Came home early today and played with my girl while watching Shaun the Sheep.  It is Thursday and her nanny needs to visit her kids at the boarding school.  She has three kids staying away from home and the youngest is 10 years of age.  Usually at this time of the week, she gathers their dirty clothes and other stuffs so that when they go home on Friday, they have small loads to bring with. Hence, on Thursdays I make it a point to reach home at least by 5:00pm so that she can leave early and therefore will be able to spend more time with her children.

With her house across river, she takes the ferry every morning, then hops on a bus to get to my place.  Since she can’t catch the 4:30pm bus in the evening because of my working hours, I offer to send her back to the ferry point in Muara Tuang everyday.  Iris loves the evening outings so I guess, the intention serves two purposes.

We were waiting for Kak Halimah to get ready and when she was all set to go, Iris intended something mischievous and her nanny raised her hand. My daughter immediately uttered “Kit ah… Kit…” (sakit = painful).  Suspecting something, I asked if Iris was “punished” today and kakak said yes.  I wanted details.  Apparently Iris asked for water and when she was given a cupful, she poured the content and smeared the water all over the kitchen floor. OK, reasonable enough for a smack on her hand.  She showed me exactly where the nanny hit her. I was impressed.  “Ini budak sudah pandai report…”

The water pouring incident sounded extremely familiar, most probably because she did that under my nose as well.  Once she purposely toppled a cup full of Milo onto the rattan mat,  sometimes soup and if fortunate, it is only diluted Ribena! Iris is often punished (smack on her hand) with each successful attempts, and every time without fail she responded with a cry which lasted for about 3 minutes, later coming to me as if asking for forgiveness. Since there is no other person in the house, I have to play both “good” and “bad” parents.  Perhaps that is why her penalties doesn’t really sink in.  Ideally, each parent should adopt a role. One punish, the other explains where the kid went wrong.

If smacking her tiny arm is one of the many ways to discipline her, then by all means, her nanny has all the right to do so. After all, it is for her own good.  I don’t mind her being strong headed for the right reason  – but most importantly she needs to learn how to be respectful to others.  Once this quality is achieved, the others will fall in place nicely. Melentur buluh biarlah dari rebungnya.

One example of respect: Salam with Papa before he heads back to Sri Aman.

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