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February 27, 2013

Do You Trust Your Children?

Last year, I had an opportunity to attend a workshop called Bengkel Penggubalan, Pemurniaan dan Penilaian Kertas Peperiksaan Akhir Politeknik at Pangkor Island for a few days... There, I carried out a duty as Penyemak Bahasa or language checker where my responsibilities were to check for spelling, typing and grammatical errors in final exam questions... 

Besides me, there were four other language checkers - 3 wonderful women and a guy... Puan Kamisah, Puan Chee, Puan Aishah and Encik Kamarul (Bukan nama sebenar... because I forgot their names already...)These people were in their mid 30's (I think) and had children of their own... They were kind enough to invite me to join them for lunch at one time and while eating, they brought up a very interesting topic to chat about... 

DO YOU TRUST YOUR CHILDREN?

The topic came out when Puan Kamisah talked about her checking her son's phone... "Have you ever checked your children's phone?", she asked... "I have... Once, I was cleaning my son's room and he was not home, playing football... While cleaning, I saw his phone on the table... At first, I didn't want to check it... I didn't want to be that kind of mother! But, I couldn't resist..."

"My son was so stupid... He locked his phone but I figured out the code on my first try... It was his birthday!! I checked his inbox and searched for any suspicious messages... You know, maybe sexual ones with a girl or a drug deal... Wahahaha! I felt so bad! Luckily, his messages are all innocent ones..."

We all giggled about it and commented about how bad it was for her to do that... "I know... I know... but as a mother, I have this instinct to protect my son... I even checked under his bed and mattress for cigarettes and drugs..."

Puan Chee then added in... "Hehe... I can understand you... I read my daughter's diary!"

"Wahh! That's even worse!", uttered Encik Kamarul while laughing... 

"Yes! Yes! I know! I felt so terrible to do that... but just like Puan Kamisah, I couldn't resist... My daughter doesn't really talk to me... When she's not on the computer, she stuck her face on her handphone... Giggling and texting... It made me curious... Does she has a boyfriend? Are they close? So, when she's out with her friends, I sneaked into her room and searched for suspicious things like condoms or anything... Then, I found her diary..."

"It was then that I found out that she's stressed about school and friends... You know la... Teenagers... Still searching for an identity and personality..."

Encik Kamarul took a sip of his teh o ais and then said, "My daughters are still kids, not teenagers yet... Sometimes I do think about what they'll be when they grow up to be teenagers... There will be a lot of issues... You know la, like people said, jaga lembu sekandang lagi senang..."

At that moment, baby Ubaid was still in wifey's tummy but that little chat made me think, will I end up being like them? Will I invade Ubaid's privacy for the sake of protecting him? In fact, during that time, I didn't even know whether our baby's gonna be a boy or a girl... If it's a girl, gosh, like Encik Kamarul said, lembu  sekandang...



Ubaid is now 3 months old and he's growing healthily... For now, as a baby, wifey and I can take care of him 24 hours, making sure that no harm shall come his way... but maybe 15 or 20 years from now, when he's no longer a baby, he would wander around the world independently...

By that time, I think I too would check his phone or diary or under his mattress... Ntah... We'll see... 

February 20, 2013

The Return of Paramore in Kuala Lumpur

After months and months of anticipation, I finally got to attend the Return of Paramore concert at Stadium Negara last Sunday!! Heck, I was so excited for this since last year! 

This concert was actually my first ever concert... Yeap, I'm no longer a concert virgin... What better way to start off my rock concert going passion than to see Hayley Williams rocking her orange hair on stage? 

When I think about it, this concert marks the moment when I'm finally financially able to afford my own tickets... Damn, it's like I waited for this moment my whole life...  

Accompanying me to the concert was my buddy Ridhwan... He's kind enough to buy the tickets for us and drive me to the concert and back home with his invincible Savvy... Really really appreciate what he did for me... 

After we had lunch and a short moment of strolling around the Empire Mall, we reached Stadium Negara at around 5.50 pm... The stadium entrance was already crowded with eager Paramore fans when we got there... 


We (sort of) lined up with the huge crowd for more than an hour before the gates were opened and we managed to squeeze ourselves into the stadium... I chose to purchase the Rock Zone (Free Standing) tickets because I wanted to see Hayley up close... Wished that we came sooner so we could get closer to the stage...


The band that opened the concert was an indie band from Pennsylvania, MewithoutYou... Honestly, before the concert, I never knew about the existence of this band... First impression, well, like Ridhwan said, they looked kinda old... Music wise, the band was not up to my taste... Maybe because I didn't really hear the lyrics... The vocals were mostly spoken-words vocals and a lot of emo screams... 

Nevertheless, Ridhwan and I kinda enjoyed the band's performance... The drummer was so crazy... He was Jack Black crazy! He even looked like Jack Black... The vocalist was also funny because he kept playing with his cardigan while singing and screaming... 

While MewithoutYou gave the performance of their lives, I heard a few Paramore fans grumbled, "Hey, hurry up and let Paramore play...", "I didn't pay to see this shit..." and "This is taking forever..."... I personally thought that rock concert fans should not have that kind of attitude... This band gave their all in their performance and we should cheer them for that... Everybody got to start somewhere... Even Paramore did such openings when they first started...

Fortunately, the non supportive ones were just a few people while the ones who cheered loudly were an army... I hoped MewithoutYou felt welcomed and would come again once they become internationally famous!

PARAMORE took the stage after the opening performance and the crowd went berserk! At first, Ridhwan and I were standing at the middle of the Rock Zone but the second Paramore appeared from the curtains, people started to push forward! I followed the flow and ended up being almost at the very front... By shamelessly joining a few crazy guys who ruthlessly squeezed themselves among the crowd to the front, I managed to get closer to Hayley! Woohooo!! Though Ridhwan and I got separated... 

Like I mentioned before, this is my first time attending a concert and thus, I initially had no idea on how to react... However, as soon as the music started exploding, I lost control and let adrenaline took over of my body... 

Together with other die hard fans, I screamed the lyrics of every song Paramore played while waving my hands high and clapped and hopped and pushed and gosh... it was hectic!! It was chaotic!! It was a RIOT!!

Well, like Hayley said, it's a rock concert... it's not supposed to be comfortable... She sarcastically said that to the audience in the seating zone who were sitting on their arse while Hayley and the band did back flips and somersaults on stage... The crowd responded well to that by standing immediately and filled the stadium with loud cheers...

Hayley mentioned that Kuala Lumpur was louder than Manila! Louder than Bangkok!! Owh, god, I felt a bit proud of Malaysian Paramore crazies... 

Among the songs they played were; Now, Brick by Boring Brick, Fences, Decode, Monster, Renegade, In the Mourning, Hello Cold World, Misery Business, That's What You Get, Born for This, Careful, Ignorance,  The Only Exception, Pressure, Looking Up and a few more...

I was really really extremely jealous when Hayley picked a girl named Lucy (I think...) to take the stage and sing a few lines from Misery Business... I was really really extremely jealous... I really really did... Lucky bitch... She got to hug Hayley... Sobs...

Anyway, there's something to look forward to from Paramore... Hayley mentioned that they're gonna release an album with 17 tracks soon... 17 freakin' tracks! I can't wait!

I swear to you, after the show ended, I was half deaf, half blind, half mute and half paralyzed... From the beginning til the end of Paramore's performance, I screamed non stop and hopped around like a crazy toad... Though, it was totally worth it... I was so damn happy!!



Can you spot me in the crowd? :-D








Photos are taken from here...




February 13, 2013

Challenges of Having a Baby

Up until this moment, Ubaid is almost three months old and we can see more smiles on his face... His limbs are quite strong too for his age since he's always trying to pull himself up and stand with our assistant and support...

There's definitely no doubt that taking care of a baby is a very very challenging task... A baby can be really demanding and of course, fragile... Here are among the challenges that my wifey and I are facing when it comes to taking care of our sweet baby... Bare in mind that this is from my own experience and generally applied to all... 


THE CRYING

Sometimes we know what's wrong and sometimes we're just clueless on why Ubaid cries... Of course, it's easier if the problem is obvious but when Ubaid is crying loudly non stop and there's no sign of what's wrong, it's easy to get frustrated... It makes me wanna cry too just to outmatch him...

When Ubaid does his long cries, I just remind myself that it's the only thing that he can do when there's something wrong... It's not that he knows how to point up the problem by giving signs... When his stomach is aching, I can't expect him to rub his tummy... He's a baby! Heck, even he doesn't know what's wrong with himself...

Patience is indeed needed when it comes to taking care of a baby... When a baby is wailing, we as adults must not join the wailing but instead, be calm and try to find out what's wrong as fast as we can and solve the problem... 


SUPERNATURAL STUFF

It's typical for babies to cry because of supernatural disturbances... Well, that's what people say... There's no clear signs to tell whether a baby is disturbed by these nightmare creatures or not because lets face it, this kind of thing is highly mysterious... Though wifey and I did suspect Ubaid was disturbed a couple of times especially when he cried loudly for a long time after a trip to somewhere...

In order to make it stop, we cited Al-Fatihah, the three Qul verses and Qursi verses... Those Quranic verses  are said to be powerful against evil supernatural beings...


HEALTH CONCERNS

Less than a month ago, Ubaid had a runny nose... For adults, a runny nose is nothing serious but for a baby, it's really agonizing since he/she doesn't know how to breathe through the mouth... Baby Ubaid cried a lot out of discomfort and it was heartbreaking for me to see him like that... Wifey and I scarcely slept the night when his nose got runny... 

No wonder most people would take day-offs whenever their babies are ill... Even a fever can be fatal for a baby if taken lightly... So far, the runny nose is the only scare we had and I pray hard that there will be no more moments like that...  


SLEEPLESS NIGHTS

This is more of a challenge for wifey since she breastfeed Ubaid... There are nights when Ubaid sleeps so soundly until morning and there are many nights when he just refuses to sleep nor breastfeed... In order to prepare for the worse nights, wifey often sleeps whenever Ubaid is sleeping... Even if it's just for a brief period, a good nap is always good to recharge energy... 


NO LONGER A COUPLE

Yup, we're no longer a couple... We're a power trio now! Hohoho... Which means, everywhere we go, Ubaid will follow... The focus used to be only on my wife but now that there's Ubaid, of course, I have to divide the focus... Same goes to wifey where instead of just taking care of me, she has to entertain Ubaid as well...

Yeah, it's still possible to go on dates when there's someone to take care of baby Ubaid but we will limit the time because we don't want to trouble that person for too long... No going out until it's late and no long trips to nice place until Ubaid is grown a bit...



MONEY MONEY MONEY

Money makes the world go round and round, isn't it? Yes, it's true, money can't buy you happiness but without money, Ubaid would be diaperless and starving... Now, I have to take Ubaid's needs into account every time I manage my monthly pays... Strollers, diapers, baby cot, milk, cute little baby clothes and accessories, baby bath gels, lotions, minyak yuyee, shots... For a little guy Ubaid sure needs so many things... 

Of course, as parents, wifey and I want to provide the best for Ubaid and at the same time, save money for our future... Therefore, we are quite careful with our spending... 

You know what helps? Generous family members and friends... Ubaid got so many presents from my colleagues and family members... His mama long (wifey's sister) bought him a very big stroller, his granny got him a baby cot and small tub, and not to mention, he received so many cute clothes, blankets and towels from my colleagues... Gosh, I really really appreciate those gifts... 


HARDER GOODBYES

My wife is now pursuing her Masters at UPM, Serdang and thus, she and baby Ubaid are living at her parents' house at Cheras... As for me, I carry out my duties as an English language lecturer at PSMZA, Dungun and am living with my parents at Ketengah Jaya... Dungun and Cheras is so damn far away from one another... Therefore, I always visit my lovely cupcakes only during the weekends where I often take a bus on Thursday midnight and then go back to Terengganu on Saturday night... 

The fact that I can't always have them in my arms is heartbreaking but the worse is having to say goodbye at the end of each visit... Before baby Ubaid came, I only had to say goodbye to one but now, the pain has doubled... 

Though it's hard, I have no regrets... The decision is ours and we have to go on with it... Besides, wifey agrees with me that the distance sort of makes our bond stronger... It's true what they say, you'll only miss something when it's gone... Whenever my two babies are not around, I am more appreciative of what we share together and all the things we went through...



Those are among the challenges that I can think of for now... Maybe this can be helpful to prepare those who are expecting or wanting a baby... Again, this is based on my own experience and it's from my point of view as a husband...

All of these challenges are of course worth to conquer since Ubaid is our precious baby... Like I said, Ubaid now knows how to smile and seeing him just smiling like he has a clue of what's happening around him is very very rewarding... He's just so cute!

Long way to go! So, wifey, lets do this!




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