Role play taken to a whole new level

Do you remember your ambitions when you were little?

I do. One of my ambitions back then was to be a stewardess. I loved flying on airplanes, and serving meals to people while pushing food trolley in flight seemed like a lot of fun and so I thought, ok I want to be an air stewardess when I grow up! I remember playing pretend stewardess with my sisters using my mom’s tea trolley. I even took her table cloth and turned it into my uniform (kain belah depan LOL). I was around 6-7 years old la ok. Hehe.

I asked Ayra what she wanted to be when she grow up and here’s what she wrote (yes, she actually typed this herself. Mind her spelling and grammar tho. She’s only 7! :D).

When i grow up i want to be a chef and i want to open ballerina caffe becos i love to bake cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pancakes, waffels. I also want to be artist and teach people how to draw in art class. They can draw and painting anyting and colour nicely. I love to draw and bake becos drawing is the best thing and baking is fun becos i can make any treats i like and eat it. Maybe first I will be a chef and then I will be an artist. I am so excited to open my ballerina caffe and art class.

Hahaha how cute and innocent!

I think her ambitions are great and as parents, it’s our job to encourage our children to dream big whether, it’s unrealistic or not. Parents should believe in their child because they believe in themselves. Your motivation and encouragement means a lot to them because in their eyes, we are their superheroes. As parents, we need to instil the belief that no dream is too big, be supportive and provide them the tools to pave a path towards the success of their dreams. One way to do it is through role play, which not only helps develop a child’s cognitive, gross and fine motor skils, but also allows them to exercise their imagination and lets them to go through the motions to explore what they might like to try out in the future.

Speaking of role-playing, we brought our girls to Kidzania a few weeks ago, as soon as the school holiday started. My girls love Kidzania! That was actually their third time – first time was in Kidzania Jakarta a few years ago, second time was in KL earlier in 2015. They can’t seem to get enough of it. And as a parent, I can’t either. When we first went to Kidzania, I was excited and impressed. It’s an indoor real functioning kid-sized city, complete with buildings, paved streets, vehicles and recognizable destinations in the form of “establishments” sponsored and branded by leading multi-national and local brands – which makes it even more realistic because it mirrors real life even more!

It allows kids to do “jobs” just like in the real world – complete with uniforms, and they even get paid for their work! There are over 100 “jobs” in Kidzania – surgeons, nurses, police officer, judge, TV crew, postman, fireman, supermarket cashier, pilot, artist, beautician and lots more.

Role play is a serious business in KidZania. It is experiential learning at work and really drives home benefits that are not limited to only physical development of fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, but also instills and ignites what may possibly be a kid’s real interest or potential in a certain undiscovered area (as I’ve mentioned earlier on). Apart from that, our kids also learn socialization skills, independence and creativity – all skills that they will need to succeed as adults and prepare for the world out there. Plus, it’s super duper fun!

It’s really an incredible place for kids to play, learn and experience new things. If only we had this kind of thing back then. Kids nowadays are so lucky!

 

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IMG_7065When kids come to KidZania, they are each given a starting capital cheque worth 50 KidZos (the official KidZania currency) that can be cashed in a bank.

 

IMG_7071Ka-ching!

The last time we went to KidZania, my girls had already experienced working as milk processing operators at Vitagen factory, surgeons at KPJ Hospital, burger maker at Marrybrown, AirAsia pilot, TV crew, firefighter and they even do batik painting.

This time around, they wanted to do other jobs… which is fine. The more job experience, the better.

 

IMG_7114But it’s not ALL work, all the time. Kids also go around as customers and consumers. Here, the girls are spending some KidZos at the Z-Mart supermarket.

 

IMG_7079It’s fun to watch the kids learn to navigate the store looking for the items on their grocery list. It doesn’t seem like much but they’re learning to organize themselves as well as their financials.

IMG_7095Check out time! Maybe next time, I’ll let them do the real groceries.

IMG_7096After shopping, they decided to go to the beauty salon…

IMG_7104…and have (real) manicures!

IMG_7139After the mani session, money is running a bit low – so the kids need to earn more KidZos. Here they’re trying out life as Lifebuoy Health Researchers.

IMG_7151This was one of their favourite jobs that day as they get to “mix some potions to make soap” and choose their own color for the soap.

IMG_7194Another job that they enjoyed was being nurses and taking care of newborns at the nursery.

IMG_7220Unfortunately, parents are not allowed inside the hospital so we just peeked from outside the windows. The girls learned how to bathe, put lotion, swaddle and bottle-feed baby (they use dolls, don’t worry). Bagus, dah practice nak dapat adik! Hehe.

IMG_7180Researchers at Pharmaniaga Citrex Vitamin Research Institute.

IMG_7232And they also learned how to sew bookmarks using sewing machine!

IMG_7252Actual roads, ambulance, light posts… truly a city build for kids!

I had a great time seeing my kids engrossing themselves with the activities so I got curious as to how they felt. they told me, in their exact words, this:

“I learned how to get money from the bank. And then I learned how to buy grocery using the list and also how to pay using the money. I also learned how to make soap and how to properly stir the soap potion. And lastly I learned how to take care of the baby. It’s my favourite because now I know how to bathe and put lotion and give milk to baby.”

I was surprised actually because instead of the fun that they had, they told me that they enjoyed the learning part and the new knowledge and skills that they learned by the end of the day. I guess it wasn’t a bad idea at all to bring them to KidZania!

It really is a life-learning centre that inspires kids to pursue their dreams as they get to explore what it’s like to live and work in a real functioning city. If your kids haven’t been to KidZania yet, you really have to bring them!

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Checkout KidZania’s website at www.kidzania.com.my to learn more about the activities.



Superhero Moment

There’s something magical that happens when you enter motherhood. Suddenly, BAM! Your inner superhero revealed herself. All the “powers” you never knew you possessed just sprang into action!

Ok, so we may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, or fight crimes on the street, or save thousands of people from atomic explosions, but we moms sure have our own super powers!

Don’t believe me?

Well as moms, we have so many responsibilities and we also hold so many job titles. We are the chef, the caretaker, the housekeeper, the chauffeur, the alarm clock, the teacher, the nurse, the handyman, the nutritionist, the laundry maid, the personal assistant, the photographer, the life coach, the event planner, the therapist, the wardrobe stylist, the personal shopper, and the list goes on. Sometimes we even do a few things at once. I mean, who else can feed the baby, reply an email and talk on the phone all at the same time? Heck, we can even go without sleep for days! I think that is some kind of a superhero power. *blows nails*

 

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But what amazes me the most is the supersonic hearing that God has given to us moms (that, and the unconditional love we have for our kids even when they drive us crazy!).

You know, before becoming a mom, I was a very heavy sleeper. Alarms don’t wake me up, nor the loud banging on the door. My mom used to joke that even an earthquake won’t wake me up (it’s that serious)!

But now that I’m a mom, things have changed. I have changed. I have now become super alert and I can even hear the sound of a cry or a thud in the middle of the night, from the other room, with my supersonic hearing. It’s like a miracle! It must be a mom thing.

I am convinced that our alertness and strength may double or even triple when our children are in distress. It’s like we have a telepathic power that can sense when things are not right or something.

Like the other day, I was awaken by a faint sound from my kids’ room at around 3 o’clock in the morning. I went to check on them and saw my eldest child was shivering. I felt her forehead and sure enough she was burning up with fever. Turns out, she had tonsillitis and her temperature was quite high (39°C). 

I don’t think I really slept during those nights when my child was sick. I think I woke up every hour to check if her temperature spiked again, or whether she was breathing fine, or if she was too cold, or whether she needed a drink because she kept telling me her throat felt hot. And then came morning, I had to do my usual routine despite having a headache and backache from lack of sleep. Headache or not, mom duty must still go on (thank God for Panadol Actifast, an instant headache relief)!

 

IMG_3503Lunch in bed because she was too weak to move around.

Being a superhero mom is not about being a perfect mom. There’s no such thing! It’s about doing the best that you can for your children. Whether it’s looking after a sick child, or killing a cockroach with your bare foot to “save” your children from it (I cannot believe I actually did that – once), or fixing broken dolls, we are all superheroes in the eyes of our children.

https://youtu.be/9HfHzH8h61g
 

We might not be anything to someone else, but to our children, we are everything!



When pain gets in the way

The other day, I woke up feeling fatigued with neck pain and a throbbing headache.

That wasn’t the first time tho. I’ve actually experienced this several times, and I noticed it usually happened when I had a looong day outside the house or when I stayed up really late the night before.

I hate waking up like that. If I don’t do anything about it, the pain would last the whole day and my day would be ruined.

I cannot cook for my family, I cannot do the laundry, I cannot do any housework, and most importantly, I cannot attend to my children’s needs properly. All I want to do is just sleep and rest without any interruptions until my headache subsides. But that is highly unlikely, especially if you’re a mother with no helper. Can you imagine attending to your 4-year-old’s cry with a pounding headache? Things can get really ugly and both of you could end up crying!

Sometimes I would even lose it and get snappy at my children for playing too loud or interrupting my rest with their petty little things.

Sigh… Poor my children. They just wanted my attention and I failed to give it to them because of my headache and I got mad at them instead. I feel like such a crappy mom! >_<

Now whenever I wake up with a headache, I know what I need to do. I need my Panadol Actifast. I need to treat it right away so that I can get back to my normal life, enjoying every precious moment with these two munchkins of mine….

 

IMG_0083Playing dress-up

 

IMG_6450Making a giant poster painting

 

IMG_6481Enjoying our ice-cream treat

 

IMG_6407Having a picnic in the front yard (or even indoor)

 

IMG_8754Goofing around and just having fun.

 

I won’t be able to enjoy these moments if I am sick or in pain, because pain can really get in the way of everything.

Aligned with Panadol’s recent campaign, let’s not sacrifice any pain with every small yet priceless moment with our children. Instead of ignoring the pain, choose to treat it so we could go back to our normal every day routines with the kids.

Did you know that Panadol Actifast is gentle even in an empty stomach, which absorbs twice as fast than regular paracetamol and leaves body naturally within 24 hours, besides being a safe and effective pain reliever?


If you’re in pain, don’t just suffer through the pain. Your children need you. They need their mommy to be healthy and happy again. Treat your pain, because when pain is gone, life takes its place. #LifeReplacesPain #PanadolActifst



Sisterly Love

A lot of people asked me how do my girls get along so well and have they ever fought with each other?

Haha. My girls are normal kids, guys. Of course they fight!

They usually fight verbally (girls, right) over petty things like… whose hair is longer, or who should become Twilight Sparkle, or when kakak doesn’t want to sit beside adik, or when Raina sang My Little Pony song wrongly… stuff like that.

And then they would always end it with “I DON’T WANNA FRIEND YOU!” or even “I DON’T WANT TO BUY YOUR BIRTHDAY PRESENT BECAUSE YOU DON’T BEHAVE!” and then the other would cry, “HUWAAA SHE DON’T WANT TO BUY ME PRESENT NANTI I DON’T HAVE PRESENT!”.

Sheeshhh pening aku -___-’

But their squabbles and fights don’t last long. One minute they’re like Ultraman and raksasa (except this Ultraman and raksasa fought over which Lego Friends scene they should pretend-play), and the next minute they’re like BFFs, laughing and giggling away like nothing ever happened.

Like the other day, they were fighting over iPad and there were lots of screaming and crying involved. Apparently, one of them “ruined” Sofia’s bedroom because she colored the bed with the wrong color and didn’t put the right accessories or something (they were playing Sofia The First coloring game by the way).

5 minutes later, they came downstairs together and Ayra told me, “Mama, I like Raina. She’s my best friend foreverr!”.

Righttt.

I guess it’s normal for siblings to fight and squabble every now and then. But one thing I learned is not to blame only one child or assume things based on what you see without finding out what really happened. Listen to both sides of the story. Let each child explain and then only take necessary actions (advice and whatnot). Parents should be the peacemaker here!

 

IMG_2195Dresses from DVF ♥ babyGap collection, flats from Zara Girs

 

One time, I casually asked Ayra whether she loves her little sis and she said, “Yes, I love Raina. She’s so sweet and funny and she’s so silly”.

Then I asked Raina the same thing and she answered, “I love kakak because she so nice and like to teach me”.

Awwhhh….

These two can be really sweet with one another when they’re not fighting. I just love to see how they get along nicely. It never fails to warm my heart. I hope my girls will remain close (if not closer) when they’re older, insya-Allah.

 

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I think parents play a very important role in helping nurture a good sibling relationship. I know it can get really tempting to compare your children with one another (I admit I used to do that too), but please please pleaseee avoid comparing siblings, especially in front of them. It’s a recipe for disaster that can lead to sibling rivalry. Nobody likes to be compared – I’m sure you don’t like it when somebody compares you with someone else so don’t do it, especially to your children. Everyone is different and has unique talents and abilities; so does your child.

When you compliment or praise one of your children, compliment the others as well. You don’t want your child to feel “superior” or appreciated more than his/her other siblings and you certainly don’t want your other child to feel, “Mom probably loves my brother more because he’s smart”. You want each of them to know that they are all special in their own ways and that you love them no matter what. Insya-Allah they will learn to appreciate and respect each other. I actually learned this from my MIL (somebody once complimented one of my girls and my MIL told that person, “Kalau puji sorang, kena la puji sorang lagi”) and I have been doing it ever since. The compliments don’t have to be the same. Like for example, when I told Ayra, “Your hair is beautiful. So straight and smooth, I like it”, I would also tell Raina that, “I like your curly hair. It looks fabulous”.

Whether it’s their appearances or their abilities, just try to find the best in every child and appreciate their differences. It’s what makes them unique!

 

IMG_2205The dynamic duo. Ayra the neat and independent one, and Raina the cool and funny one :)



Touched

I put my girls to bed as usual, last night. I read them a bedtime story, chatted for a bit about their day, recited a few surahs and du’a, hugged and kissed them good night.

Then Ayra asked me to urut her knee. And then Raina also requested me to urut hers as well (she likes to follow whatever her sister does hehe). So I sat on the floor, in between their beds and urut them – one hand massaging Ayra’s knee, and another hand massaging Raina’s knee.

I told them that when I get older and sakit, they would have to urut and take care of me as well, just like I did to them.

Raina replied ‘okay’, but Ayra was awfully quiet.

And then I heard her sob.
OMG. She cried!

“I don’t want you to get older and sakit, nanti you die and I don’t have mommy anymore”.

Ohh sweetheart…

I hugged her tightly and whispered that mama’s here and I’m not going to die yet (and okay, I cried a little).
I was so touched!

“If you love mama, you have to make du’a to Allah and ask Him to protect me and let me live long enough so I can be with you”, I said and gave her a kiss.

She nodded.

“I love you mama”.

Sigh.

I love you, sayang. Both of you, so very much.

O God, be kind to me through the survival of my children,
setting them right for me, and allowing me to enjoy them.
My God, make long their lives for me,
increase their terms, bring up the smallest for me,
strengthen the weakest for me,
rectify for me their bodies, their religious dedication, and their moral traits,
make them well in their souls, their limbs,
and everything that concerns me of their affair,
and pour out for me and upon my hand their provisions!
Make them pious, fearing, insightful, hearing,
and obedient toward Thee, loving and well-disposed toward Thy friends,
and stubbornly resistant and full of hate toward all Thy enemies! Amen!

O God, through them strengthen my arm,
straighten my burdened back, multiply my number,
adorn my presence, keep alive my mention,
suffice me when I am away, help me in my needs,
and make them loving toward me, affectionate, approaching, upright, obedient,
Never disobedient, disrespectful, opposed, or offenders!
Help me in their upbringing, their education, and my devotion toward them,
give me among them from Thyself male children,
make that a good for me, and make them a help for me in that which I ask from Thee!
Give me and my progeny refuge from the accursed Satan,
for Thou hast created us, commanded us, and prohibited us, and made us desire
the reward of what Thou hast commanded, and fear its punishment!

Ameen.

[www.duas.org]