The grandchildren (O, K and M) came for a visit last Sunday. I always welcome their stay, but always thankful for the peace and quiet they leave behind.
They straightaway took out their box of broken toys from the back of the house. The mismatched pieces kept them amused. O and K even fought over a handless 'Superhero' (that's what they call it).
O: I saw it first!
K: It's (lisping) mine! It's pink.
This kind of quarrel can go on for awhile, until one of them ceases to be interested in the toy. Then the toy is of no interest to anyone and peace ensues. I'm now better trained to ignore or turn an almost deaf ear to quarrels like these.
AHS and I have stopped buying toys for them. Toys cost a fortune -- especially now that we have to buy three of each. And they get broken so soon after the children handle them. I suggested AHS to buy books like what I do for my nieces and nephews. They are tax deductable too (the books).
Then, grandad started making sort of a tent by placing a mat on the floor of the porch and tying up a blanket to pillars and grilles as its top. The three lay on the mat for a couple of minutes before running off somewhere. I then started getting dressed as I had already planned to go to Kelab Darul Ehsan to get something and volunteered to take K with me. I suspect grandad did not want to be left with the rest at home so he mooted the idea of everyone going as well. Of course there was havoc! We managed to herd all three in my car amidst cries of
'Don't leave me!'
'Pish, my shoes' (M couldn't get her shoes on)
and 'Herry up! Herry up!'
On the way there, they decided to feed the koi fish in the ponds at the Club and we talked (I did; they shouted)about the fish for awhile.
'I like fish'
'I like fish too'
'Fish has big mouth. Like this'. O poked his finger in my side and went on 'Like this'. I turned and saw his mouth wide open. I said ' Fish very quiet, not shouting.' And so all was quiet for awhile.
We went to get the fish food, at RM 1.00 per plastic container. On the way down the stairs to where the ponds are, I managed to psyche them that they had to throw the food in little by little or else the fish would choke. The last time we went the contents were poured in in no time at all, resulting in pleas for us to get more food. So this time, either they learnt their lesson, or my psyching worked. I myself find feeding the fish therapeutic, although I wish the Management of the Club would allow stale bread to be used.
O finished his food first and pleaded with his sisters for some. Sometimes they relented but sometimes he had a firm 'No!'. When O had too many 'No's, he got grandad to the game machines -- the racing type. All of them are not in working order, but they still gaive the thrill to the 4-year old. When we joined them a little later, O enticed the girls to a few imaginary races, while I was the designated commentator and atuk the spectator. O somehow turned out the winner all the time.
Then K said, 'I want go my home'. I decided to take the scenic route home, so I said, 'Let's see if there are monkeys'.
'I don't like monkeys'
'I want go my home'
'I don't need monkeys'
Soon we saw a lot of monkeys ahead. There were a lot of big ones (male) and babies. I drove past them slowly, the children silent, intently watching the monkeys. There were a number of cars parked along the road, some people feeding the monkeys. (I don't know what the difference among members of the simian family except the macaques). These were 'beruk' according to AHS. When we finally passed them, the children said:
'I want monkeys'
'More monkeys, please!'
'I want go back'
There were a group of macaques up ahead, long-tailed. The sight fascinated the children and started the conversation (at the top of their voices) on monkeys.
It's a never ending, constant attention that the children crave that I wonder how parents cope. I wonder how my parents did it.
There are 8 of us!