Friends : “Wiii Hu kamu oleh Lita pinter pinter anak e kayak apa ntik pinter e.”
Me: “Itu anak anak kenapa nangis?”
Nyonya: “Sing gedhe apa sing cilik?”
Me: “Sing gedhe opo o?”
Nyonya: “Makan kegigit lidah e sendiri.”
Me: “Sing cilik?”
Nyonya: “Tadi muka e kejotos tangan e dhewe terus nangis.”
Me: “Gakpapa. Bersyukur ae pinter. Lek bego opo gak tambah amsyong iki.”
Sometime I don’t know how my wife survive raising my clever kids when I’m away.
“That’s W, Angel!”
“M looks like W. But it’s different.”
“Yes it is tumbalik.”
“Terbalik. Terbalik is upside down.”
“Upside down. Like a bat.”
“Yes. Like a sleeping bat. M is upside down W.”
After 40 minutes explanation of bats and other nocturnal animals.
“Pa is this 9 or 6?”
Welcome to my life.
Evangeline, 2½yrs old, pushing her knowledge border. Repetitively.
I’m pretty concerned that Evangeline is now repeating what she’s learning (she was enrolled around this month last year, and the curriculum has looped back to what she learned back then). She will only be promoted from Playgroup to Nursery next January. She’s bored because she’s learning all the things she knew. I’m worried that this will lose her interest in school, we need the school to finish half her battery everyday. Weekend is nightmare with this energizer bunny.
“How’s your day today in school? Ok?”
“What did you do in school?”
“Angel eat chicken. Angel bathe. Angel sleep then wake up. Then Angel go home with Mama.”
“Do you … learn anything?”
“I need to talk to your teacher tomorrow.”
“Papa talk to teacher Angel want two chicken.”
Evangeline, 2½yrs old, lack of knowledge and chicken.
So I ask my worker about the amenity around the worksite. I supposed he is knowledgeable because he stays in the office dormitory on site.
“Nneh, where can I duplicate key around here?”
“You key what?”
“I want my key making same same.”
“Key making double ah?”
“Ya double making key same same. Where can making double?”
“You know the junction that side you coming this way. I draw for you.”
He proceed to draw the map on my palm with permanent marker. Nice. Make sure I won’t get lost.
“You coming this point see Bodyshop beside have key making shop.”
I went to the place as directed by him. It’s amazing his hand drawn map is made to scale, it is a skill we construction people have. I search around for Bodyshop. Couldn’t find it.
In the end I decide to just ask around. The nearby shop seller pointed me to the key duplicate service. A small bench inside another shop. Beside Singapore pools, the nationwide 4D shop. I should have known when the worker said ‘bodyshop‘ in the first place.
Raising two kids is not easy. Especially when the night comes. One turned into mythical beast and one turned into milk sucking monster. We have tried to co-sleep, everybody sleep inside the same room, doesn’t work. The fantasy we have that everyone can have a good night sleep is just, yes, a fantasy.
What happened in real life is when Evangeline managed to fall asleep after Mama read four story books repeated four times each, Adeline let out a single howl indicating it’s time for milk. And yep, you guessed right, it wakes Evangeline up in the process.
Mama will nurse Adeline and Papa tried to coax Evangeline to sleep. Usually Adeline is easier to subdue because breastfeed contain some sort of organic compound with tranquilizing effect. Don’t ask me, ask any breastfed baby, they always look drunk or high on something after breastfeeding session. Papa normally struggles for good half an hour trying to put Evangeline back to sleep, involving some carrying and promoting early scoliosis before osteoporosis. But only God knows whether after Evangeline sound asleep this thing will not repeat itself. Most nights it will.
Now we are trying to sleep in separate room. Papa is tasked to handle Evangeline because my boobs (despite the size) does not contribute to Adeline’s development. We have improved our sleeping hours from two to four hours per night.
Sunday almost midnight.
“Pa. What are you doing?”
“Pa are you sleeping Pa?”
“Pa wake up Pa.”
“Apa Njel wes malem papa tidur ini. Besok pagi papa sek kerja lo.”
“Are you sleeping?”
“No. Papa wake up.”
“Ya tadi sleeping terus kamu wake Papa up.”
“You want sleep now?”
“Ok. Good night.”
Then she kiss my cheek.
Evangeline, 2½yrs old, after some sleep training efforts you just wing it because we need sleep more than the kids do.
“Pa wake up Pa!”
“Let Papa sleep, Njel.”
“Wake up Papa let’s play.”
“Let Papa sleep. Sunday ini Njel.”
“You want Sunday?”
“No no no sorry sorry I don’t want Sunday. I want sleep.”
Too late. I’ve hit the play button.
“Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday… Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday.”
Evangeline, 2½yrs old, nursery jukebox on repeat.