conference with LO:)

Once I learned a trick from a blogger mom (can’t remember who) that she usually bring wrapped toys to get the kids occupied in long flights. Not necessarily new toys, but she wraps it just to increase excitement. I sometimes try this when we journey back to hubby’s hometown (once even when we attended akad nikah held as mosque) and it did work. But last month I applied it full-force.

It was when I attended the Being Me Muslimah Conference at Matrade. Last minute, hubby said he has to go outstation that day. I really wanted to go, especially because of Yasmin Mogahed was amongst the speakers. But I feel bad to leave AE with babysitters on weekends (coz weekend suppose to be family time) so I gambled and brought him along.

The conference is all day long so I’m not sure whether the same trick hold. I just thought, well we just go and stay as long as we can survive. Just pray that hopefully Allah makes it easy for us. By the way now that he’s a toddler, long gone the time when breastfeeding can comfort anything:).

Well, guess what…we managed to stay until Maghrib time when AE finally fell asleep. He didn’t complaint or did anything I can’t handle, and even ask to go to the conference again the next day! So I thought I just share the tricks here to the other moms out there. At least you won’t feel bad that you have to leave your kids to babysitter on weekends, and at the same time you still get to enjoy some quality ‘own’ time. Thanks to my niece huserk who accompanied us:).

1. Get small toys that you can easily put in the bags. Eg: yoyo, small cars, animal figurines, rubix cube, activity book. Depends on where you are going, balls and balloons are very helpful, too. I always have balloons in my handbag, just in case. It has been handy when we attended open houses during raya season. He can even play it with new friends.

2. Wrap it. Unwrapping it already give you 5 precious minutes. I didn’t wrap during the conference though coz didnt have enough time. But I put it in some recycle box:).

3. Don’t give all to him to play at once. Take it out one by one from the bag. I found this way it will buy you much more time. Once he said “I’m bored”/ “taknak main dah”, you’ll take out another one. So at first he’ll spend time exploring each toy individually and towards the end he’ll combine all the toys and play it with another creative way.

4. It has to be new. From my experience, anything new will attract and occupy kids. That’s why they love toys at somebody else’s home, although they have similar one at home. For the last conference, I spend RM50 at Toys ‘R’ Us and got about 4 toys. Well, if you go to pasar malam you’ll get much more toys. have no time last time coz I found out from hubby quite last minute. Still, the RM50 worth every penny.

By the way, new does not mean it comes from the store. Remember last time I mentioned about rotating toys. Kids sometimes considered toys that are stored away as new. For example, I haven’t take out the ‘being-Me conference toys’ out again since that day. So it might come handy some other day. And if your kids receive too much toys during her birthday, hide a few for rainy days.

Similarly, the same “new” trick works for DVD (if you bringing dvd players on holiday – we did when we go back hometown or to most holidays) and Iphone apps. Prior the conference, I woke up early just to download a few new kids’ apps. It’s very important not to install it earlier coz then AE will stay up at night playing it instead, defeating the purpose. After installing, you should figure out how to play the game first beforehand. Takkanlah time conference baru nak sibuk ajar kan….

By the way, these are some kids’ apps that my son (age 3.5yrs old) loves. Do share yours!

1. Jigsaw 123
2. Tap the Frog
3. Zoo Train
4. Snowman 3D
5. Fruit Ninja
6. Bubble Mania
7. Baby-Chef
8. Animal Puzzle
9. Temple Run
10. Wedding Dash (okay actually this is mine but somehow he’s playing it too!)

By the way, before when he was younger around 1-2yrs old, he loves all the Duck Duck goose apps. Now he has grown out of it. I’ll share some notes from Yasmin Mogahed’s talk insyaAllah next time.

20 more days of Ramadhan for us to fulfilled wisely, insyaAllah.

race car

There are 4 classes at my son’s school, 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-yr olds. They have their own class schedules, but sometimes they mingle together during outside play or on certain projects. I always see the 6-yr old as seniors, but over time I realize that these kids don’t really see seniority as we do. Regardless of age, these kids will approach my son, welcoming him to play when he arrives in the morning, even though my son is a bit of a shy person. There was one time during school trip, a 6-yr old girl came and sit next to him and said “Ashman, let’s play treasure hunt” even though I know for the fact that Ashman never talk directly to that the girl. There’s no such things like high school where you want to mingle only with the famous group.

At first I was surprised with this. But then after giving some thoughts I realised seniority/physical appearance/racism (dan yang sewaktu dengannya) only exist when we are adults. It makes me remember one of the ads by Yasmin Ahmad, where the lady asked “what is your friend race”, and a boy answered “race? race car.” But as adults, we see the person in front of us based on his physical appearance, race, religion, etc. It is very common to say things like “seksinya skirt dia” or “skemanya muka dia”.

Then before we even talk to him, we even think about the things we are going to say. Is it appropriate? Will it hurt his feeling? Will it embarrass me? We overthink. It gets complicated.

At some boarding school, juniors are even prohibited to talk to seniors of the opposite gender. We ourselves define the ‘difference’ in life. How do we evolve from being genuine and open minded to judgmental and prejudiced over time? As a parent I need to re-learn this art from my son. In addition, I need to be careful in my words to him so he don’t become one of us. Avoid saying things like “is your friend Malay?” or “muka dia tak cantik”. All people are the same, except their hearts and that is for God to judge.

Happy fasting to the muslim! May this month brings us closer to or Creator.

Ooh La La!

I was a bit busy last few weeks. Well, backtracked on Euro, Germany was not up to it. I’m sad but just have to accept the fact that they are not Champion-type just yet. There are a bit like Arsenal, don’t you think. Adventurous game, but not no.1.

Well, I was doing spring cleaning when I found a box of high school letters from my friends. It was the period while I was in boarding school, where the letters came from my old friends from hometown. I haven’t see the box for more than 10 years! Going through it, I was actually surprised reading it, coz some of the things I did not even recall doing it! I thought I have a good memory, but apparently maybe our memories are selective. You only want to remember things that you want to remember, perhaps?

Paling tak tahan bila baca surat2 tu banyak ayat2 lirik lagu KRU. hahahaha…..sangat klasik. Most letters mesti nak selit pasal KRU. Well, it was 1994-96 period. That time everybody knows lyrics of Janji Tinggal Janji and Ooh La La. Come to think of it, I think they are still the best boy band in Malaysia. Do you have any other candidate? I bet Lisa Surihani must be one of their die-hard fan:).

One friend wrote “I’m going to send you my latest pictures, but I need to save money first so I can buy KRU latest cassette”. OMG! I totally forgot all about that. I mean I do remember we listen to tape back then, but little details like saving money to buy the tape (it cost around RM19.90 right?), and looking for the posters or tshirts or trying to get the glimpse of them outside their studio. Haha sweet high school memories.

Baca the envelope pun dah nak tergelak, coz of the phrases like “Is Tea May Where” or “Thank you Abang Posmen!”. Too bad nowadays friends don’t write to each other anymore. Everything in facebook and twitter, which literally is not physical. You can’t touch it, you can’t see his handwriting and it can be gone in a blink of an eye. The new generation maybe will have more difficulty to remember their high school memories I guess.

So I didn’t throw any of the letters away. I just keep it back in the shoe box, there goes my spring cleaning:).

Happy Ramadhan to all Muslims. May this month brings us closer to our Creator. InsyaAllah.