The world is facing a time of tremendous pain, suffocation, frustration, fear and loss. At this moment, we know the world stats. Everyday the numbers are alarming and rising. Families are losing loved ones to the virus. We are now transiting from shifting blames to coping with internal struggles and controlling the spread. The world is watching closely. Discrimination is on the rise as people are too quick to point the finger at thy neighbours.
In the blink of an eye, towns and states are getting wiped out. It is causing so much fear. There is trembling uncertainty of what this virus can do or capable of mutating into. What was reported in January is no longer valid. What is this I hear? From being transmitted only by contact to the virus being airborne.
Whispers are heard. ‘Stay home and stay safe’
From where I come from, the number of local transmissions are increasing by the day, jumping by the hundreds. Though this number is nothing compared to larger stats in Europe and the US, it is still alarming for us since we are a small densely populated country. No amount of social distancing seems to yield positive results. Everyone has to leave home wearing a mask. We can only leave home to buy essential items and the list of essential items are never ending. It seems that everything is essential. Why? Such cracks in the system. No wonder the streets are still filled with people. Something does not add up. Some people just do not get it.
Our lives have shifted to a whole new phase.
With lockdowns in so many countries, people are forced to stay home. The lack of basic human-to-human interactions may soon be damaging to the mental and emotional well-being of an individual. This lack of physical close interactions will remain in the human psyche for a long time. Soon, we may become averse to a mere touch. Soon we will find ourselves expanding our personal space radius to allow technology to invade into our daily lives. In just four months, the world has shut itself in its cocoon. The screen is now our mode of communication. There is fear that the human touch will soon be forgotten.
Times are tough.
Let’s just take each day as it comes, for tomorrow seems to be an uncertainty to many. Be thankful for the many things we have. Be thankful for the front-line workers and health care staff. Be thankful to the teachers who have to toggle family and home based learning so your children still get the well deserved education. Be thankful and pray for the safety of friends and loved ones. Everyday, say a silent prayer for the lives lost to COVID-19.
And yes ladies and gentlemen… We finally managed to watch a full movie!!! Yes! Yes! Yes! My daughter FINALLY sat through a full 1 hour and 43 minutes!!! It is truly a huge, majestic and fantabulous milestone for my daughter!!
I had a two failed movie experiences with my daughter. The reason was partly because I did not do my homework and perhaps had a high expectation for a three year old. I mean, I read reviews and I guess I had this pre-conceived mindset that my daughter should be able to sit through an animated film. But.I.Was.Wrong!
I totally regret not doing my homework. I was so excited that Lion King was opening in the cinemas, I had assumed that it would be similar to the animated version. I did not realise that it was CGI animation. Every character looked so real. And I did not watch the trailer and neither did I read the reviews and recommended viewing age. My daughter started crying and wailing 25 minutes into the movie and we left the theater. The reason: She was so sad when simba left his mom and got lost. I failed.
I mean seriously… Wouldn’t you expect toy story to be toddler friendly? Yeah and that’s what I thought too. But I guess my daughter had other expectations. She started crying and wailing 45 minutes into the movie (a progress don’t you think?). She was heartbroken and really upset that Bo Peep lost her arm (but still could not accept that it could be taped back). So we left the theater again. Once again, failure.
First success and praying for many more
So I took some time to read the reviews for frozen 2. Different parents have different views and a considerable number did not recommend to children below the age of 6. And I was really torn because my daughter loves frozen. And I mean school bag, water bottle, wallet, socks, dresses etc… kinda crazy. And she really wanted to watch it. It did not help that the malls were decked with more frozen posters and life-size cutouts as compared to festive Christmas decorations. Totally commercialised.
So I took a risk. A huge risk. Daddy and I talked about it and decided that if there was a scene that was too overwhelming, we’d do a timeout and explain to her at the back of the theater. So I bought us aisle seats (finally).
And I must honestly confess that frozen 2 was technically heavier in story line and carried more deeper messages and had darker and mild violent scenes that were not friendly/appropriate for a toddler. We had to do a 5 minute timeout at the back of the theater when the earth giants came. But somehow, the writers managed to incorporate Olaf at the appropriate time and scene to lift the tension on the impending dark messages/scene and focus on Olaf’s funny and extremely hilarious antics.
Thank you for being a very special part of the movie and for lifting the tension whenever needed. My daughter was able to laugh throughout the movie (of course with prompting from us parents). The older children were laughing too and that was a cue for my daughter to join in the laughter. You appeared at every opportune timing and you were just amazing. It was truly artful how you manged to turn around a dark scene into something totally hilarious. Thank you Olaf for making this movie experience a success. Love you!
Why Alice why? Why would you follow that white rabbit and fall down the rabbit hole… Why Alice why?
I remember watching this movie (not the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp version). I vaguely remember sitting and crying from the start. I remember asking so many questions. I was afraid.
I was afraid to explore. I was afraid to fall. I believe my fears were warranted since I was really young. Perhaps I was also afraid of what I would find when I opened one of the doors. Why did they have to lock the door?
I was afraid of the cake that said “eat me”. Why would anyone write that? Was that to tempt me? or was it to test my restraint? It looked really good though. I would have eaten it in a heartbeat too!
I was scared and lonely. Alice could very well be an adventurer. But at the age of 6, I was still very much sheltered and was not the least bit willing to be in that strange wonderland filled with strange people.
Is it the current world personified? We are surrounded by people of varied personalities and opinions. Each giving their own recommendations and suggestions. Tested by the very society we live in.
When I was 6, I never thought about a world so different. To me, my world revolved around my toys, my sister and my newborn baby brother, and of course my parents. I did not want to be alone.
Such metaphorical images for a young child to understand. It was a movie. It looked very real. It was such a roller coaster ride for me, only to wake up and realise it was all a dream! Are for you real?!
I was 6 when I first saw the movie. It was my first time…and my last. I have not read the book, neither will I ever sit through another Alice in Wonderland movie again.
Is this what people refer to as ‘childhood phobias’ translated into adulthood?
While there are many who prefer to take the risk and find out what is behind that door, lets just say, I’d prefer not to *wink*. Perhaps life would be better if you take some risks. Or perhaps not. Now that’s a thought for another day.
Goodbye Alice in Wonderland. You’ve truly changed my perception of ‘wonderland’.
Becoming Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds… If only it was as easy as it seems
I now write as a teacher, an educator in the year 2019. I’ve been in the teaching service for about 13 years and there has been so much change that some are hard to fathom and some are hard to keep up with. Some are carried out with great love while other directives are carried out with great resistance. But our main characters will always be the students (at least for a good number of us).
I feel this great paradigm shift in who we expect as students and who we eventually get in our classrooms. We walk into our classes with a mindset that these group of students should fit into the mold that we have virtually created for them. We expect them to or at least try. Imagine trying to fit a full grown elephant into a tiny 1 x 1 x 1 cube. I know its impossible… But that’s what we were trying to do.
In the initial years (early 2008 to 2013), the students did their best to squeeze themselves into the mold. We made them. Now in the past 5 years, systems have changed. Students start to speak up. They are more transparent with their wants and needs. They no longer choose to fit into a given mold. They have finally started to understand that they too have a voice and are not afraid to speak. Freedom of speech at its highest.
These days we have a higher percentage of students undergoing depression, looking for alternative outlets to relieve their pent up frustration. With the inclusion of social media that has inter-twined with their lives, the internet, online gaming and far more other online sources have been their preferred outlets. They no longer feel the need to speak to anyone.
Daily, we meet students, who have the mind of Einstein but choose online gaming as opposed to school. Is online gaming bad? Oh well, if they are playing such violent games and returning to school with only 2 hours of sleep and are constantly angry, then I presume yes.
Our youths these days have a beautiful mind. Beauty set with amazing abilities and a bright future carved for them. But it breaks our heart, that no matter how much we try, some youths keep rejecting our help and simply did not want to be saved. But I feel every child should be saved. Yes?
I am no marine. I am no saint. I am no psychic either. I can’t seem to break the rules to change their lives. What do I do when some youths these days “choose to die” Death in this case is not about going 6-feet under. Death to them is the disconnection with people and society and immerse themselves in their personal bubble.
What do we do… When they choose to “die” and be disconnected from society?
Dear Youths… Why fit in when you were born to stand out… believe that you can achieve greatness. Let us help you…
Imagine reading a few nursery rhymes to your child, only to come across something that makes your jaw drop. It’s a good thing my three year old can’t make out words on a paper. I feel like I am lying to her while I have to scramble to rephrase the rhymes.
I had no idea there was actually a true meaning behind this rhyme, till my husband told me about it. Then it hit me. And I started reading up on the rash-like plague that took many down. And how people walked around with a pocket full of herbs (also called posies) to ward off the smell from the plague. Ashes, being the cremation of those who did not make it through the illness. Why…why am I singing this? Please enlighten me. I literally thought it was a song where kids were singing in a garden full of roses.
2. Goosey, Goosey Gander
I was just reading this out loud, this I came to a halt at the last phrase “and threw him down the stairs“… Why are we printing out such violent acts in a children’s nursery rhyme? Are parents required to censor that part on their own while reading? Is it suppose to be funny? Are children suppose to think that throwing / pushing someone down the stairs is a hilarious act? I am appalled.
3. Three Blind Mice
I used to sing this song so many times as a child. There was another version too. I really do not remember the part about the tails being cut off. But these days as I read out this rhyme to my daughter, I have to rephrase the tail part of the song or totally eliminate it. Once I read it out so fast but my daughter caught on to it. She started to get upset when she heard that the tails got cut off. I know my daughter can be a little emotional, but how do I tell a toddler why and justify the act of cutting off an animal’s tail? I know they are pests and rodents. But the most we’ve said is “they are not clean, they carry germs…” *slaps forehead*
4. As I was Going Out
Are you for real? Was this supposed to be metaphorical? Or was this rhyme writer trying out for a horror movie script? Am I losing my sense of humour? Why would I even want to read to my child about her head falling off. Three year old kids ask TOO many questions. Why this… why that.. Mommy why did his head roll off? Why is his feet on the bed?” I have managed on numerous occasions to successfully skip this page. I wish I could tear out the page. The picture in the nursery rhyme book for this rhyme, is an untidy bed with only two feet sticking out. And there’s no body or head. Even I’m scared. It’s like a page from a horror story. *shivers*
5. Sing a song of sixpence
It was all good from the beginning, though my daughter did ask about blackbirds in a pie. I brushed it off as a joke. But I just froze when I saw the last line. I had to think of something fast. “… when down came a blackbird and kissed her nose“. I do not think my child is ready for acts of revenge, with a blackbird coming down for her nose in revenge. I am trying to see if it could be funny or perhaps a tad bit humourous. But I can’t bring myself to sing that line out. I am sure kissing her nose sounds so much better. *keeps fingers crossed*
6. Rock-a-bye Baby
Is someone trying to indirectly hint to parents not to build a cradle on a tree branch? Well, I think it may have worked. I’ve read the origins of this rhyme. When I read it out, my daughter cried for a while because she felt sad that the baby fell. And then she wanted to know if the baby was well. Or if the baby was bleeding. Or if the baby was caught. Told ya… it was the age of unlimited questions. Perhaps, I’ll just repeat and repeat and repeat just the first 4 lines till, the cradle will rock and totally eliminate the parts after the bough breaks. Now, that will save the day.
I guess some rhymes are just stories from different perspectives. Maybe a five year old or six year old will find it hilarious. But I honestly doubt my child will sit and take it with a pinch of salt. I guess these days, parents may need to sieve through age appropriate materials for their children. Be it YouTube videos, Netflix kids shows or even our age old nursery rhymes. Some rhymes are totally unbelievable and make little or no sense but we read it while growing up. Perhaps when my daughter is much older, she too would laugh it off – when she is more emotionally stable and mature.
Your holidays are here. It’s time to catch a break from the mundane life that you so badly want to put behind. You plan your days and weeks.
You want to do your hair, visit your hairstylist and perhaps sport a new color. Burgundy highlights perhaps?
Then you want to do a full body massage and facial. Relax and breathe. Head to your favourite quiet spot and meditate. Breathe and relax away the stress that you’ve carried for the semester.
Start writing your book. You’ve always wanted to do that…
Oh wait… that’s all a blur now… everything you’ve planned for fades away like sudden ripples.
You are stuck at home now. 24/7. Because your daughter spotted the most opportune time to catch the influenza.
While she cuddles next to you, you feel like crying and screaming because before you could realise, you’ve been home for 2 weeks and your holidays are almost over. Your daughter is still having a fever and your hair still remains undone and uncolored. Your book still remains untouched.
Life has a way to teasing us. Pray God that my daughter recovers. Soon. Her body is tired and fighting so hard everyday.
My husband is currently studying to be an aromatherapist. We’ve been around very supportive circle of friends who have been guiding us towards natural healing. We have, when desperate, sought medical intervention but we are trying to start off our natural healing process and boost our body’s natural immunity through alternatives means. We have added a new page ‘essentially yours’ to this blog to introduce the different oils we’ve been using for our family over the past 3 years. Most of our oil choices were experimented and tried with various diffusers and blends and we’ve finally shortlisted a few which have worked for us.
Please kindly note that essential oils must be used with great care. Excessive and incorrect use of any oil can have negative effects on the body which could worsen the symptoms. As such I am obligated to also highlight caution when using oils with infants and toddlers. Too much of anything will eventually amount to nothing.
Please refer to the page ‘essentially yours‘ for more information. All information was updated after rigorous research, sharing and recommendations from experienced parents and aromatherapists.