expect. Yesterday, she took her English and Kesihatan (Hygiene) exams. She rated English as "super fine" while Kesihatan got a "hard". And she said she forgot what "head" is called in Bahasa when she had to label parts of the body in the Kesihatan paper. So she said she wrote "h-e-a-d"! Her kung kung said to give her credit for coming up with that idea...

Here are some pics of what she has been doing a lot more this week instead of revising for the exams....

Friday, May 15, 2009

My sleeping child

I don't know about you but I simply love to look at sleeping babies and children. They look so at peace, slumbering without a care in the world. They look so lovable, precious, and kissable. They are so angelic. Over the years, we've taken numerous pictures of Caitlin sleeping. Recently I took another one (the last picture below) and upon looking at it, it reminded me how she looked when asleep when she was a baby and toddler. Here are a few in chronological order.







But when NOT asleep, they can drive you up the wall at times, right? And be downright cheeky and mischievous!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My little 'loyar buruk'

Me: Please try to get 90 marks and above for your exam ok? Your recent Math test marks was only 86. (I was comparing with another previous score of 94)

Caitlin (in Manglish): But 86 is still 'A' what....! Oscar (the boy next to her) got only a B, even worse!

Me: Please make your handwriting neater.

C: You know, Janice's (classmate) writing is even lousier...sooo messy, I saw it in her Homework book. Hers is badly lousy, mine is only medium lousy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Exam and books

The mid-year exam for most schools in Malaysia is looming. Some even have completed it but most would be having it in the last two weeks before school closes for the mid-year term break beginning 30 May for two weeks. This means exams start next week.

Caitlin knows it's a 'real test' but is not bothered. She continues life as usual with nary a twitch of panic. I guess she doesn't know what she hasn't really known thus far while mum here is feeling the tension from her 17 years of exam experience. She continues enjoying all her books except her school ones. She reads in bed, in the toilet, during meals, in the car on the way to school, whenever one crosses her path around the house...and she could have already read it ten times before yet she still enjoys the same book. Leave a textbook in her path and it'll remain there for days untouched.

Caitlin is unlike me. When I was a school-going kid, I was probably every parent's dream child when it came to studies. I'd do my homework everyday immediately after returning home from school and study for tests and exams on my own, without a single pip from anyone. I was careful and checked my answers as many times as I could before time was up to hand up the paper. I'd be burning the midnight oil and cramming till kingdom come. Even at age 6+ in Primary 1, I remember taking out my textbooks and revising the day's lessons after school.

Caitlin leaves her schoolbag in the car upon reaching home, has to be coaxed, nagged and threatened to do her homework. And while she is doing her homework, she rocks her chair, doodles, plays with her stationery, destroys her eraser, tells me stories, gossips about what happened in school, and asks me to give her answers to questions in her homework which she hadn't even read or figured out by herself! And for answers which she got wrong, she refuses my help in getting it right or understanding the rationale.

As for tests, she can usually do better if not for really careless mistakes like leaving some questions unanswered, not reading the question properly and giving proper thought to the answer, making silly spelling mistakes and writing the numeral 24 in words as required by the question as 'twenty-five'! For objective questions, she finds the right answer by process of elimination (the 'kiasu' me would have worked out all the options first!) which could be risky at times.

So it's 'Kan Cheong' Mum vs Carefree Daughter these coming weeks....

To mothers

Wishing all mothers a Happy Mother's Day. Hope you had a good one yesterday.