My middle daughter, Nur Alis Dalili turned 4 on January 17, 2010 so I decided to celebrate her birthday on a smaller scale due to the economic downturn that all Malaysians are facing right now. There was no black forest birthday this year as I had ordered a Sarawak layer cake from my former student who went back to visit her grandma in Sri Aman recently. It costs me RM25.
Then, on the fateful day, this birthday girl received a small teddy bear from her favourite kindergarten teacher, Cikgu Shima. Dalili and her younger sister, Dahlia, are fond of her as she is the one whom they will turn to when they cry. If I scold them, they will call Cikgu Shima’s name!
In the evening, I bought fifty skewers of satays for my three girls but they did not fancy this food. Lastly, my younger brother and I ended eating all the satays… It seems that my new year’s resolution of losing weight has gone to the drain.
I believe that kids nowadays are more advanced than their predecessors in every aspect, for example, information technology, exam results and social ills. Just look at the number of top scorers in the public exams. During my time, it was a rare phenomenon to see a student scored straight As in SPM. But, last year, a Kelantanese girl scored 191A’s. That’s definitely awesome!
But what I want to write here is about my eldest daughter, Dalilah. She has started to pick up some internet browsing skills by observing her father using his notebook almost every day. I have never taught her how to search for video clips in YouTube, but she is able to do it somehow. After watching a movie on television, she will search for the similar title online with the hope that she can download and watch it offline. At this moment, she is hooked to online girl games such as Barbie, Princess and Winx Club. Sometimes, she fights for the internet access with me and her uncle. I have a Celcom Mobile Broadband service at home, so the three of us take turn to browse the Internet. My brother is a heavy YM chatter while I spend most of my time online by blogging and making new friends through facebook and hi5.
What I can conclude here is that children should be exposed to the Internet but the parents must control their children so that they do not venture into the dark side of the cyber world.
The big day finally came but with heavy torrential rains in Kelantan, my spirit of celebrating my eldest daughter’s final day at her kindergarten almost went downhill. I was stranded at my sister’s bungalow in the village on the fateful Saturday morning. The sole access road to Machang was heavily flooded so I was worried if my eight-year-old Wira could not pass through. At first I did not want to attend the function, but my sister urged me be there as it was the historic day for her niece. So off I went with Dalilah and her younger sister, Dalili.
True to my belief, ahead lying a stretch of 100-metre flooded passage waiting for me to drive through. Thank God, I managed to accomplish the mission despite feeling my car turned into a boat.
We arrived at the Town Hall at 9.15 am. Luckily, the event had yet to start as the school administration had to wait for the other parents and pupils who might have stranded on their way there. The event finally started at 9.30 with all pupils sang their kindergarten theme song. Then, a bubbly girl came onstage to tell a folktale followed by my girl who was chosen by her teacher to recite a poem entitled ‘My School’. Dalilah was the fifth in her class but she came out top in the English Language Paper.
Then, all six-year-old students received their scrolls, signifying their completion of studies at the kindergarten, from the guest-of-honour, Tuan Haji Izhab Ismail. The VIP is actually a friend of mine who is now holding a top post in the district education office.
The event ended at 11.15 and all parents and pupils were treated to fried noodles and ‘roti jala’. It was a simple but consequential occasion, especially to the children involved.
My life would never be the same when they are not around. This photo was taken a year ago.