Thursday, May 29, 2008

Queen Latifood


I have my hair braided by a Nigerian. Yes, I am a mother of three and I am almost 40. Why, one wonders.. Well, i wonder about it too. Why indeed.

Dreadlock dreadful, you say? Absolutely! It is easy to spot me now. If you see me, do say hi. And if I look at you with surprise and answer, wassup mannnn… it is the hairdo.

If with everything you said, my expression remains to be one of wonder, trust me, it isn’t you. It is the hairdo. The hair is braided so tight, my face is pulled up and back, my eyebrows are permanently arched, expression one of surprise. Beats botox injection anytime! I strongly recommend the hairdo for mothers in confinement.

Pantang baru adalah, tak usah, tak boleh ziarah mak mentua.


Monday, May 26, 2008

MotherhOOD III

Today is my first day at the office after two months of playing mother. Back to life, back to reality.

I was on the verge of tears at the nursery this morning, looking at my little ultraman dyna, so little yet I have to send her to ‘school’! But she looked at me, smiled and said ‘aukkkk’ like she was reassuring me that she would be okay. Why ‘aukk’ don’t ask me, maybe she’s sarawakian, and was just saying ‘yes’ in Sarawakian language? Yes? Auk? Aukkk.

A lot has been said, many books have been written about motherhood. Why is it still an art not science? Why is there no fixed formula yet? We have sent a man to the moon but we still cant figure out a fool-proof module on how to raise children? Is there no blue-ocean strategists out there who could see the vast potential of this untapped field?

My mother was always telling me, ‘esok hang jadi mak hang faham lah’ or something like that. When Dot was born, I thought I finally could understand my mom. I was wrong, because understanding what the word means is not a milestone, not an event to be marked as ‘done’. At least I don’t think so. I trust that understanding ‘motherhood’ is a gradual process. Just as I thought I can write a book on ’10 Easy Steps How to Mother Them Kids’ something will happen to sober me up and realise that I barely qualify to write the first page of the book. Just when I thought of nominating myself as the Chairman of THE PIBG (Persatuan Ibu Bapa Guru, in case you have forgotten), my kids would show me that really, I don’t qualify at all!

During the two months at home, there were many days when me and the kids would all be at home. Oh, how we would be struck silly with cabin fever! The house would be a mess, something would be burning in the kitchen, Dot would be sobbing into her pillow saying dramatic things like, ‘I love you, why wont you love me’ at me for asking her to clean up her room, and Sun would be fidgeting on his feet because he needed to go to the loo on a super duper extremely urgent basis while little Dyna would be crying till her face turned blue. It all added up to my cabin fever so much so that I would be terribly pissed at Yamtuan for coming home late.. errr, at 6pm!

I am a lousy mother, terrible housekeeper, inconsiderate wife. You think maybe because I have a job? At the office, I am in control of things. So when I am home and kids being kids, they are not something that I can plan for in a neat organiser, I get terribly stressed out when the day goes predictably unpredictable. Now, I just made myself sound like a control freak! I am not, really, just a little bit may be, a really tiny bit.

If you ask me how I remember my mother, it would be her sense of humor and effectiveness. She had time to tell us stories, made dough for us to play with (we couldn’t afford to buy the play-clay), made creative handicrafts and played with us. She was fun. There was a lot of laughter in the house. As a kid, I thought my mom was the coolest. The house was always neat and clean, we had five meals a day too! My mom had time to help us with our homework. On a regular basis she would take us to the state library. To us, Emak was an angel who took human form! She taught me to read, write and count (3M), she taught me English, she introduced me to Shahespeare even. All this introduction to language and literature, even when she was almost an illiterate!

Ask my kids what kind of mom I am and they probably would sum it all up in just three words – cranky like hell.

My kids can recite simple surahs and doas. Sun can spell 'AYAM', 'CAWAN' and 'API'. Dot can do the 3M and she knows the ritual of a solat. Who taught them? Not me. Their teachers. I dont think i have taught my kids anything worth much. I told them bedtime stories, but rather impatiently. I baked cakes with Dot but not without losing my temper! Dot asked me to take her to that place 'where there are rows and rows of story books', but i havent found the time yet! See? Unlike my mother, i AM literate. Sigh... i am not good at this!

I read with envy how easy the likes of Mak Andeh, Kak Teh, DITH, Ely, Dena, Nazrah etc make being a mom sound!

I remember one line from Desperate Housewives, said by cant-remember her name (blonde, has 4 boys). She said, don’t ever let other women take care of your kids because then your kids will realise that there are other women out there who could be better mothers than you. Wayyyyyy better.

Hope my kids will never discover blogs.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Got a text message from my boss, ‘bonus & increment masuk next week. Checklah tabung ayam’. That was last Friday. Today is Wednesday and I still haven’t checked my tabung ayam yet. Another boss was warded for a nose job yesterday and I couldn’t sms her because my phone line was barred, and so it was only late at night when the payment was cleared and I could send her an sms. She replied saying that if only I check my tabung ayam, I could do more than just pay the phone bill, I could buy many new phones too. Wah! Wa-wa-wah! Yeah, right! Nanti yang masuk kecik sengkenet je.. Eh tapi Alhamdulillah, rezeki the little one (btw, her hair stands upright, tepacak! Because of her hairstyle (or rather the lack of it), Sun is convinced that she'll grow up to be Ultraman Dyna not Ultraman Tiga).

Yamtuan is already asking me what I would get him. Cheh! You know, on Mother’s Day I asked him what gift he would give to this mother-of-three. He answered, a fourth child. Horror!

How I would spend my bonus yang berjunta-junta ringgit tu? Practice driving at the game arcade in Pertama sampai muntah! Yey!