Tag Archives: children

Is Life A Race?

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Seems like I couldn’t shake it off my mind since I came back from Indonesia last month.

Like usual, big events in our family means hundreds of friends and relatives gathered to give you their free opinion — yes free, you don’t even need to ask for it. Aunties are the worst of the kinds, because they do have blood relations with you, and they are in a higher position than you are in the family tree. A lethal combo in our culture.

It was much better that I had my husband with me last time I went back to Indonesia. It means that whenever I started to grit my teeth listening to these unwanted opinions, I have my husband to give me a reason not to blow up. Still a Mr. Fix-It, he will fix the situation — unknowingly, since he doesn’t understand a word my aunts said.

Anyway, on their last day in Solo (it was a beautiful sunny day, and much better with seeing them leaving), they made a comment about my sister’s pregnancy.

Great Comic from The Oatmeal: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/kids

If you think that when your sister is pregnant, your extended family will leave you alone being child-free, then you are totally and utterly mistaken. In fact, they were even more savage and fierce in telling you that you need to have kids as soon as possible.

One sentence that I couldn’t get rid of my brain is:

“Kamu kapan? Tuh kebalap sama adek…”

Which I could freely translate that to:

“When will you [have a baby]? Your younger sister has overtaken you…”

Overtaken?

Is this a race?

Haven’t they ever play “The Game of Life“? Everybody knows that anyone who finish first lived the most boring life!

But seriously? Is life a race though?

Is it about who graduate the fastest? Or who gets married first? Or get a job first? Be a mum first? It is an idea that I couldn’t get around to. I mean is it okay to ask someone who said that my sister overtook me because she got pregnant first by asking:

“When will you be dead though? You don’t want your younger siblings to overtake you, do you?”

Prost!

 

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4×6 is 6×4? Are You Sure?

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Few days ago, one of Indonesian internet users posted this in his facebook wall.

After his brother’s homework has been marked really low by his teacher, this person delivered a protest. He questioned the teacher’s reasoning, and argued that 4×6 and 6×4 is the same thing. Oh really?

When we are older and we have already used to the idea that because 4×6 equals to 24, and 6×4 also equals to 24, then 4×6 and 6×4 is the same monster. That’s probably because you might have learned multiplication from memorising multiplication table, and not understanding where it came from.

Unfortunately in Bahasa Indonesia, we don’t have plural form for nouns. While in English we can simplify the question itu four SIXES and six FOURS (the same logic to five apples and two bananas), to show how many fours and how many sixes involved in the question, in Bahasa Indonesia the language does not cover that.

It is a shame that many people still don’t get it after a more elaborate explanation, and still blame the teacher for being “too” strict for a primary school students. Little that these people realised that in the later classes, the mathematical problems would be even more complex than that. Failing to understand one basic simple mathematical rule, and using memory as a shortcut could backfire to the child.

I can understand the rage. I believe that the child’s brother is a smart person. But sometimes being smart, he failed to see that his little ¬†brother needs to know the basic first before catching up with his mathematical knowledge. After all, the teacher wasn’t scoring him based on his ability to calculate only, but also his ability to understand the flow of a process. Unfortunately, this is shared by so many people, who reposted this again and again and indirectly spread ignorance to other people.

I agree that this could probably traumatise the poor little boy, and he probably would hate mathematics for the rest of his life, but it probably could save his life too. Imagine seeing 3×1 in your medication prescription, would you take 3 tablets at once? No, because 3×1 means three times one (tablet). And imagine thinking that paying 50 times ¬£10 for your credit card, and thinking that it would cost you the same with paying 10 times ¬£50.

Luckily, after the teacher talked to the big brother, he finally understood that what the teacher asked was not the sum of the multiplication, but the understanding of its concept. Maybe the teacher did not explain the subject clear enough to be understood by the students.

Of course, there are many grumps and grumbles in the background saying that it is the flaw of our education system which is not allowing students to think differently and be creative. Unfortunately this is another misunderstanding by people who’s probably not working in a creative industry.

Yes creative is good. But you would have to base your creativity in something. Modernism? Surrealism? Are you drawing a cartoon? Are you adding different ingredients in your cake? Sure. Be creative, but without the basic understanding how to make Chocolate Cake, you wouldn’t know how to make Banana walnut chocolate cake with vanilla fillings and sprinkle toppings, with a scoop of ice cream next to it.

 

Oh… Rubbery…

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Last week was the first time I heard about this new fad: Loom Bands.

I could remember one of my childhood friends (not that I have many), posted it on her social media, but I did not give a damn because I thought it was only one ugly bracelet she was going to show. But apparently this is just “in” not only in Indonesia, but also here in the UK.

So, what do you do with loom bands? Loom bands is basically small rubber bands. Do you remember the little rubber bands you use to tie your hair? This is the same exact rubber band. But since nowadays girls prefer to let their hair down, or using scrunchies to tidy their hair (so it wouldn’t pull their hair too much), rubber bands are no longer selling. So of course the rubber manufacturer has to find a way to sell it again.

Ah, why don’t use the rubber bands as a creative projects for kids. So they made a loom board, so that kids (and their mothers) would be able to create stuffs with the rubber bands. The easiest things to make are accessories like bracelets and rings.

And people are just keep making this non stop… for fuck sake

When I was a little girl, these kind of activity (bracelet making, art and craft thingy) is a girl thing. You know, the colourful friendship bracelets, or a make a wish bracelet charm, etc. is a very girly thing. While the girls are busy making this bracelet, and probably trying to make it as not-girly as possible so that their boyfriends would not too scrutinised while wearing it, the boys are busy having fun on the open, kicking the ball, or their friends, or just running around being arseholes.

But not making bracelets.

So I was kind of… well, surprised might not be the most honest word I could find to express what I felt when I knew these little boys are making bracelets from rubber bands, but that was the only non-offensive way to do it. Of course I don’t want to generalise or even tell that boys should play football and girls should play house and dolls, but seriously…

It was just an ugly stuff to make.

It’s not even a pretty bracelet.

So, when my hubby’s buddy’s son gave me two bracelets and one ring, made from these ugly loom bands, what should I say? I couldn’t just throw it in his face and say: this is ugly, why do I want this to be around my wrist, you little fucker? Of course not. So, instead:

Ah… thank you. That’s… rubbery…

Children in Public Places

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There are more and more restaurants banning children from their premises, especially during peak hours. I am not surprised when I heard about this, knowing that there are less and less people could tolerate nuisance when all they want is just to have a nice weekend outings after a hard long week of work. Not everybody agrees with me, and I will agree to disagree with their opinion.

I also think that little children should be banned from public spaces, at least until they are fully trained on how to behave nicely. There is nothing worse than sitting in a table, eating your medium rare steak and one drolly little bastard standing next to you staring until you sternly stare back at them… and then they would cry. And make… instead of a silent nuisance, a loud noisy one.

Some restaurants has used banning and fining parents and children who disturbs other customers, which is also a good alternative solution if you don’t want to completely ban them from your business premise. I think it is an okay compromise, considering this is a less preventive solutions, but friendlier to parents.

I wonder if the same regulation is applied in Indonesia. I know that many of kids lover, parents wannabe would be furious. Indonesia, as many other Asian countries, is a very family oriented country. In our culture we bring our family on outings, and we would not leave anyone behind. Which is good.

However, we forgot that in our culture we also think that misbehaving children is a shame to the family. In the old days, we wouldn’t just sit and eat while the children is running around disturbing other people. We wouldn’t just keep silent when the children shouting and crying. We would be shamed as parents for not being able to teach the children how to sit nicely.

Nowadays young parents would say: “Oh they’re only four year old, you don’t need to be so strict to them at so young age…”

I might seem or sound mean. But I am not the only one.

There are more and more people who support this child banning rule. We are in the kind of society where people are working hard each day, and wish for a nice outings without being disturbed. If we want to be in a noisy or distressing environment, we could just stay where we are working. Restaurants and cafe is our escape from this noisy and distressing environment, and I think it is not too much for us to ask.

As the closure of today’s rant, I would tell you my experience on our way back from London to Norwich.

We were in a bus, tired and no longer excited, All we wanted was to sleep for the rest 3 ++ hours journey. No we cannot. A family with two toddlers are sitting just behind us, and for the rest of the journey these little bastards just kept shouting to their parents, and everyone was just either too polite to shout back at this family to keep their kids shut up, or too afraid to be sent to jail for throwing away this shitty nuisance out of the windows.

Or they’re just too scared of being called racist as these people are of different ethnicity.

But darn that’s a very traumatic experience. And parents like that should be banned for life, or fined millions and millions quids for being so bloody ignorant of how annoying their kids were.

We ended up moving to other seating after a stop and some seats were emptied after some of the passengers has gone. Even from 6 rows away I could still hear them shouting and bouncing. Seriously… Ban kids from public premises.