Archive for July, 2006

From daddy’s desk – Education worries Pt. 1

Fatherhood brings with it many worries, and the one worry that tops them all is EDUCATION.

Before Brae came into my life, things were simpler. I work, I get paid, I spend it all on myself and wifey, with some in the savings kitty. Nowadays, it is no more “me-me-me” but “Brae-Brae-Brae”.

If I was downright broke, then I won’t have to worry at all because Brae would have to go to a government school, work his butt off to score good grades, pray that he gets the course he wants in a public university of his choice (and since he is Chinese and I am very pragmatic, he probably won’t), and be offered a scholarship at the same time.

It is my hope to give him more certainty as far as education is concerned. If he is a bright kid and does well in his studies, then it is only fair that he gets the proper education that he deserves. If I have to pay for it, then so be it. I’ll just have to work harder (smarter), and save more.

Everyone has their 2 cents say on the dismal state of our Malaysian education system, including myself. Racial quotas, teachers who can’t teach, discrimination in the whole system, topped off with a Malaysian Education Minister who sees it fit to brandish a keris at some high profile meeting for all Malaysians to see. Yes, I hate the entire Malaysian system of doing things.

Sorry, back to the point…..I believe we have the following options:

  • Chinese school (partially or all the way)
  • Government school
  • Private school offering government syllabus
  • International school

Funny thing is, most parents want their children to do things that the parents themselves did not get the opportunity to do, be it piano lessons, learning a foreign language, even the type of school they attend. We have Chinese-educated parents sending their children to Government schools because they do not want their kids to endure what they have gone through and to have a more balanced childhood. On the other side of the fence we have English-speaking parents who send their kids to Chinese schools to pick up the language.

A bit of background; I studied in an International school from Primary 1 till Secondary 5, was sent overseas for 5 years before returning with a piece of paper called a “degree”. My command of the Malay language is confined to ordering food at the mamak stall and knowing when someone is swearing at me! I had private Chinese tuition (which I dreaded immensely) so I can read and write basic Chinese and can understand Mandarin and Cantonese (my dialect) fairly well.

Wifey on the other hand studied in a Government school up till Secondary 5. Moved to the big city called KL to work and study part-time to obtain her diploma and degree. For that, I am very proud of her. (Aside, though her degree is in Computer Science, she still needs my help to migrate her blog!!! Sorry dear, give me a couple of weeks for the novelty to wear off). She speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and Hakka (her dialect) very well but cannot read as well as me. Her command of Malay is good but she is unable to translate what she understands in Malay to English. I still haven’t figured out whether her brain thinks in English, Chinese or Malay.

WE DISAGREE ON WHERE TO SEND BRAE. She wants Chinese, I am not too receptive to that idea. We definitely can’t afford an international school unless Brae is the only child.

to be continued…….

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Friday, July 28, 2006 1:19 pm at 1:19 pm 9 comments

From daddy’s desk

A good day to all mummies (and dads),

Since my dearest other half is out of ideas on what to write, I have been recruited to help increase her blog size (with great reluctance on my part!). So do bear with me while I rant on and on about what goes on in my little head as I embark on this fascinating journey named “fatherhood”.

I don’t worry much about what to feed the baby, how to clean him, this and what not. I leave it to my very capable wife to worry about these things, with the occasional input from me. Thanks to all the blogging mummies for the advice given and experiences shared. Your input gives some sort of balance to wifey’s (I’ll figure out a better way to refer to my wife later) life as she figures out whether what she does is right or wrong.

Ah, my first post in my co-blog. Actually, must give credit to myself for migrating wifey’s blog over to WordPress. Thank you, thank you 🙂 I wouldn’t want anyone of you to experience what I have gone through the past couple of weeks as wifey struggled with Blogger.

Thursday, July 27, 2006 6:19 pm at 6:19 pm 3 comments

Brae’s contagious laugh

The above video was recorded during one of our midwife’s monthly visits. She was so thrilled to hear Brae laughing that she asked us to take a video of his ‘contagious’ laughter. Brae was laughing and giggling when the midwife gave him a stacking ring to play with. He thought she was playing with him and he just laughed…laughed…and laughed!

Thursday, July 27, 2006 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm 6 comments

Protected: Brae’s new car seat

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7 months milestones

Weight : 9.5 kg

Height : 70 cm
Teeth : 2 lower teeth


Physical Development

  • Still hasn’t crawled yet. When we try to put his toys further away to tempt him to crawl, he ends up struggling with his head down or rolls over to get them. *rolling eyes*
  • He prefers to stand or sit.
  • He can sit unsupported most of the time.
  • He doesn’t like to lie down flat.

Language

  • He babbles a lot.
  • Usually says “wa..wa..wa…wa……”.

Food

  • Eats 2 meals + 2 serves of fruit and a snack in a day (refer to Brae’s food) with 3 milk feeds.
  • He is not a fussy eater. He will eat whatever food we give him.
  • He is now starting to eat fruits without steaming.


Brae’s new development

  • He has just started his new Kindermusik Village and Sign & Sing classes. We find that the Kindermusik class is quite useful for Brae and informative for first-time parents like ourselves. Brae is more sociable and friendly towards people now. He used to cry when people carry him, but not anymore. He always tries to give his winning smile when people play with him. As for Sign & Sing classes, we have learnt some signs to communicate with Brae. Brae has not started signing back yet. However, I find that when we sing a song together with the action of signs, Brae is more receptive to the song.
  • When we say, “Braedyn, bao-bao?” or “Braedyn, you want daddy to carry you?”, he will get excited, extend both his hands and try to lift himself out of the car seat to be carried.
  • He still doesn’t like to drink plain water. I have tried using the teats and soft spout, but to no avail. His intake of plain water per day is only 30 ml.
  • It is easier now when we eat dinner outside because he can sit on his own in the highchair. No more taking turns eating while the other carries Brae. Brae has his own rattles to play with (strung to a lanyard) when we eat outside.
  • He is sleeping through the night now after I give him a milk feed just before he sleeps.
  • When he wakes up in the morning, he will turn and toss around the bed, babbling and playing on his own until I pick him up.
  • He likes to blow air through his lips, mimicking my attempts to cool his food down.
  • Whenever I carry him, he will use his left hand to stroke my hair. My hair is short and he never does that to daddy.
  • He likes to scratch his head nowadays. He looks so cute when he scratches his head. I am trying to get a snapshot of that action but no success so far,

Thursday, July 13, 2006 11:26 am at 11:26 am 1 comment

Brae’s first fall from the bed

Brae had his first fall from the bed yesterday night. I was in the bathroom and hubby was downstairs cleaning the house. Before that, I placed Brae in the middle of our bed surrounded by pillows (what we usually do when we leave him on the bed alone) and gave him some toys to play with. As it is with him these days, he started crying the instant I walked into the bathroom. Cry, cry, cry, followed by a loud “Thuudd”, then cry, cry cry.

I quickly rushed out of the bathroom and saw Brae lying prone on the floor crying his lungs out. “Oh sh*t!!!”, was the first phrase that came out of my mouth.

I nearly cried when I lifted him up from the floor. By that time, hubby also made it to the room (didn’t know he could move so fast). I carried Brae and comforted him. “It’s okay…it’s okay”, I whispered to Brae but he still kept crying. Oh no, deep trouble this time.

Hubby took over to try to calm Brae down and after a short while, Brae stopped crying. We checked him over and fortunately, no blood, no blue black marks and no cracked bones. Brae seemed fine. Hubby played with Brae and he laughed. Ahhhh….we felt very relieved when we heard him laugh.

I was wondering how he fell off the bed. He must have toppled down the sideof the bed after pushing his “pillow wall” out of the way with his famous rolling action.

I’m a BAD mummy…..!!!! Makes me feel so BAD….!!!! So sorry, Braedyn!

Thursday, July 13, 2006 11:25 am at 11:25 am 1 comment

MV Doulos

Hubby waved a newspaper cutting at me a couple of days back and asked if I read about the MV Doulos arriving in Port Klang for a month. Huh!! Had no clue and he gave me his famous blank look (the “how could you miss an article on a floating book fair that takes up an entire page” look)

Anyway, we decided to drive to Port Klang on Saturday to look for the ship. We knew there are 3 ports at Port Klang and it should be relatively easy to locate a ship the size of the Titanic. Mistake No. 1 – Although the Doulos is almost as old as the Titanic, it is not the same size.

Took us an hour and a half from KL to actually locating the ship. Mistake No. 2 – South Port, West Port, and North Port are very different entities, are not located very close to each other and are manned by people who know nuts about the MV Doulos. We arrived at South Port first and were greeted by lots of fishing boats. Nope, definitely not here.

North Port was our next stop and the officer there told us that the Doulos is at West Port. He spoke with such authority that we were sure he was right. Drove all the way to West Port (20 minutes away) and was told that the Doulos is at the Star Cruises terminal. Bravo……Malaysia Boleh!

Anyway, after the very taxing long drive, we trudged our way to the pier where the Doulos was berthed. “Er…..kinda small-ish”, hubby commented. “Nevermind, still a ship nonetheless”.

Crowds were minimal with queues only at the on-board canteen and cashiers. Lots of books everywhere but it was very stuffy in the book area. Hubby decided to take Brae for a spot of ship exploration while I looked for books to buy.

We spent about an hour on the ship and another half hour at the Star Cruises terminal. Well, it is not often that we have family excursions (this is probably the 1st one) so I thoroughly enjoyed it. We must do this more often instead of the usual shopping centre visits. It was just the lack of directions that spoiled the day.

The very next day, an article on the Doulos was published in The Star which stated clearly that it was berthed at the Star Cruises terminal. Urrrggghhhh, the early bird gets the free Port Klang tour.

Monday, July 10, 2006 7:59 pm at 7:59 pm 6 comments

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