Mom got sarcastic today. She told me off for not being on-time in my weekly calls. I laughed it off. I normally call her in the beginning of the week. But somehow, this week, I have been very errant -- not only in calling mom in Malaysia, but in everything. I am beginning to be a slacker with (my home-based) work being so slow. Being not-on-time with my weekly calls with mom is not nice, especially when mom's waiting and waiting.
Today, mom and I chatted about raising children, mostly. She is particularly proud of my nephew who is 4 years old and loves to paint. Mom is not happy with the helper at home who has been slack in taking out the painting kit/gear for my nephew to mess around with. She wants him to continue painting.
I am instantly reminded of how mom has always been very supportive of letting us have a go at making things when we were little. Mom is really good at craft and making dolls and stuff. I never really liked dolls, and still don't.
I remember how mom painted and dressed up a complete doll made of icecream sticks and eggshell(for the head). It looked fantastic. I can never compete with mom on that end.
Cars, lemon perfume oil
So my little nephew who loves cars and loves to paint is being spoilt by my mom and dad. So is my niece who is 7. So is Princess who is 10. Three grandchildren -- and such generosity. Dad just mailed Princess a collection of Sonatinas...He had 2 years ago bought her a collection of over 100 famous pieces. He wants her to continue practising. Princess has learnt quite a few songs from the album dad sent including Moment Musical, Mussette, Doll's Dream and now Fur Elise and Hungarian Dance. Princess should be so thankful for such loving grandparents both - the Lees and the Woolfs. I also remember how Darling Aunty spent heaps of money buying a real McCovy easel for Princess when she was in her painting phase.
Children get the most stimulation and encouragement from the people around them -- whether it be at school, at home or at their friends'. Little people love to do things with their hands -- shape with playdough, hammer on a nail, cut and paste. I remember making a hole (big enough for pegs to fall through) on a little icecream container and throwing Princess a whole heap of pegs. Princess used to love dropping in the pegs and shaking the box...It cost nothing and provided countless hours of joy and stimulation.
Two weeks ago, Princess made her first batch of "perfume oil". My god-brother and his wife had bought Princess this awesome Chemistry sciencekit a few years ago. Princess has used bits and pieces of the kit and the kit had been sitting in her cupboard. Recently she felt inspired to make perfume. So she raided my fridge and got the peel out -- nearly burnt the plastic holder for the tubes -- but made 2 batches of something that resembled lemon perfume oil from her sciencekit. It was awesome watching the enthusiasm and experimentation going on. I didn't give her any help -- me being hopeless at reading instructions. Well, Princess presented one of the perfume tubes to our resident monk at Dorje Chang, who had his birthday early this month. The perfume oil was for him to use in water offering.
I hope Nephew gets to do more paintings and tries more pictures. I have a few of his drawings now (which I will put in a folder) and hope mom sends me more. We want to see him develop his love for painting. He may never like art when he grows older. Who cares. At this stage, all there is to do is to give him the canvas/opportunities and allow him freedom of expression. He may be the first artist in the Lee family just as Princess may be the first Chemist in the Woolf family.
Mom says she has to go. She is experimenting with a Chinese bun recipe I plucked of the internet for her. She says the measurements I gave her were off -- one cup of water was too little for 6 cups of flour. Indeed it was. She was right. But she copied the recipe wrongly...It should have been 1 and 3/4 cups of water, not 1. Ah, the sign of an intuitive cook. Let's hope the buns rise sufficiently and mom will be a convert to how we modern gals cook -- taking recipes off the internet!