Frozen II: Thank you Olaf!

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!

First Failure

Lion King (2019)

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.

Second failure

Toy Story 4

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.

Dear Olaf

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!

We love you Olaf! Saranghae

Alice In Wonderland

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.

Simple.Plain.Fear.

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.

All alone in a strange world, thrown with options and having to make decisions. Being guided by a strange Cheshire cat and a smoking caterpillar (why was he smoking?). Did he ever turn into a butterfly?

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’.

Dangerous Minds

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…

Horrors of Nursery Rhymes

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.

1.Ring-a-Ring O’Roses

Ring-a-ring O’roses.
A pocket full of posies, Ashes, Ashes, we all fall down.

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

Goosey, Goosey Gander
Wither shall I wonder?
Upstairs and downstairs
And in my lady’s chamber.
There I met an old man Who would not say his prayers, I took him by his left leg and threw him down the stairs.

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

Three Blind Mice.
Three Blind Mice.
See how they run!
See how they run!
They all run after the farmer’s wife, who cut off their tails with a carving knife.
Did you ever see such a thing in your life, as 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

As I was going out one day, My head fell off and rolled away. But when I saw that it was gone, I picked it up and put it on. And when I got into the street, a fellow cried “Look at your feet!” I looked at them and sadly said. “I’ve left both asleep in bed!”

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

… The maid was in the garden, hanging out the clothes, when down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose.

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

Rock-a-bye baby
On the tree top
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock;
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall. Down will come baby, cradle and all.

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.

A full circle

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.

Essentials

Searching for alternatives for natural healing

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.

We will update the page regularly.

Photos courtesy of depositphotos

Unheard

I had these aching thoughts running through my head just minutes ago… why do people feel the need to be noticed? Why do we expect people to acknowledge us? Do we expect society to see us, notice us and hear us? Would we be able to live if we were ignored, unheard and lost?

Are we programmed to expect attention? Do we succumb to societal pressures to impress and guide people to notice us?

A moment ago, I felt as if my voice was lost and my thoughts were unheard. I suddenly felt as if I would be standing in a room full of people and yet I’d just blend in with the wallpaper. I would disappear. But I don’t want to disappear. I want to be subtle yet seen.

I’ve had to live most part of my life with my thoughts locked away in silence because I didn’t think anyone would be ready to hear my voice. I chose to cocoon myself and do I regret it? Yes and no…

The desperate need to seek a listening ear. Desperate need to voice our thoughts. Do we seek the many social media platforms as an outlet for our emotional needs?

I’m writing and confessing my thoughts because I feel the need to voice them. And I know that they can go unheard.

Release the emotions like an overflowing barrel, let not the unexpected cloud your confessions.