Little Pandaren the Brawlmaster


Om Telolet Om.

Suara itu berbunyi lagi. Rupanya dari HP Suhu. Suhu baru ingat ringtone HP nya sudah diganti dengan nada dering ini. Biar kekinian. Suhu melihat layar smartphone nya yang sudah retak. Iya retak. Tidak mudah memiliki smartphone utuh dengan anak berusia dua tahun yang belum tahu bahwa benda dibanting bisa dipecah.

Kids Kingdom.

Demikian tertera di layar kaca smartphone Suhu. Degup jantungnya berdebar kencang. Telepon dari sekolah selalu berarti ada yang tidak benar. Apakah Evangeline jatuh? Apakah Evangeline sakit? Apakah ada bencana alam di sekolah? Mati lampu? Gempa bumi? Uang sekolah naik?

Suhu menyingkirkan semua pikiran buruk dari dalam benaknya dan berusaha tenang sambil menjawab.

“Ya, dengan Angel Papa?”

Suara terbata-bata itu adalah Laoshi, guru wali kelas Angel di kelas Ikan Paus. Sejauh ini dia adalah guru yang paling dekat dengan Angel, sejak Teacher Lina keluar dari Kids Kingdom untuk menempuh karir di bidang lain.

“Wei, ya Laoshi ada apa?”
“Angel Papa, hari ini Angel mencakar teman sekelasnya sampai berdarah-darah.”
“Hah? Serius lukanya?”
“Lukanya hanya luka luar, tapi dicakar di wajah. Temannya berdarah. Aku telepon untuk mengingatkan jangan lupa potong kuku kalau sudah panjang.”
“Baik Laoshi. Maaf Laoshi. Tolong sampaikan maaf pada orang tua anak yang dicakar.”
“Tidak apa, Angel Papa.”

Menghela nafas. Suhu merasa lega. Merasa khawatir. Tercampur baur. Di satu sisi Suhu merasa bersyukur tidak ada apa-apa dengan Angel. Tapi Suhu juga khawatir. Suhu tidak sebegitu peduli dengan anak lain. Tapi dengan anak sendiri, Suhu bisa jadi over protective. Ini bukan kali pertama Suhu ditelepon Laoshi pada jam sekolah. Pernah sekali Laoshi lapor Angel digigit temannya sampai berdarah dan membekas berhari-hari.

Suhu khawatir bagaimana jika suatu hari Angel dibalas. Bagaimana kalau di lain hari Suhu ditelepon lagi dan kali ini Angel yang menjadi korban. Sore itu Suhu menjemput Angel di sekolah lalu bertanya pada Laoshi tentang kejadian cakar-mencakar tadi.

“Kenapa koq Angel tiba-tiba mencakar temannya, Laoshi?”
“Yang pertama …”

Yang pertama???

Ada lebih dari satu kali?


“Yang pertama karena temannya merebut snack dari mangkok Angel.”
“Oh my God.”

Angel adalah anak yang baik. Dan Suhu bilang ini bukan karena Angel adalah anak Suhu. Mungkin Suhu punya opini yang tidak  objektif. Tidak apa. Tapi satu hal yang Suhu tidak bisa pungkiri, Angel tidak bisa berbagi. Share. Karena dia satu-satunya anak di rumah, semua mainan milik Angel, semua barang anak kecil milik Angel. Siapa yang mau berebut dengan dia?

“Yang kedua tanpa sebab tiba-tiba Angel menyerang duluan.”
“Lalu bagaimana?”
“Untungnya di usia sekian, di kelas anak-anak Angel, mereka sudah bisa panggil ‘Laoshi laoshi, atau Teacher teacher‘ dan tidak saling balas. Kalau di rentang usia yang lebih kecil biasanya balas mencakar. Mereka sedang dalam usia suka lapor ke guru.”
“Oh untunglah perkelahiannya tidak berkepanjangan.”
“Lalu Angel kami hukum disetrap di office.”
“Oh, dikurung begitu.”
“Iya, dikurung sebentar, tapi tetap kami awasi. Di ruang guru ada kaca jadi kami bisa lihat.”

Suhu penasaran. Lantas Suhu bertanya.

“Laoshi, kalau Angel dipukul atau dicakar temannya, apa Angel juga bisa lapor Laoshi?”

Laoshi mendadak tergelak seolah tak bisa menahan tawa.

“Kenapa Laoshi tertawa?”
“Angel? Tidak ada yang berani memukul Angel, Angel Papa. Jangan khawatir.”

Hari itu Suhu belajar satu hal baru tentang anaknya. My little Panda. Little Pandaren the Brawlmaster.

“Angel! I heard today you are naughty?”

Dengan mata berbinar-binar Angel menjawab dengan lantang.


“Angel go office. Lagi!”

Papa is so proud of you. Worry. But proud.

The Tome of Ethereal Knowledge

When we buy a new gadget, we were given a User Manual. Nobody really reads it. And when you can’t do some of its function, you refer to it. That’s provided you haven’t lost that book yet. Most of the time you have lost it before you even read it.

When Evangeline was born, we were given a health booklet from KK Hospital. It contains many useful information like schedule of immunisation (many many many abbreviations there BCG HepB DTaP IPV PCV MMR ASL PLS LOL ROFL WTFBBQ). It also contains the charts where we can foresee the growth of our baby in term of weight and height. And to compare the baby among its peers based on local statistics and get rough estimate at which percentile the baby is. Competition since early days, being Asian at its finest.

So every now and then we will refer to this sacred Tome of Ethereal Knowledge. Either for the immunisation schedule, or to check whether the weight and height of our daughter is considered “normal”. Her height is usually in 50th percentile and weight is generally in 95th percentile. She’s not fat. She’s chubby. She’s not shortie, she’s normal but she grows horizontally faster than she is vertically. Takes after her father.

But the one thing that I always find in the Tome is the developmental checklist. So they have this several checklists containing few statements in each list. Every list came with the age of the baby in the title. So let’s say for example in the checklist for 6 months old, they will have a statement like “Your child is able to roll over from stomach to back or
back to stomach”. If your baby can do it, you tick the box next to it. If your baby can’t do it, pfffftttt my baby can. I win you lose.

The book is given for free by Health Promotion Board to the parents of the kids born in Singapore. So everyone here has it. But for the benefit of readers who does not reside here, this is the link to the softcopy.

I would say the Singapore government does a fine job in providing this to the clueless first time parent. The questions that always linger like “Is this normal?” can be easily answered by reading it. On top of the checklist for you to keep track of your baby’s development, the Tome gave you an indication on how many months 90% of the babies can tick off that statement. Using the same example above, the Tome said 90% of the babies can tick off the rolling stomach-back-stomach at the age of 5 months old.


So in case your baby malfunctions, please refer to the manual. Or bring to the nearest pediatrician or clinics or hospital if you think it’s serious and urgent. They might be able to repair your baby. Strictly no return policy. No one to one replacement, too.


Solo Singer

“Do you want to sing?”
“Okay let’s sing! Twinkle twinkle little star …”
“Papa no sing please. Angel sing.”
“Ok ok Angel sing. Twinkle …”
“Papa! Ssshh!!!”

Evangeline, a week plus to 2 yrs old.

I’m not hurt. I’m okay. *Sobbing* Sorry daddy’s voice is not nice.

Poem of the Kids Kingdom

from the distance I saw nothingness
yet I heard cry of a child
is this a gift or is this a curse
to be freed into the wild

sorrow indescribable by word
a deep grief through day and night
peril my life just to walk forward
brave the battle turn the tide

masticate flesh of the innocent
bite of the venomless snake
how could someone be so impudent
what is mine you shall not take

mortify desire to linger
I sigh with a broken heart
to be separated from mother
why life have to be this hard


So recently I have this friend, Januar, posting haiku on facebook. His struggle with his thesis makes him turn to literature to elaborate his meaningless worldly achievement in Engineering. I guess writing the haiku is a spiritual experience for him. So I googled and read a Haiku article in wikipedia. I am amazed by the limitation of the syllables pattern, 5-7-5 for haiku.

In Bahasa Indonesia literature, we have pantun. The distinguished pattern is on the rhyme ending each line. While each pantun verse contain four lines with a-b-a-b rhyme pattern, pantun does not have restriction on number of syllables pattern.

Above is my humble attempt on contemporary form of poetry, i tried to keep the syllables in 9-7-9-7 pattern while conforming to pantun a-b-a-b rhyme. Generally this is what I imagine going through inside Evangeline’s head every morning we drop her in school. This is what the poem written by a literature prodigy whose mind trapped inside the body of languageless toddler.

Verse 1 tells the story of Angel in front of the Childcare door. Normally we can’t see what’s inside because of the building layout. But we can vaguely hear the kids screaming, playing, and some music from inside sometime. While Angel generally love to play with Papa and Mama, sometime she prefer to go to school and ask us to leave quickly, dragging her own school bag to go in. Till to date, we are still unaware of the parameter that decide whether we should go and let her go, or, we should stay longer and console her. So far it’s random with 80%+ chance she will go in without crying. Angel cries in front of the childcare door 99% of the Monday. She hates Monday. Like we do.

Verse 2 imagines the conflict within her heart. While the teachers and laoshis will try to keep up, sometime the toddlers are too fast. And for this age (1 to 2 year old) they don’t really have ways to communicate effectively with language. So they do it with action. What I mean is, when kids don’t like you, they just bitch slap you right in your face without thinking the consequences. My daughter is not the angelic forgiving type, she will hold her ground for what she believes is right. No matter whether she is actually right. Any classmate slaps her, better get prepared to meet your demise. We had an event where the teacher told us that Angel’s classmate bit and scratched her face and leave a nasty marks. Before we could enquire which kid does that, the laoshi told us that Angel retaliate out of proportion, pouncing and sucker punching the poor fella to the wall, grappling and tumbling to perform a chokehold pinning the classmate to the floor and sitting on the almost motionless body. The laoshi called us to ask what we’ve been teaching her at home. Ninjitsu, of course. I’m not sure what I’m feeling. Am I supposed to be worry, proud, or confused?

Verse 3 is related to verse 2. After the scratching versus pouncing incident we told her that she’s not supposed to wrestle her classmate to oblivion like that. It’s dangerous for both party because kids this age still can’t control their power. It might be harmless intention, but could result in severe effect. The teacher feedback to us Angel is behaving well. Never start a fight and generally a good kid in sharing with friends and playing in a team. Until one day the teacher tell us someone bit her wrist, and she just said “no!” and avoid this kid. But this kid continue to follow Angel and bit her again before the teacher manage to stop him. So Angel cried standing for very long, and there were two bite marks, left my daughter’s wrist swollen and  suffered laceration. I remembered I almost cried when I saw the bite marks. She didn’t retaliate, and she told the teacher because Papa said it’s wrong to hit your friend. If only we don’t teach Angel this, she could have change the perpetrator status to victim shortly after the first bite.

Verse 4 is the standard procedure before Mama leaving. Angel will ask Mama to squat down. She will hug her for as long as she wants. And said “Mama go.” to signal that the Mother could leave. It could be few seconds or as long as two minutes hugging. But this is ritual. All the teacher and laoshi knows it. Except one. One day this new teacher, who knows nothing about this ritual, peeled of the hugging Angel, startled the Mother, and face the wrath of both. I wish her best of luck taming the awakened dragon.

And for the concerned readers, I do not teach my daughter to brawl. In Kids Kingdom, it’s survival skill.

Angel and Animal Sound

Sunday morning breakfast. Fried beehoon, fried chicken drumlet, and fried tofu. The Mother’s favourite. Recently it’s been heavily taxed by the Little Royal Highness.

The Mother usually put to a separate smaller bowl (we use SMASKA bowl from IKEA, 3 for S$4.90) the same food she’s eating. The idea is to let Angel imitate the Mother eating the same thing.

“Mama! SHARK!”
“Ha? Shark?”
“That’s chicken.

The Mother took a piece of shredded chicken, well it does look like a shark fin or tanghoon if you shred it so thin. The Mother shoved showed it to Angel.

“Pok pok.”

For the past few weeks Angel had been learning animals’ sound. Dog woof cat meow cow moo frog ribbit duck quack quack quack quack (because Elmo has four ducks) and Chicken is always pok pok. Because pok pok chicken, and chickenpox. Just because.

“Pok pok!”
“Chicken. Chi. Ken. Chicken.”
“Pok pok!”
“Nyam nyam. Yummy.” *point chicken and direct it to her mouth.*

You’ve learned well, my girl. You’ve learned well.