Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Daughters’ Day (Part 2)

Last Sunday was Father's Day (at least in 52 of the world's countries). I suppose it's still not too late to wish all fathers a happy father's day although in some small part of the world (my part of the world that is), father's day is a day where daughters instead of the Abah, get all the attention, gifts and cakes... yes, even the cakes. No one's complaining of course, Abah got lots of kisses from his girls for father's day, even a particularly wet one from Raisa. Aahh.. The joy of being a father where kisses and hugs are more precious, more sought after than gold yet freely given and received. Pure bliss!

Anyways, back to father's day... A month ago for mother's day, Nuha came back from school with a self-made card in the shape of a heart. It was huge and red and had lots of tiny pretty things glued on it. It had "i love you mama" painfully scribbled on it with great effort and love by Nuha herself. In short, it was a beautiful card. I had nothing but praise for the kindie and the teachers who used such an ocassion to inculcate creativity, pride and love in the children towards their mothers. Couldn't wait for father's day to arrive to see what sort of card Nuha and friends would make for her Abah and other daddies. If I was the teacher I would ask the kids to make a sportscar cards or maybe cards that are shaped like a plasma tv or a GPS devise for father's day. You know, macho daddies appreciate this kind of macho cards. Heart shaped cards are just too sissy for macho daddies like us.

Fast forward to last friday, Nuha didn't come home from school with a sportscar card or a plasma tv card. Instead, she came back with a bag full of nothing. Wait! What! Let me repeat.. NOTHING! Not even a tiny sissy heart shaped card…

Suddenly felt like getting a blowtorch, a bloody big can of petrol and head down to her kindie for a little bonfire party...

P.s zombiedaddy would like to wish his abah a happy father's day for being a superdad. And to all fathers of little girls out there.. Happy Daughters' Day.. 'Cos we know everyday is happy daughters' day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Longest Journey

A couple of weekends ago, the whole family made a trip to Chenor, Pahang and back, via Temerloh and Ijok. Normally we’d use the twins as an excuse not to go on long journeys. But this time, we were all eager to go as it was going to be the wedding of the year (in our family circle) of every niece’s favourite uncle – Uncle Keem aka Andak and Auntie Rose.

The journey started at Maktok’s (Lembah Keramat) then to Nenek’s (Ijok) to pick up Atok and Nenek. Then off to Temerloh to unload our bags at the hotel and continued to Chenor where the nikah ceremony was held. That night we slept in Temerloh and headed back to Chenor in the morning for the reception, and then off to Ijok to drop Atok and Nenek before we’re finally home. It was also by far the longest journey over two day periods that the twins have made. Although they survived pretty much unscathed, there were a few moments during the crying bouts and cranky tantrums-throwing dramas, that I noticed Supermama almost changed into MonsterMama… almost but not quite. But the important thing is that.. we survived. And that was good news because we also had to go to Ipoh last weekend, and later to PD at the end of the month.

This is the twins’ account of the journey as telekinetically conveyed to me (with input from Kakak Nuha too).


Day 1: Maktok’s to Nenek’s (in the van)

Raisa: hey sis you sleeping already?

Raina: almost, Mama aimed the aircond at my face.. Car is bouncing nicely.. cannot resist the urge to sleeeep.

Nuha: Abah, play song number 1 one more time please.

Day 1: Nenek’s

Raina: Hey, it’s atok and nenek feeding us susu, not mama and abah. Do you think I should cry now?

Raisa: Finish the susu first la. If Mama and Abah are still not here by then, we cry our hearts out ok.

Nuha: Bila kita nak pergi hotel nii?

Day 1: Nenek’s to Termerloh

Raisa: Hey sis, did you notice Abah keeps on playing the same song over and over?

Raina: I’m not complaining. Eh how to tell Mama to slow down the aircond a little bit. The draught is too strong it’s making my nostrils a tad bigger lah.

Nuha: Abah, play song number 1 one more time please

Abah: Sabor je lah.

Day 1 (Night): Chenor (Nikah Event)

Raisa: Eh how come Andak is sitting over there by himself?

Raina: Look he’s shaking hands with that atok. Maybe it’s time to go back already.

(Suddenly –BOOM – somebody lit a firecracker that sounded more like a bomb)

Raisa: Opocot Budak Gemuk.. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

Raina: eh eh why you crying? Why you crying?.. WAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!.

Abah & Supermama: Houston. We have a problem!

(A bit later. In the Van)

Raina: Hey sis, how come you are half naked? It’s not mandi time yet.

Raisa: I just vomited on myself and on the carseat. And I’m too cranky Mama didnt want to put on another pants. Good thing Mama brought extra blankie.

Mama: Step on the Gas, Abah!



Day 2: Chenor (Wedding Reception)

Raisa: I’m gonna be a good girl today. No crying. Gonna put on my best smile eventhough i’m sweating like a… like a sweating hot baby.

Raina: Whatever… I’ll stick to being clingy. .



Day 2: Temerloh RnR (on the way back)

Raisa: Holy Stinking Mother of Skunk! Did someone just farted?

Raina: It’s not fart lah. This one got meat inside You like the smell eh? Abaah! My diaper feels funny.. do something now!

Abah: Holy Stinking Mother of Skunk! Call HAZMAT now!

(Later… on the highway, still another 145km to Ijok)

Raina: Mama pick me up.. WAAAAAAAAAA!!! WAAAAAAAAA!!

Raisa: Mama I cant sleep… WAAAAAAAAAA!! WAAAAAAAAA!!

Supermama: (Turning green ala Hulk) Mr McGee... don't make me angry... you wouldn't like me when I'm angry...

Nenek: Sian nye cucu nenek

Atok: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Nuha: Abah, play song number 1 one more time please

Abah: Think happy thots… Think happy thots


p.s. We'd like to thank all our siblings and family during this trip and also during the trip to Ipoh (you know who you are) for taking care of our Nuha when we were hapless with the twins. And also for holding the twins long enough for me and Supermama to enjoy the nasi kahwin.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hold Me Till I Fall Asleep

Whenever we are sleeping over at Maktok’s or Nenek’s house, we always sleep in the same room, all five of us. At our little apartment, Nuha would be sleeping in her own room with her soft animal friends while the twins would bunk with Abah and Supermama.

The thing is, whenever we are sleeping over at Maktok’s or Nenek’s house, Nuha would insist that Supermama hugs her to sleep. It is very seldom that she would go to sleep on her own. And it’s even rarer that she would ask for her Abah instead of Supermama to comfort or pat her until she falls asleep. I’m not being jealous or anything but sometimes I do wonder why Nuha always chooses Mama over Abah. I don’t think I smell that bad. Well, I do smell but surely not as bad as the ultra horribly stinky ikan pekasam. In fact, I try very hard to shower at least twice every day though I know I can never smell as nice as Supermama. There must be other reasons but they all don’t matter anymore because last night she asked for Abah.

That’s right. She asked for her Abah to hold her until she falls asleep. It was a happy moment for Abah indeed. Nuha actually asked for Abah. It didn’t matter that she actually asked for Mama first but Mama had to clean up after Raisa who had just vomited on her pillow. It didn’t matter that Nuha was actually begging Mama to let Abah handle the vomit instead. It didn’t matter that she was left with only two options: to sleep on her own or to let Abah hold her until she dozed off. What mattered was she chose Abah over her soft animal friends. So there we were, Abah comforting her eldest princess to slumber.

Nuha is the type that would wake up every few hours at night.. sometimes she would even suddenly sit up-right. I suppose she wants to confirm where she is or probably to check if her parents have turned into Sasquatch and Unicorn from Animal Mechanicals as she would like to. But she would only do this for a few seconds and then she would fall right back to sleep as if nothing happened. So, last night she woke up as expected. She sat, opened her eyes and saw Hero Abah by her side, protecting her from naughty bed bugs and monsters (mosquitoes mostly). Then she leaned towards me, probably to say thank you Abah for holding me like I’m the most precious jewel you’ve ever held. Maybe she was a little groggy so things came out a little differently from her mouth... because just as her head touches the pillow she asked me… “..mana MAMA?”
Abah's most precious jewel

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Foolproof parenting tips for fathers

I am a father of three girls, consisting of a 5 year old singleton and a set of 9 month old twins. I suppose that gives me some rights to give out parenting tips to all other newbie fathers out there especially those who are expecting or already blessed with double bundles of --sleep-depriving, back-breaking, tears-inducing-- joy. These are free advices as indirectly taught to me by my ever lovely daughters. However, as all free things in this world are made to be, please take them with a pinch of salt, or if you like it, with sugar on top.

1. It’s OK to let your daughters scoot or run around wearing just diapers. I know this may look like a cardinal sin of parenthood, to let your cute child scoot around the house with one of the straps on her diaper unfastened. People would frown and disapprove. But what is wrong with these people? Anyone who has ever tried to put a diaper and then the romper on a healthy infant knows it’s like trying to stuff a squirming, pissed-off, big bad cat with claws unretracted, into a coin purse. So for the sake of your sanity and also health, let her scoot around in her huggies. Yes Raina, Abah is talking about you.

2. Sometimes little babies or even toddlers just have to cry. It’s OK to let them cry. Contrary to what many newbie parents believe, our job as fathers is not to prevent the child from crying. Our job is to prevent the child from stepping on her twin baby sisters while dancing to a warped version of some unrecognizable nursery rhymes on her little laptop. Or in some cases, to prevent her from hugging the kitten so tight its eyes got so big like they’re going to pop out from its head.

3. Your children observe and mimic every single thing you do. So, if you curse or say a naughty word like "stupid" when a rempit cuts blindly in front of your van, don’t be surprised when your 5 year old daughter says the same when Tom got careless and Jerry scared the skeleton out of him with an air-horn.

4. There are more varieties of fluids in one child than there are behind the beverage counter of a typical mamak restaurant. And all of them are destined to come out of the child in different quantities from time to time. Sometimes, there would be a blob of snot the size of a fuji apple that comes out of the right nostril of your daughter when she sneezes. Sometimes, she would vomit a bucketful on your bed when she coughs too much after non-stop jumping just before bedtime despite your asking her to stop for like a hundred and fifty times already. Other times, they pee and poop beyond what their huggies can take, and leak onto your shirt just as you entered the shopping complex. My point is, you must be prepared for all possibilities.

5. You must be able to withstand torture, when your daughter wants to watch Monsters Inc. again for the 545th time right about the time Liverpool is starting the game against the bloody Manchus.

6. You should learn to be able to take a kick or punch in the balls. Your kids will hit you there either accidently or with evil intent no matter how hard you try to “protect” it. This will go on once every few days until they turn 12, or so I heard.

7. You’ll NEVER sleep soundly through the night again. That is written in the manual and absolutely unavoidable. But I’ll be up too, so leave me a comment.

P.s There'll be more tips in the future as the infinite wisdom of Nuha, Raina and Raisa flows into me (more like splattered onto me) and i'll definitely be sharing them with other struggling daddies out there.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Language is flexible

Nuha may not realize it, but she has always managed to make me and supermama laugh our heart out with her nonchalant and innocent manipulation of the languages both english and malay.

Just the other day as we were passing a hindu temple, when she suddenly said "mama, look fahfire" (pronounced as fah-fah year). So, naturally myself and supermama were like "huh! What? Papaya?" Then she looked at us as if we were a couple of dimwits who never went to school, and said it again this time a tad louder "no mama, FAHFIRE." In my mind i was thinking it's either she saw something burning at the far end of the temple compund or it was some cartoon character she remembered from playhouse disney... Probably a friend of Dibo or one of the animal mechanicals that she loves so much at the moment. Before i could ask her again and make myself look like an idiot, Supermama beat me to it and offered her neck instead "fahfire tu apa Nuha?" Nuha gave a long sigh just like a teacher who had just been asked the same question a millionth time. But she went on to answer because it was Supermama who had asked her. I suspect if it was abah who asked, she would just rolled her eyes, look at me as though i came from pluto, gave up on it and asked me to buy her some smarties instead.

Anyways, so Nuha proceeded to give us a lesson in the simplicity of the english language that we had missed in our rush to become adults. "Mama, if only one fire we say fire. If lot lot fire we say fahfire". Supermama was the first to laugh while i, being the perpetually slower one managed to keep a straight face for about 2 seconds. Maybe saying lot-lot fire sounds too baby-ish, therefore one needs to improvise. And more importantly, if you can see them it means you can count them. Sometimes you add the letter “s” after the word to show that there are more than one of the items being scrutinized. But if you’re a 5 year old, you can instead add whatever you feel like putting anywhere on the word, and say it with the straightest of face. Whatever it is, “fahfire” deserves a place in the annals of Malaysian language, arguably on the same shelf with “together-gether”.

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