Sunday, 5 May 2019

5 May 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of Cassandra’s first surgery – a Uretheral Reimplantation Surgery to fix a Grade 3 Kidney Reflux on the right duplex kidney. That surgery got into an unfortunate complication and despite a battery of X-rays plus a CT-Scan, multiple ultrasound scans and a Fluoroscopy, all the scan images did not pick up anything abnormal in the guts.  Baby C kept throwing up green stuff and her stomach kept ballooning by the day with a fever.  Can you imagine the amount of radiation absorbed by poor Baby C’s frail tiny body? Two weeks later, she was operated on in an emergency surgery and the surgeon found a kink at the end of her guts. That 3 weeks at GMC Penang was the darkest period of my life.  Can’t believe that it’s 10 years already!!

10 years on and my Baby C has grown from a super adorable baby into a very determined  headstrong girl who recently always bumps head with me. I was told by a doctor that it’s what she’d gone through during her babyhood that forms her pig-headedness with a high pain threshold.   Nonetheless, she still has a very special place in my heart and I am sure that one day, she will finally understand everything that I do for her.

But hey, it’s onwards and upwards from here!  New research has shown that stubbornness, it seems, is a really good predictor of a child’s future success in life. Guess who earned the highest salaries in the end? The kids who ignored both rules and their parents. So, if your kid always demands a bigger cookie or other whims and fancies, they’ll probably grow up to demand for bigger bonus and more perks. Makes sense, no? 🤑

OK, back to our Sunday and foodie talk!

Despite the next day being Alycia’s exam and in a week’s time it’s Cass’ exam, we spent the entire afternoon at Pavillion – digging into glorious food, desserts, boba tea and shopping for Nike shoes! The girls even asked to watch End Game, but I said NO!

After a sumptuous lunch at Rakuzen Pavillion, we went to Nike and hubs said everyone could choose a pair of shoes and other stuff!  🤩

After 1.5 hours at Nike, check out the big shopping bags that the girls are holding here:

Damage was 6 pairs of sports shoes, 2 pairs of slippers, 2 sports bra for Alycia and Sherilyn, 3 shirts and 2 basketball pants and socks for the hubs. I chose a pair of running shoes in dusty pink, my favorite color 😊 Don’t ask how serious the damage was!

Dessert was at Miru:

And we tried KOI boba tea. Alycia waited patiently for half an hour to get her golden boba milk tea and Konyaku jelly milk tea with quarter sugar for me.

And the verdict: The tea is more expensive than Tealive and Cha Time and does not taste as good as all the ravings have been. There’ll be no more second time. I’m sticking to Tealive, Cha Time and Gongcha.

I guess Sherilyn has been the happiest today. Not only did she get herself a good pair of Nike running shoes, she and her friend got through the Berjaya Teen Star Challenge audition (modern dance event)!  But this shall be in a separate post ☺️  Stay tuned…

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Cassandra’s 11th Birthday

Today is my baby girl’s 11th birthday! Time sure flies like mad!!!  The day I lay on my gynae’s procedures room to have an amnio procedure carried out when Cass was around 20+ weeks in utero till today seems like just last year though we had gone through hell and beyond in the first 13 months of her life and lots of roller coaster rides the past 11 years.

I often wish that Cass was still a toddler. We all enjoyed Cass thoroughly from the time after her surgeries when she was 14 months old right until she went to primary school. She was the sweetest, most accommodating, cutest little girl that could melt any heart, especially mine, in an instance.

Fast forward to the year she turned 9. With all the raging hormones swimming inside of her,  the little angel who would tug at my heartstrings  changed into a very challenging tween.  Everyday is a battle with her. Every. single. day. On some good days, we could both go to bed without any fight.  She would sit by my bedside and give me massages on my hands and legs with her soft gentle hands.  We would talk and joke like best friends. We would trade secrets, she would console me, and me console her.  But the next day, the battle starts again and from friends, we turn into enemies. We’re just “frenemies”.  We both know it.

At the moment I am still battling some issues with Cass.  The issues may seem big, yet small, depending on how other people view them. For some carefree parents, these are not major issues. But I’m a helicopter mom and to me, these issues, if not rectified, would balloon up in time to come into something so big and serious that it would be hard to fix.  My hubs, the carefree, slap-happy dad and man that he is has always asked me to relax and don’t force the kids to do anything that they don’t like, though what I am forcing them is good for them.  We both have different parenting ways.

I shall not dwell into the battles that Cass and I are facing now here. Besides these battles, this year is the year that I will have to bring Cass back to see the nephrologists at HKL. It’s time that the doctors review her medical condition and perhaps do some invasive diagnostic tests. Again, I have to let go on this.  I shall talk about this in detail next time. Today’s post is on my baby girl’s birthday!

After a very serious and heated argument between the both of us late last week, I’ve realized something:

1.  Every child is different.  Cass is different from her sisters and she’s different from her other classmates whom I sometimes wish she could emulate.  And it is almost impossible for me to mould her into the person whom I wish her to be.

2.  Some children are easier to ‘shape’ while others are harder.  Cass happens to fall in the latter group.

3.  I have to let go on expectations. If I don’t, both Cass and I will be unhappy. And this will affect Cass and I emotionally, deeply. Our relationship will turn from sour to rotten. And this is already starting to happen.  I realized since that fateful night that I have to change / let go so that Cass can change too.  What’s important now is for Cass to be happy, to grow up happy and be a mentally and physically healthy child.

Anyway, back to Cass’ birthday today!

Right now, I am contemplating whether to cook spaghetti bolognese (Cass’ favorite dish) or order KFC (another of her favorite unhealthy fast food). This morning, I was given 16 articles to write by my ‘online boss’ and the deadline reads “ASAP”.   On one hand, I want only the healthiest and most wholesome meal to go into the stomachs of my babies but on the other hand, I do not have the time to go shopping for the ingredients to cook spaghetti bolognese tonight.

After discussing with the cook of the house, we both unanimously agreed to choose KFC 😅  as KFC is more a kids’ party food.

And after tonight, no more KFC for the next one year. It’s detox time! Just kidding. Probably no KFC for the next 3 months or longer.

Sorry, no pix for today. I’ve to go back to my writing now or I’ll surely stoke the wrath of my online boss. I promised to submit 7 or 8 articles by today and the remaining by tomorrow. And I am only stuck at article #2 now!! 😱

No. of times viewed = 29

Just For Laughs

Someone is super duper bored being cooped up at home during the school holidays.  She’s got no where to release her Energizer Bunny battery. Whilst checking her school holiday homework (English subject), check out what I found!


Initially she wrote a different answer, which was the standard polite answer that it should. Then she erased it and wrote a different answer and asked me “I can write this too right? The answer is not wrong!”

Yeah, it’s not wrong but you can’t write such blatant and curt answers that are not acceptable in a test! 🤪

Check out the next answer:

The second answer got me into a fit of laughter.  She’s picking up a line that I always use whenever she asks me to buy her stuff that are totally unimportant, which I will never buy, like a Harry Potter magic wand.

Call me an evil mother. But I asked her to pass up the English homework unedited just to see what reaction she’ll elicit from her English teacher.

Nah… just kidding. You think I really encouraged her to? Being called to school by her teacher for a meeting is the last thing I want!  😆

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Growth Spurt

Cass after a Chinese New Year celebration in school today:

Cass used to love wearing cheongsam and princessy gowns to such events in school but she no longer likes them now. Not even an iota. She tells me very often that she hates dresses, lipstick, make-up and high heels and that she will never ever wear any of these when she grows up 😭

What happened to my baby girl? She’s a totally different person now, in every aspect of her. So different that I sometimes don’t recognize this girl living in my house 😰 😱

Today is the 14th day of the Lunar New Year of the Pig and we can sleep slightly later tonight as it’s a school declared holiday at Cass’ school tomorrow (Chap Goh Meh).  I’m so happy that there’s one day of holiday right smack in the middle of a hectic school week!  But it’s school as usual for Alycia and Sherilyn.  I am bringing my best boo to the mall tomorrow, just the both of us for some time to rebond.

About two hours after lunch today, after Cass got out from the shower, she ransacked the fridge and brought out Sherilyn’s birthday cake and took a slice.  As if the cake was too plain to be enjoyed on its own, she fetched the tub of Häagen-Dazs macadamia ice-cream and scraped out a scoop to go with the cake. Oh. My. Goodness.!  She quickly wolfed it down before her Mandarin tutor arrived.

This explains why my 10-year old daughter’s feet are bigger than mine now! 🤭

#myhungrygrowingtween, #growthspurt

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Daily Exercise For Cass

Another activity added into Cass’ daily timetable is exercise.  I make her do simple exercises like rope-skipping and floor exercises everyday.  Sometimes she does skipping rope challenge with her Alycia che che, who is a pro rope skipper.  Alycia can do over a thousand times of rope-skipping in 10-15 minutes.

After skipping rope, Cass has to do at least 15-20 minutes of floor exercise, targetting her pelvic/abdomen area to strengthen this area. She does straight leg raise, scissors, slider pike, mountain climber, heel tap, sit ups, planks, etc.

When I have the time, we do the floor exercises together.  Our trainers will be from You Tube. We watch it from our internet TV 🤩💪

Cass needs daily exercise to beat constipation, to stabilise her cholesterol reading (she’s got borderline familial hypercholesterolemia or genetic high cholesterol. No thanks to my bad DNA 🙁 ) and to strengthen her pelvic floor.

It’s tough to get my ‘tidak-apa’ kid to do these exercises as she finds them boring. She wants to go to the gym with her Alycia che che but she’s still underaged and needs adult supervision. I don’t always have the time to accompany her to the gym. Now Cass can’t wait to turn 12 as she will get the golden ticket to go to the gym on her own unsupervised once she reaches this age.

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Cassandra’s Follow-Up Checkups

Cass needs to do a yearly ultrasound scan of her urinary tract, especially the kidneys until she turns 12 years old.  In the initial years after her surgeries, we used to go back to GMC Penang to have the scan done but her surgeon has given us the green light to have it done at any hospital in KL.

We brought Cass to UMMC once to have the ultrasound scan done, and then to HKL (Hospital KL). And in the last 3 years we’ve had the scan done at Pantai Hospital.  Cass’ pediatrician has advised us to go back to the nephrologist and urologist at HKL as he’s of the opinion that Cass will be in better hands under the specialists there as he is only a child specialist and not a specialist in the area of nephrology and urology.

So I guess that this will be the last year that we see Dr Eric. Next year, we will have to go through all the inconvenience again when we go back to HKL to consult the nephrologist and urologist and for the ultrasound scan and blood works to be done.  This would mean camping at the hospital from 8am through 6pm for 1-2 days or possibly even more days.  😖😭

I hate getting on an ambulance with Cass to go from one department to another at HKL. From the specialists’ clinics building, we have to wait for an ambulance to ferry us to another building to the radiology department to have scans carried out. Payment is sometimes done at the Accident & Emergency Department, which is the department which I shudder going to.  One will always be greeted by lots of gory scenes at the A&E.

I. Hate. Government hospitals!!  It’s a nightmare for me.

The only advantage is we get to save lots of $$$$ if we have everything done at a government hospital.

Cass having an ultrasound scan of her urinary tract at her latest checkup at PMC, Bangsar.

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Cassandra’s Blood Test Report

Today is Cass’ blood test report collection day at the hospital. Dr Eric’s comment as usual was “not too bad”.

On the 36 types of allergen test, Cass has no allergies, though the test shows that she has a slight allergy to dust mites.  The units of antibodies shown (24) are so minimal that she is not even categorized under Class 1.

The blood lipid test shows that she’s got borderline high cholesterol at 5.3 mmol/L, which is expected as she’s inherited my bad DNA of Familial hypercholesterolmia (genetic high cholesterol). Even with a sustenance of plain water, fruits, vegetables and very little meat with exercise 5x a week (till I was severely anemic last year), my cholesterol reading is still hovering at 5.8 – 6.

But Dr Eric ain’t very concerned and commented that no further test is required until Cass reaches adulthood. He has seen younger kids with double digit total cholesterol readings as both parents have genetic high cholesterol.

Dr Eric is the only pediatrician whom I trust. He’s been treating Cass since she was a sickly 6 weeks old infant and knows Cass’ medical history. He does not prescribe drugs and antibiotics to Cass unless extremely necessary, like in the case of a chronic UTI attack.

Remedial actions will be a diet similar as mine, which is a diet that’s low on high fat foods, reduced food portions (what? She’s got a bottomless pit!) and Cass will have to engage in more sports activities. This gives my ‘tidak apa’ girl a New Year Resolution for 2019 to work on and hopefully she will have a steely discipline to stick to it. I’ll see…

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Blood Test

Cass had to do another round of blood test today as the first blood test last week showed  two things:
1. She has an allergy. Another test is needed to diagnose what she is allergic to.
2. Her blood looks ‘fatty’

Kidney function, blood sugar, etc look A-OK.  The ultrasound scan of her kidneys shows growth in her kidneys and no scarring. Thank God for these.

Her paed asked me if we have a family history of high cholesterol and bingo! I have it.  Everyone from my side of the family has genetic high cholesterol. Even with a healthy and strict diet, my cholesterol reading is at 6. My youngest brother who has six-pack abs who exercises daily has genetic high cholesterol too.

So what if Cass has high cholesterol too? She will then have to be on a diet fit for someone with high cholesterol. I told her that she would then have to eat like me. I doubt she has the discipline to stick to this kind of diet, coming from my ‘tidak apa’ kid. What what other choice does she have? Do or die la.

The blood test wasn’t really that necessary. Her paed told me that no action is necessary and if I am concerned, I could have a blood work done when Cass is 15 or 16 years old. But coming from a super anxious hypochondriac mom, I can’t wait for 5 – 6 more years.  The hubs is also one who doesn’t like to play the wait-and-see game on matters concerning the health of his 3 princesses; he urged me to bring Cass for the blood test this week.

That’s another RM500 damage done today. Last week’s damage was about RM700. All these are not claimable from insurance.

My ‘tidak apa’ kid with the “needles are tidak apa punya (never mind one)” attitude when blood was drawn.

This ‘tidak apa’ kid whose 2nd home used to be the hospital throughout her babyhood felt no pain when the syringe was poked into her hand. See, she’s thick skin too!

The paed ordered this 36 types of allergies test and blood lipid test to be carried out today.

After the blood test, we had brunch at Antipodean @ Bangsar.  It’s been years since we last went there.

Within a short span of one month, I have to make 5 trips to Pantai Hospital. It will be another one week of anxious waiting for me before the results are out. But for my ‘tidak apa’ kid, life goes on as usual. She tells me that she loves visiting the hospital as it’s like going to the mall as we can hang out at Starbucks, Subway, Borders, MBG Fruits and PappaRich. But for me, I wish I never have to go to hospitals again.

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The Amazing Race In School

With so much free time on hand now that all exams for this year are over, I am enlisting the littlest one to help out in the kitchen and around the house.  Besides having to iron her own clothes, Cass has to help with drying and keeping the dishes.  Earlier this week, I made her peel the skin of carrots and potatoes and cut them up into cubes for our Japanese chicken curry dish.

So yesterday my anxiety was quelled. Cass’ class teacher announced the class and standard ‘position’ for the final exam; who’s kicked out and who’s coming in.  Some of those who were eliminated cried. Six kids eliminated from this class last year are coming back next year and seven will be out of this class next year.   Cass is so happy that she gets to see her old friends again.   This elimination thingy is like the Amazing Race and it’s putting pressure on most of the kids.

When I found out that Cass remains in the ‘Elite class’ next year when she goes to Primary 5, honestly, I couldn’t find my feelings. I wasn’t elated exactly.  A small part of me wants her to remain in the Elite class and the bigger part of me wishes for her to be out.  Whether she remains in the Elite class or not,  my ‘tidak apa’ kid does not care much. The stress is solely on ME.  I’ve been going through the exact same feelings and sentiments for the 4th year straight. I’m sure you’d have read about it if you’ve been following my blogs.

I can’t go through life meeting trouble halfway or I’ll end up paralyzed with worries and anxiety.  Hopefully Cass pulls up her socks next year. Better yet, be a go-getter who’s self motivated.   With another year added to her life, hopefully she will be more matured and wiser next year.

 

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My Weekend (10 – 11 November 2018)

Last weekend was a very tiring one for me with no chance of me stacking up on much Z’s. As usual, this busy mum to 3 active girls have been busy chauffeuring and attending events.

I spent my Saturday night at Cass’ school concert.  Cass was part of the Ukulele performing team.  Can you spot Cass in the pic?

The concert ended way past 10:30 p.m. and by the time we reached home and showered, we only hit the sack past midnight.  I was already having a throbbing headache at the concert  and it got worse the next morning as I had to wake up early to attend a trip to the Science Centre organized by Cass’ Sunday School.

Before the trip, we had a year-end party for Sunday school children.

With a throbbing headache and feeling a tad woozy from the lack of sleep, I had to walk the entire Science Centre and paparazzied for over 2 hours with no rest!  I was pooped out by the time we had dunch or linner or whatever you call it at 3 p.m.  I was both exhausted and famished.

I had to run fast to keep up with my Energizer bunny and her friends.  With over 2 hours of non-stop brisk walking and running, I chalked up over 13,000 steps yesterday.  I chalk up between 8k – 10k steps on most weekdays.

Did you know? Very interesting!

Ahem, so chew on a gum the next time you cut onions. I’ll have to remember to buy a pack of minty chewing gum for this purpose!

It took Cass and her look-alike friend, WY over half an hour to solve this puzzle! Even with help from other kids, parents, grandparents and pastor, no one could solve this puzzle. But Cass and her ‘twin sister’ refused to give up and they finally solved the puzzle!  Cass was SO happy!

Cass and her lookalike. Same age and born less than a month apart, other parents initially thought they were the same person. Even their hair style, hair color and skin color are alike.

We survived the bunker too!

Without my usual efficient part-time helper, Maria helping me out for over a month and a hectic October and November, I have lost 1kg! With this, my weight is now back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 45kg! 🤗  But I’ll definitely pile up on the 1kg again come December with the long school holidays, celebrations, binging, festivities and merriment.

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Pre-Final Exam Weekend

On Friday, the mil cooked a big pot of pumpkin chicken porridge and a big pot of ‘tau kok lup’ (a dish consisting of long beans, carrots, pork, prawns, preserved radish; all diced) to go with the porridge before  leaving KL for Ipoh to attend a wedding dinner. The hubs drove back to Ipoh the next day to attend the wedding dinner. So I spent the weekend alone with the girls to do some quiet revision with Cass.

This year’s October has been a very busy month for the girls and me.  Alycia’s PT3 exam has just concluded; as she’s in a Chinese Independent high school, she  has another compulsory exam (UEC) to sit for, which will  commence  from next Monday for a week.  Sherilyn’s  finals also starts next Monday and but she won’t have much time to revise as this Dancing Queen will be away the entire Sunday on the eve of her exam for a dance competition.  Cass’ finals started today.

Thank goodness this  little brat started to get just a tad motivated on the eve of her final exam!  Well, better late than never.

Just nine days ago I realized that there’s no more BM workbook for Cass to practise. I have finished revising the BM text book with her and she has also finished all the BM workbooks and test papers that I had bought for her.  So I made a quick trip to Popular Bookstore and got her another BM workbook.  Cass is pretty weak in her BM and needs lots of drilling on it.  I didn’t really think that she could complete the entire workbook consisting of 9 assessments in 9 days but she did!  On the eve of her BM finals yesterday (Sunday), she did a marathon of exercises and completed the entire workbook, plus marked the exercises herself as I was too busy. I was out chauffeuring the two older girls the whole of Saturday and did not have much time on Sunday.

Yesterday we snacked on mum’s freshly prepped boiled curry leaves chickpeas while revising. The hubs brought it back from Ipoh. Mum has been trying out  new recipes everyday using her brand new Phillips pressure cooker.  And she’s gifting me a brand new Phillips pressure cooker for Christmas! She’s trying out her new toy so that I can attend her tutorials during the December school hols. Thank you mummy 😘

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The Diamond Earring

Cass has a tendency to stumble upon money and jewelry whenever we go out. Maybe she’s overly observant.  Or maybe she naturally attracts wealth. *HOPEFULLY* 😉

A few years ago she found a RM50 note when we were at the BSC Shopping Centre car park. Months later, she found RM50 in school and  gave  the note to her teacher.  Once, she found a gold ring under the table when we were at a Chinese restaurant.  We passed the ring to the waitress. Hopefully the waitress was honest enough to have passed it to the Lost And Found Department and I hope that the person who lost the ring went back to the restaurant to look for her ring.

Yesterday I was at an invited promotional event at a bank. While I was talking to the Customer Service staff, Cass found a diamond earring on the floor.  After we left the bank, she showed me the  diamond earring. It was beautiful and the diamond was very glittery! But I wasn’t sure if it was real or fake. I told Cass that we had to return the diamond to the owner and we went back to the bank and passed it to the bank officer. Hopefully the owner went back to the bank to look for her diamond earring.

So whatcha think, y’all diamond experts? Does the diamond look like the real deal?  Cass is dying to find out what happens to the diamond earring and if it’s a real one. She’s been harassing me to call the bank officer to find out from her the fate of the diamond earring.

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Harry Potter Fanatic

Cass turned into a Harry Potter enthusiast early this year. It all started when her classmate loaned her a Harry Potter book. She was instantly hooked to the thick novel.  Since then, she was determined to get her hands on the entire Harry Potter series, which consists of 7 books!  That would cost over RM300 for the entire series.  In her collection is now 3 books; two books were her reward for her last exam and another a gift from her Hong Kong aunt.

Last Friday, she chanced upon a very old Harry Potter book in her school library. When she alighted from the school van, I saw her holding an enormously thick book which resembled a dictionary. I thought she was reading one until she  told me that she found an old Harry Potter book in her school library. She was ecstatic. But the book is without a cover and a broken spine.  The book is easily 15 years old with yellowish pages and stains.

This JK Rowling fan spent her long weekend getting herself lost in the old HP book. She brought the book along with her everywhere that she went. When she was at the kopitiam and restaurant waiting for her food, she got lots of double takes from strangers.  They must be wondering what a book worm this girl is, engrossed in such a thick book with super teensy words.  But I’m not too proud of Cass at all as she is neglecting everything else that’s more important.  Besides sleeping, Cass is spending 80% of her time on the HP book. Final exam in 3 weeks? This girl is totally lost in her Harry Potter books! I shudder to think of her grades this time.

Within four days over the long weekend, Cass is almost reaching the last few pages of the Harry Potter book today (Monday).

Yesterday we were at Popular bookstore to get Alycia some revision books and Cass saw selected Harry Potter books with a 20% discount. She went berserk over the HP books! She begged me to get her one but I told her NO as her exam is 3 weeks away. She promised me that she would use her birthday angpow given to her by her koong koong and granny to pay for the book. She promised me that I could keep the book and release it to her after her exam.

Deal.

The new Harry Potter and The Cursed Child book is now kept at the highest cupboard in my room. In a month’s time, the book shall be released to Cass.

 

 

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Meeting With Cass’ Teacher

I had an appointment to meet Cass’ class teacher this morning.  It’s not a good thing when you’re called to see your kid’s teacher.  I was actually expecting to be called to meet the class teacher as Cass has changed a lot lately.  Negatively. She is almost totally opposite from what she used to be just a year ago~ her attitude especially. I feel like I have lost a part of my baby girl who used to tug at my heartstrings. I really miss how Cass used to be when she was younger.  Instead, she’s now morphed into my most challenging child to deal with.  I know she may be partially influenced by the friends whom she mingles with and partly, it’s a transition from being a little girl to a tween.  Blame it on the raging hormones too? She can still be the sweet little thing that melts my heart when she’s in a good mood. But most of the time, she likes to have things done her way. Always her way, hardly ever mine. Blame it on her headstrong DNA too.

At the meeting today, I asked Ms L (Cass’ class teacher) whether it’s only Cass who is facing problems with her Chinese language subject and issue with her attitude and what do I know?  I was told by Ms L that many of the students in her class are like this since the start of this year!  She said that from her experience as a teacher, some children start to change at age 10.  As they reach their double digit birthdays, they find that they have found their new freedom and want to have their voice heard; no more a yes-girl or yes-boy who listens to almost everything that teacher or mummy says. They find that they have stronger bargaining power and like to test our patience till it breaks.  Ms L said that she is also feeling stressed out by the changes in these students, the majority of which has been with her since Primary 2.

I was shocked to hear from Ms L that the top scorer boy is also facing similar issues as Cass. To me, this boy looks like the trophy kid who is a good kid, smart and obedient. But since this year, he’s changed too. The more Ms L tells me about some of the students, the more I get to solve the mystery  on why my baby girl has changed lately.  Cass sounds just like her classmates! Monkey see, monkey do.  Birds of  a feather flock together, yeah?   I was totally unexpected when she told me that I am not the only parent that she has called to meet lately.  She has been meeting other parents as well on their children’s deteriorating grades, progress and attitude.

Maybe all 10-year olds go through this phase? Or maybe kids from the top class start to change at this age? I don’t know. But I am relieved that Cass is not the only kid who has changed into a wilful and argumentative kid who challenges me mentally, emotionally and physically all the time.

Judging on the amount of effort (or totally lack of!) that Cass had put into preparing for her current exam, I was expecting  her position to be ‘the bottom ten’.  Or rock bottom.  But Ms L informed me otherwise. There are some kids in the class who did worse off than Cass.  I shall wait patiently for the report card  🤨

Ms L also informed me that the BM papers in this exam were tough and many students from other classes flunked. No wonder that brat came back with her BM papers with marks so shocking I almost had an atrial fibrillation. I really felt a few missing heart beats with a chocking feeling seeing her test papers.  The cause for the dismal grades is lack of communication in BM in school and at home as well as lack of interest on the part of the student to read BM books. Ms L confirmed this and this is happening rampantly in the school.

Ms L has been Cass’ class teacher for three years. Being a teacher in the so-called best class, naturally, she sets higher expectations on these students.  Ms L is competitive in nature, is a no-nonsense person and a very caring and helpful teacher. She’s truly a gem of a teacher and a shining example of what a good teacher should encompass. Cass is really blessed to have such a good teacher.

After my long chat with Ms L that lasted almost an hour, I felt relieved that my fiery little creature is not the only student having issues with her grades and attitude. Yet, I have to find ways to deal with my pre-teen wilful child to bring the best out of her and to nip the bud of her  problems.

Recently, a relative of mine with 3 successful working adult children told me that ‘naughty’ and strong-willed children will grow up to be successful leaders, earning higher salaries than the ‘obedient’ kids. That sort of gives me solace that it’s not that bad having strong-willed children with strong opinions on everything from choice of clothing to bedtime to what goes onto their plates.

Being a parent is never easy. I am learning everyday. Some days are shitty while some days are pure bliss. To me, bliss means children who are obedient, good health for myself and my children and peace at home. That’s not a lot to ask for from God, eh?  Hopefully…


Cass playing board games with E, her 12-year old cousin from Hong Kong. E and his mum are in town for a holiday.

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Cassandra Decoded

Today has been an exciting day. I finally decoded why my baby girl has morphed into a vomit-blood inducing kid since late last year. The more I spend time with her, the closer I was to decoding this enigmatic child.  And this evening, the enigma was decoded!

After her shower in the afternoon, Cass was all excited over having me revise English with her as tomorrow is her English test ~ her favorite subject.  I was surprised. I thought Cass has lost her mojo to study and her raging pre-teen hormones are wrecking havoc. But it wasn’t the case.  After just half an hour with Cass, I told her that I was done revising with her.   But Cass was pleading with me to do more with her. The level of English competency at SJKC and SRK is pretty easy for any kid coming from an English speaking family, especially if the kid also loves reading English novels.  Cass’ English competency is advanced for her age as she reads a LOT of English novels and like Sherilyn, she loves everything English.

Cass – that’s it with revision?  Can you ask me more advanced questions? Can I try doing Standard 6 test papers?  (Cass is only in Standard 4) I need to do more revision.  You haven’t even gone through all the books with me yet!

Me – I don’t know what else to go through with you. We have covered everything already. We have been going through the same Grammar for 4 years.  You already know all the idioms in the list. I think you can score 100% if you are NOT careless. And mind your horrendous handwriting. Make sure it is legible. OK?

This afternoon, I gave Cass a past year Science exam paper to practise.  In under an hour, done hurriedly so that her tutor can mark it, she completed 40 questions and  made 3 careless mistakes. Unlike Chinese and BM exam papers, Cass had the focus to sit at the table to finish answering all the Science questions without begging for breaks every 10 minutes.

Cass working on an online past year English exam paper:

And then the light bulb moment came. Why didn’t Cass have  any complaint completing the Science exam paper? Why does she choose English, Math and Science test papers over BM and Chinese all the time when given an option to choose? And why are her Math and Science grades so much better than BM and Chinese?  Why does she find practising scales and piano classical pieces a big bore but can play Ed Sheeran’s Perfect and Despacito by hard and keeps playing her favorite pop songs and Christmas carols over and over again?

Aha!

I finally decoded my enigmatic child!

And the answer lies in Chinese and BM, her two weakest subjects.  These two subjects are boring her to the core. Sometimes she does not know how to read a Chinese character or does not understand a Malay word. When there are a few words in a questions that she can’t read or does not understand, she won’t be able to answer the question.  And this is killing her academic interest.

Cass’ BM vocab is very limited, so is her Chinese.  No matter how many times I have gone through the same BM words with her, she seems to have dementia each time she comes across the same words.  She hardly ever reads BM story books or speak in BM and does not have interest in Chinese novels except for the occasional comics. She communicates with her friends in English most of the time.  She finds Chinese grammar and BM Tatabahasa a big drag. She has always been questioning me why she has to be sent to a Chinese school.

By nature, if we find something boring and have little interest in it, we tend not to listen or read anything related to it. I would always fall asleep at a boring seminar or training course.

Forcing Cass to have a liking for BM and Chinese would only be counterproductive.  She is already in Primary 4 and I want her to have a proper closure to what she has started. She still loves being in her school though. She loves her friends and her teachers.  Sadly her two besties will be leaving the Chinese school next year for international schools.  Cass will most likely stay in the same school and complete her UPSR exam in 2 years’ time. At the same time,  I may be planning ‘something’ for Cass, which I can’t reveal yet. All I can say for now is that Cass will most likely be in a different path as her two sisters when she goes to high school.

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Busy Week

The entire last week was a busy week for everyone ~ hubs with his back-to-back catering events, Alycia with tests every other day in preparation for the PT3 and UEC exams  in 2 months in addition to PT3 History and Geography projects, Drama Queen with homework, tuition and church activity, Cass with exam revision and me, I provide support to everyone in the household, including the mil 💪 .  If there is a title to describe what I do, it would be “One-leg-kick PA, driver, tutor, cook, maid cum small entrepreneur”.

In between homework and revision, Cass ‘de-stressed’ herself with gardening 😄 👩‍🌾.  We are simple people and I’ve taught the girls to find happiness from simple inexpensive things within the house.

Here, Cass is composting fruit peel into the soil of the potted herbs in our tiny balcony garden. The latest additions to our herb garden are spring onions and coriander. The spring onion is springing well and I see tiny shoots sprouting from the coriander roots. Our spinach didn’t quite make it after sprouting a few baby leaves.

Sunday was the most hectic day for me.  Didn’t have much time to revise BM with the vomit-blood inducing kid as I had to chauffeur Alycia and her friends to the mall for them to work on their PT3 History project and Sherilyn to and fro church.

I pre-ordered our Sunday dinner on Saturday evening from Dragon-I @ Mid Valley, delivered FREE to us by Food Panda. I found out about Food Panda when they approached me to write a review on their company several years ago. I’ve since been using Food Panda to order food from our favorite restaurants. Love it that they provide FREE delivery and accept COD.

This is my pre-order meal from Food Panda:

Food was delivered punctually at 5:45 p.m. on Sunday!  Quality of the food is almost perfect. My only beef was that plastic containers were used.  Well, this is unavoidable given that most food delivery companies have little options other than plastic ware or cardboard boxes.

We had an early bed time last night as I got so incensed with the vomit-blood inducing kid with a “exam so what, no need to study la!!” attitude that I refused to revise with her at night and sent her to bed at 9:30 p.m. 🤮  It’s time that she learns to be responsible over her  lackadaisical attitude and faces the consequences. I can’t be sitting by her side, spoon-feeding and shielding her from falls and failures anymore. Whatever her results are this time, I am mentally prepared to accept them.

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