Only you will love you best.

Will Smith said a very profound thing that got me assessing my whole involuntary lifestyle change. “When Jada and I first got together, we thought we had to merge and become one. Only now I’ve realized that we aren’t supposed to be one. We are two different people with two different path”. This strongly correlates with my upbringing, all the sermons I used to hear at my weekly prayers; “in the end, we leave this world the way we came; alone” hmmm wonder if it applies to twins too.

Anyway, it took a good four decades for me to realise that in the end nothing really matters.

My involuntary lifestyle change began halfway through my mid thirties. I had slowly moved away from being surrounded by people not related to me, towards my family.

Once in my forties it came to an abrupt end. Being unemployed meant I had to put in extra effort for friendship time, or girls time or whatever it is called.

I believed I was doomed because everywhere I looked, every article I read, kept pounding the importance of ladies to stick together. About girl power and how these girlies friendship would be my saving grace when I’m old and alone. How important it is to have an outlet other than the family circle. A sisterhood group.

So I tried striking up new friendship with people like me; with young children, but that didn’t last. See people like me have a lot going on and trying to plan for child free meet up was close to impossible.

Instead of breathing hard into a paper bag at my failure living up to this ideology, I’ve grown accustomed to getting to know me better.

I’m able sit alone in a crowded restaurant. I don’t need a phone or a book to distract me from the fact I’m alone. I just sit and enjoy my time here.

At times, I’m bound to come across young girl, holding an empty seat across her for a friend that’s on her way and later pretending to be disappointed over a phone call because her mate could not join her for lunch. Why? Because this was a better than giving away the fact that she’s eating alone. I was that young girl not too long ago.

With age comes wisdom and liberation not to give shit. When I started caring less about what people thought about me, I began to love being with me more. I became my best company.

I might regret this involuntary lifestyle once my girls won’t need me anymore. But by then I’m pretty sure I’d find lonely ladies just like me to connect with. In the meantime I’ll just go with the flow and learn to love myself more so when I’m ready to allow a stranger in, I’d be able to introduce her to a loveable me.

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Heart of gold.

“Go and rest. Don’t worry about dinner, it will be sorted. Just go” my two little ones instructed.

With no energy left to argue, I walked, slowly with slumped shoulders to my living room. I couldn’t even go to my room because it was out of bound.

Switching channels came automatically as I sat, slouched on my couch, looking like a seasoned coach potato, I played today’s event in my head. Over and over again.

It has been an emotional rollercoaster ride which ended today with a lot of tears. I thought I had kept these emotions private and away from my little ones but I guessed wrong.

My middle child sensed something amiss and immediately came up with a wonderful way of cheering me up. She, the one with the golden heart along with her little sister did so much to cheer me up.

They remade my bed and labeled some random numbers on my bedroom door so that it would resemble a hotel room. They even lit my favourite scented candles in my bedroom and bathroom.

I was even told to just toss my clothes outside my bathroom and to lie down on my bed after my shower.

Then walked in my next spa experience, massage. My youngest walked in and introduced herself as my masseuse. She even learned Thai greetings to give me a proper Thai massage experience.

She leathered me with a lot of cream on my feet and hands. Then she walked all over my back. I didn’t know she was this good. I felt so pampered and refreshed afterwards.

Then my presence was requested downstairs for dinner. I was served soft paratha with scrambled eggs and raita. After dinner I was told to go straight to bed. They cleaned up after dinner.

I can’t believe how lucky I am to have children that are so in tune with the way I feel.

When at bed time, while I cuddled and thanked them for the wonderful evening, they just smiled and were happy to have me back, smiling and joking instead of being sulky and stressed.

I don’t know how they come up with these ideas but it really lit up my day. It gave me hope and reason to listen to my heart, and to stay as close as possible to my children for as long as it takes.

It gave me the affirmation I needed that I was doing okay caring for my children. I may not always serve up the best, but what I give is enough for us to navigate through. Because they care and sometimes surprise me in ways I could have never imagined. Like they did today.

I’m truly blessed to have them.

Always

“Mama, will you always be with us?” asked my five year old in her sleep.

Always…

I’ll be here for you as long as always is by my side.

Always…

I’ll hug you and tickle you to bed for as long as I can.

Always…

I’d kiss you and let you sleep on my extended left arm; your favourite position, for as long as it takes for you to fall asleep.

Always…

I’d get you ready for school the way you like it; whilst still in bed, under the warm cosy blanket and your arms wrapped around my neck.

Always…

I’d spoil you as much as I can but say my piece when I have to.

I promise to do it always as long as always is with us.

How to get your teens to cook

I still remember how difficult it was for my mom to get me to cook a decent meal. I never saw the need because she was always around to cook us a feast. I took her for granted.

After many failed attempts, she figured it was better this way. Getting me into the kitchen meant a lot of headache for her. So she tasked me with the cleaning up after cooking. It was a good arrangement. We were both happy.

But she was smart. She let me think I won the battle but in reality it was her winning the war.

She’d get me to wash up alongside her cooking. While cooking, she used to get me to stir or add in the ingredients and watch over the food while she quickly grabbed something important.

My brain was unconsciously absorbing all this details.

Or at other times she’d get me to translate an English chef. Which meant I had to sit and watch the cooking shows.

Once again my brain was unconsciously absorbing all the details.

It took a long while to unlock what had been stored, unconsciously. But when I did manage to, it was as if I had been cooking for years.

I’m still not as good cook as my mom but I’m able to tell when a dish is coming together. I’ve learned a few important tricks in ensuring I’m able to serve a decent meal.

Over time, my cooking skills grew. It was an easy start because unknowingly, I somehow knew what to do when I cooked something. It almost felt familiar.

So now I’m doing the same with my daughters. Just like me, they despise being told what to do. It has to be their idea for anything to succeed.

Today, my twean decided to make mac and cheese. Something she saw on Instagram.

I’m glad she’s beginning to find joy in cooking. For a start, she’s doing so much better than I was at her age.

Whenever my mom wasn’t around, I’d had to depend on Maggi (instant noodles). It wasn’t a bad choice but everyone knows how unhealthy Maggi can be, if eaten regularly.

I’m glad her cooking vocabulary is much larger than mine and has more words than just Maggi.

To showcase her food vocabulary let’s check out today’s recipe. It was a simple feat.

It’s something young kids can whip up in less than half hour. It may not get 5 stars on taste but sure as hell beats eating instant noodles. And the best part, it can be made in one pot. So less cleaning and washing up.

To make this one-pot Mac and cheese;

Ingredients: serves 4

  • 2 tablespoon of butter
  • 3 tablespoon of plain flour
  • 1 cups of milk
  • 1 teaspoon each of Cayenne/paprika powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard paste or turmeric powder
  • 2 cups of water
  • Enough elbow pasta for 4 serving
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh/dried parsley

Method

In a deep pan, heat butter and add in the flour. Cook on low heat for a couple of minutes. Then add half the milk and stir with a whisk to remove lumps. Add the rest of the milk and keep stirring the mixture. (She struggled because the flour tends to clump up together and required some elbow grease and prior cooking skills to turn it lump free).

Add in the powders and mustard, and stir to combine. Add water and throw in the uncooked pasta. Over low heat, gently cook the pasta, continuously stirring, for 8-10 minutes.

Once the pasta is cooked, put in the shredded cheese and parsley. Give it a good stir and serve immediately.

Any leftover should be immediately refrigerated. To heat this up, you’ll need to cook over low heat and add some water or milk to loosen the pasta.

Hope you’ll find this as useful as it has been for me. Seriously, this simple plain dish is so much better, nutrients wise, than instant noodles that comes in a packet.

This dish a definitely a hit among young kids. So let your little ones try this and share with us how did it turn out for you.

Happy cooking with the kids.

For more recipes, check out Anyone Can Cook

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Sausage and spinach pasta

“Fine! Then why don’t you prepare the dinner while I’ll do the laundry?” I gave my first born a choice and was dead sure she wasn’t going to take the offer.

“Ok, just tell me what to do”, her quick response.

“I’m serious. You’re own your own.”

And I was. I really meant it, when I said she’d have to do it on her own.

“Eh…” that’s all she said and rose up to the challenge.

Kids these days! They’re so unpredictable.

So not being able to go back on my words, I gave her a quick run down on what was needed and headed out to line dry my clothes.

She looked like she knew what to do and was doing rather well even whilst slicing and chopping the onions. She had tears rolling down her cheeks but defeat was not a factor today. She just rubbed it off and kept at it.

She knew I was sneakily watching her so she put up a splendid show and just kept at it. Was she trying to evoke my motherly instincts? I can’t say for sure but neither of us were ready to throw in the towel.

After she’d finished prepping, I was already done with my chore. Thinking that she would take this opportunity and hand over the cooking to me, I was pleasantly surprised when she came over to know the next steps.

I was smiling, ear to ear, and joyed she was genuinely interested in preparing dinner.

With very little help from me apart from giving the steps on what to do next and guiding her to gauge when it’s time to put the next ingredients, she managed to make a decent pasta.

It was exciting, watching her commentary on how the ingredients were changing and coming together to look like pasta sauce.

Let’s hope this could get her excited to try out more recipes.

If you’re looking for a simple and easy recipe, why not give this a go with your kids. It takes less than 20 minutes to get this done.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large good quality sausages (try to get the fresh ones from your butcher). Cut it into bite size pieces.
  • A bag of spinach
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 4 medium sized tomatoes, chopped (or a can of tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup water (or more depending how thick you want it to be)
  • 2 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon butter and olive oil.

Spiral pasta would be the best for this dish but we ran out of it and used spaghetti instead. I reckon you can use any pasta just boil it al-dente,

Method

Bring a large pot if water to boil and cook your pasta according to the instructions.

Heat oil and butter in a deep pot, add onions and garlic. Saute it for a couple of minutes. Then throw in the sausages. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the tomatoes. Let these tomatoes sweat a little (you should add salt now to speed up the process), add water and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

Then check consistency. Add more water if dry. If too watery, crank up the heat and let it boil without covering it.

Add tomato puree, Italian herbs and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Give it a good stir and taste it. If too sour, add half teaspoon sugar. That should do the trick in cutting out the sourness from tomatoes.

By now your pasta would have cooked. Don’t throw away the water. Instead, fish out the pasta into the pot and throw the spinach into the pasta water. Let it wilt, remove from water, squeeze out as much water as you can and add this to the pasta.

Season with more salt and pepper if necessary. Give it a good stir and serve with shredded parmigiana cheese or parmesan cheese.

For more recipes, check out Anyone Can Cook

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When everyone’s doing it

“Why not?!” I demanded. ” Pfft! F.Y.I They’re doing it.” I huffed as I stormed away. I have never questioned the coaches decision but not today. Today I just erupted. Victory was ours but he was too adamant and loyal to his values and wasn’t letting me change that.

I’ve been on my feet since 7am, drenched and parched under the laser like rays of the noon sun and running around ferrying water bottles. It didn’t help, my 5-year-old who resembled almost like a baked chicken refused to get out of the sun and sit under some shade. It didn’t help, me kicking myself for forgetting to bring along an umbrella and my eldest refusing to drink water because she has an issue with sharing her water bottle.

“Fine! Don’t hydrate yourself!”

Slowly the guilt crept in as I watched her play, skillfully defending her post but looking exhausted and thirsty. Next thing I knew, I was on my feet, running towards my car for a fresh water bottle, cursing along the way.

“Here’s your bottle and this time learn to say no if anyone wants a sip from your bottle because this is the last fresh bottle”

Then I grabbed a bottle from the team’s pool cooler bag and forced my overage toddler. She looked up, her skin almost ripe like a tomato.

“Fuck!” I forgot the umbrella again. “Fuck!” my daughter echoed. “Noooooo, I said duck! because a ball was heading your way darling” my quick response to kill the swearing.

Clearly it wasn’t my day.

20 May, 2017. We arrived early at Wisma FAM, Kelana Jaya. We were the first and a light drizzle early in the morning promised a beautiful day for tournament. The grass had a fine layer of diamond like water droplets, a nice tent with some neatly stacked up plastic chairs for mom’s like to me to rest our heavy bottoms on, was a welcoming sight. I was impressed “Nothing could go wrong” I voiced my thoughts delightfully.

I jinxed it because a lot went wrong.

The organising team came fashionably late. Much later than most of the teams participating for the AFC – FAM Grassroot Football Day. Then they forced all players to change into their AFC jerseys which was handed out for free (one plus point) but this was an issue for the girls because the bloody toilet was on the opposite end from where we were and it had a long queue and they had just done that when I made them change into their Supergirls’ jersey just half hour ago. The look on their face said it all, when I broke the news about them needing to change again.

Later to my dismay, I find out they didn’t have a schedule for the girls. “What?! What you mean you don’t have it? This is a tournament”

It was already 10am and the girls still had not played their first match. Luckily the boys match had started so they girls kept themselves entertained by watching these matches and having their mini discussion about each player on the pitch.

Finally, after an hour and the fact many other team managers, were getting uneasy with the wait, the organisers moved the girls to a turf field with small goal post.

I know, I seriously jinxed it because the only plus point, the well-kept natural grass field, was only meant for under 12 boys. The girls were hoping to get to repeat their experience on real grass like at JSSL International Tournament.

“Nevermind girls, we play on” the coach said encouragingly.

There’s always a silver lining. Smaller field meant they won’t get tired fast and smaller goal post meant, they didn’t really need a keeper, so everyone played, full on.

Both the Supergirls team played well, winning all their matches and securing a spot in the semi-finals. Once again, the defense team was relentless at making sure the ball was always in their possession and striping away the opponent’s chances to score a goal.

All was well until the break to decide which teams made it to the Semis. We weren’t told how long we had to wait for the results which by the way was bloody long. We didn’t want to risk ruining our chances at the Semis, so we didn’t allow the girls to eat because from experience, we have learned, these girls tend to slack off and behave like a well fed python after a meal. They morph from a Speedy Gonzales to a tortoise. Crushing any slither of hope for victory.

Not satisfied, I stomped back to my husband. “Look at that team. They brought players from other team. And here’s another with a couple of “import” players. These coaches came with one aim, to win this tournament at any cause. At least we are placing our own players on the field. So why aren’t you getting all the seasoned players into one team and the new ones in another? This way we can  be sure at least one team will make it the finals?”

“Just trust me” these three words was all he said and shut the door to my Grab Car.

“Was that your coach?” asked my Grab Car driver. Not in the mood for a chat, I simply lamented “yes” hoping that cue in my voice would stop him from further chat but today simply wasn’t my day.

“Sorry mam, that was my girlfriend calling, checking on me because today is only my sixth day as a Grab car driver and she has trust issues. She’s afraid of leng lui o (pretty girl oh) passengers.”

“Seriously?” I said laughing out loud. Thanks to him my mood changed and this infected my daughter and changed her sad pout into a smile because she was unhappy to leave her sisters and head over to her ballet class.

An hour in the comfortable and cool lounge at her ballet class made way for me to calm down. I even managed to sneak in a power nap and this helped clear my head. It made room for my sensible self to return and I recollected the reasons why my girls joined an all male dominated sport.

When I reunited with my husband and daughters over our overdue lunch at 3pm, and after gobbling up some fast food, he decides to tell me why he sent two teams instead of one strong team to play in the tournament.

“We decided to play balanced teams, mixing seniors and new players. This was done consciously to develop the newer players, that they learn from their senior players. Putting all our energy and efforts into the seniors alone will leave us only with one team. Supergirls is not about winning, it’s more than that. It’s about giving opportunity, even if it means, we might lose” he explained his earlier three words.

He shared with me pictures of what happened when I wasn’t there and from these pictures I can see, he made the right choice. These girls didn’t care they didn’t win the champion trophy. They were happy with their third and forth placing. My girls couldn’t stop talking about the fun they had playing against their own teammates for the 3rd spot.

“Can’t wait for our next tournament ma!” my daughter cheered gleefully

That’s what really matters. What say you?

IMG-20170520-WA0005
Both teams lost at the semis and now play each other for 3rd. Look on the Ref was priceless
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Supergirls chilling out with the opponents who beat them at the Semis. Some of them are ex-Supergirls. This is what Supergirls are all about
My tweens were very amused with their medal. Check it out …‘Footballs Day’ doesn’t seem right

 

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To be in the moment

VIP seat at Camp Nou, Catalonia Spain. Also experienced the media room and the tunnel players walk through before match.

Firstly I am amazed at how far my first born has made it in her footie adventure. When they first joined this amazing all girls football team, never in a million years did my daughters, my husband or I ever dreamt of it giving us such a wonderful experience.

It was May 2015, one bright sunny evening. My husband and I nervously approached some moms and dads at the USJ 4 field. It was hard to get their attention because they were busy laying out food for their Vasakhi potluck party, which later we learned is something these crazy awesome bunch of volunteers from the Subang Jaya Community Sports Club (SJCSC), love doing.

Many were dressed in fine Punjabi suits and the men, wore their favourite Kurtis. Some non Punjabis even donned on the turbans. How cool was that?

I was in my old tattered jeans (one of my few favourite posession which I had been wearing for over a decade) and my husband in his usual loose football shorts and oversized sandals. Both my girls begged us to turn back because they too felt out of place. I’m glad my husband, a football lover, did what he does best when it comes to football, he walked right up and asked if my girls could join them. The rest is history.

It took a lot dedication and we had to give up our bum lifestyles; which was spending the whole weekend cooped up in our house watching television.

Every weekend we were would drag ourselves out of the house and onto the field for football training. During tournament season, it was mapping KL roads. Going to places we would normally never go and spending our whole morning and afternoon at these tournaments.

Most of these tournaments would start about 7.30 (we meet early to warm up together) and end about 2 pm if we are lucky but usually can last until 3 or 4 pm.

 

SEE ALSO: Their first tournament

Every weekend there is football, if it’s not a tournament then it would be training. As tough as it sounds, it is a lot of fun too.

It’s lovely to see these girls, ages between 5 to 13 years old meet up and train. It’s not just about football, it’s more than that. Although they meet only once a week but the connection between them is good. They always seemed eager to train, which is a positive attitude.

We are lucky to have such a dedicated team coordinator and awesome team committee. These people not only jive well with each other but are genuinely interested in helping girls in their football journey.

They get them into tournaments so it would give these girls the confidence they need. Even if it means joining all boys tournaments and playing against all boys teams because football is still, a male dominated sport.

But luckily Astro Kasih saw the gap and decided to give equal opportunity to young girls, and a footing in football. They are helping both young girls and boys by giving them a invaluable experience.

And that’s how my daughter ended up in Barcelona, Spain for a 10 day overseas football training camp at FCB Escola.

It’s brilliant what she is experiencing at this moment. Would there be more opportunities for girls in football? We and many parents have our fingers crossed.

But for time being, we are just taking one step at a time and enjoying her journey. Hoping she would be able to do more when she returns and help others along the way.

With Dani Alves at a beach in Barcelona

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Chicknappers

After a wonderful Chinese New Year reunion dinner and the massive clean up afterwards, we rewarded ourselves with a retreat in the woods. Just an hour’s drive from home to Sungai Congkak, Kajang. I rephrase; an hour without the KL notorious traffic. It was a risk worth taking because of the bank holidays and weekend all nicely lined up, making sure many of the city dwellers would have seized this opportunity to travel outstation.

I have never seen KL roads or city this deserted. When we arrived at our destination, even that wasn’t crowded.

We found a nice snugly spot underneath some bushy trees which gave just the right amount of shade from the bright morning sun and just a couple feet away from the stream.

The stream was calm and shallow. It’s flowing water, gently smacking against big boulders in its way, emitted a nice lullaby for a power nap. Ahhh, the comfort of an uninterrupted nap for an overly worked stay-at-home-mom was just minutes away.

All I had to do was get everyone excited to jump in the stream for a splash with their godmother. For once, I was able to just shut my eyes and listen to the surrounding without anyone forcibly opening my eyelids or whispering into my ears “are you up mom?”, like an alarm clock. 

It didn’t matter I had to lay down on a thin sheet instead of my nice comfy bed. It was simply amazing soaking up the surrounding. I just let myself go, to be part of my surrounding with no fear or an iota of doubt, of my children’s safety.


I heard five different types of bird chirping, the buzzing of insects and the laughter of children, playing in the stream. But all this except for the laughter disappeared once I opened my eyes. I shut my eyes again and heard more new sound’s of nature. 

It was such an amazing experience. I did so little but that bit of doing nothing and being in a place where nothing mattered, was wonderful. There was no clock to beat or task to be achieved. It was just me learning to let go, chill and relax. 

I was in such a zen mood, even during our drive back home. There was not a single complaint heard from the back of my car. Everyone seemed contended having spent such a lovely time at the stream.

I was too mellow and all zened up to think that my kids were up to something when they were awfully quiet on my drive back from the picnic at the stream.

With kids, I have learned one thing, when they’re awfully quiet, they’re up to no good.

Everything was fine right up to the point when we arrived at my friend’s house. 

All Zen instantly flushed out of me when I saw my girls holding a chick in the back seat. They had kidnapped a chick from a free range hen at the stream. They wanted to keep it as a pet and dared not ask me because they knew I would have disapproved. 

They were damn right about that! I mean seriously, raising a chick in an urban area? Is that even possible?! My face must have been so crossed, I’ve seen me when I’m not happy and it ain’t pretty, my tween loosened her grip and the chick jumped straight into a monsoon drain. That just made matters worse. 

Luckily it was reunited with its mother, unharmed, but my girls got labelled as chicknappers. A deserving nickname after all the trouble they put their godparents through in reuniting the chick with its mother. 

Another beautiful lesson learned in my crappy parenting chronicles, don’t lose your top because nothing good comes from it. It will only make matters worse.

What I should have done was mask my face and kept it devoid of any emotions, especially signs of anger and disappointment. 

Perhaps my tween would have handed the chick over and a good discussion with them could have spared us the need to climb down to the drain and rescuing the extremely stressed chick.

After analysing my own failure, failures would be a more accurate terminology for a repeat offender, I’m worried sick because my coping mechanism aren’t working well. They definitely aren’t in sync with good parenting. I’m struggling already with the challenges these little brats bring abreast, how would I react when they screw up big time. 

Do they trust me enough to confide in me? I really do hope so and want them to come to me or my husband (whom by the way seems to be doing pretty good at this parenting stuff) if they ever get into any trouble. Would they come to me for advice? 

Would I want to speak to me? Looking in the mirror, I’m leaning towards a most probably not. So I better learn to let go and chill a little more.

How do you do it? How do you keep your calm and don’t go ballistic when they start pushing all your buttons, not one at a time, but altogether, at once?

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Breakfast for champions

My kids are back, in one piece, still coherent and as annoying as they were when the left for a five days advance football training camp with FCBEscola’s Barca coaches.

I was prepared and had cleared my hard drive to download the massive information overload I was about to get on their time away but to my surprise, all they wanted was sleep. They hit the snooze button the moment they got into the car. Supposed they deserved it. Regardless of the result, these two are already champions in my eyes.

I’m awed by their resilience. They attended each training session despite being sick. My husband had the same bug and he wasn’t doing too well fighting it. All he wanted was to lay in bed, under a blanket the whole day. So I was worried sick how my girls were taking care of themselves. My only assurance was them checking their own temperature and calling in to report. They had to medicate themselves and stay hydrated to keep it under control because they were determined not to let being sick come in their way.

So they deserved the snooze and slept through the drive home. Got up for a quick lunch and continued sleeping soundly until late evening. Even my heroic Bahadur (pet dog) joined them for a snooze.

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To celebrate their willpower and determination, we went out to a nice cozy restaurant for dinner. Some life came back and they were eager to share with us all the drills and exciting things that happened at the Astro Kem Bola.

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Showing me how she fell when a ball went straight to her stomach at the camp.

They even managed to go to bed, easily, after dinner. Which is a big deal because usually if they take a nap during the day, they would beg to stay up late and watch comedies on tele with us.

It’s 10am, the next day and they’re still asleep! But looking so peaceful and comfortable in their beds. It is hard to wake someone like that. I had to come up with plan B, an intervention was needed.

In the past, they would rush down for their favourite American breakfast and  that was exactly what I did. I knew the smell of freshly baked pancakes and the aroma of fried greasy bacon would slowly but surely wake them.

Their favourite breakfast; fluffy American style pancakes, bacon and premium German pepper sausages.

To make these pancakes you’ll need; (allrecipes.com)

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • cooking oil/spray

Start off by mixing vinegar with mix, give it a good stir and let it sit for 5 minutes or until the milk starts to curdle. Meanwhile, mix the flour, sugar baking powder & soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add egg and melted butter into the milk and give it a good stir. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and still gently with a fork, don’t overbeat it as that may cause you to loose all the bubbles from the mixture.

Heat a non stick pan, grease it and pour one ladle of pancake batter (we like thin pancakes but for thicker pancakes, use either a small pan or a bigger ladle). Wait for tiny holes to appear the pancake before flipping it over (this usually takes just a couple of minutes). Keep the pancake light golden and serve it with loads of maple syrup, topped with fresh cream and fruits.

We were so hungry and completely forgot to snap some pictures of the pancake stack. This was the last remaining piece, I know the picture doesn’t do any justice to it but trust me, this is a killer recipe. One you must try. Your kids will love you for it.

You could also double up the recipe and keep any leftover pancakes as school snack. Cling wrap them and just pop it into the microwave for a 10-20 seconds and they would taste as good as freshly baked. You can keep them in the refrigerator for 3 days.

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Tiny bubbles all over the pancakes

 

Bon appetit!!

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Knowing and doing are two different things

A boy, the age of my second daughter,

with the same sparkle in his eyes, the same laugh, the same smile,

sat next to me on the train.

He was loud and so friendly.

He wasn’t lost nor was he a beggar.

But he was alone, in the train and perhaps in this world.

Not a care in the world but with that smile and laugh.

 

My husband shared how he met a young boy, who looked and behaved exactly like my daughter, on his way to work. At a time when most children are already in school or on their way to school but this boy wasn’t going to school. He was just where he wanted to be, on a train.

We always thought, we would know how to handle such situation. How we would talk and iron things out if we ever came across a lonely child but in reality it is much harder to do.

This boy, although clearly looked and fit the profile of a homeless person was simply different. He just wanted to talk. He was heading some where. He didn’t want cash, he just wanted to talk. He was eager to talk to all the passengers on the train. He wasn’t rude, he was just excited. He wanted to share his story.

Many ignored him. Steered away from him because he smelled and he was dirty. The boy found an empty seat next to my husband and sat there, but he asked permission before sitting.

My husband described to me what happened in that 10 minutes. How the boy spoke in Hindi to my husband, thinking that he would understand, because technically my husband should have but unfortunately that’s one language he did not pick up whilst growing up. So much of what the boy said didn’t make sense to him. But he listened and from the boy’s gestures and enthusiasm, he knew the boy wasn’t talking about his troubles. He was just excited to share his story with someone. Like how my kids share their stories because every little detail in a child’s life is very important.

But he forgot to do what we always thought we would do in such situation. He forgot to ask the boy where was he going, why did he look like he hadn’t showered for a couple of days, if he needed some cash or if he needed to call someone? But all that did not cross his mind as he watched the boy talking and when his stop arrived, he just got up and left, like he has been doing for so long.

He only realised all that he had not done and should have done, only after he sat down for breakfast. Feeling so awful and playing the whole scene over and over in his head, thinking how or what he should have done differently. How he should have handed out his jacket to the boy because he looked so cold in the train, how he should have given him some cash even if the boy didn’t ask for any or how he should have hugged the boy though he did not have the guts to do it when he felt like because he looked so much like our daughter. So many regrets and an opportunity gone to show the boy and many on the train how one must treat a child, no matter how or what the child may be like.

But what was even more sad was the way, no one in the train wanted to look at him. Not wanting to make eye contact with him so that they would have had to deal with him.

That got me sad and thinking, if ever my child is lost and gets filthy or dirt on her clothes and starts smelling, no one would want to help her. No one would offer to ask her if she was alright. Everyone, even those who think they would have, might just forget to do the right thing at the right time.

Blessed are those souls who are able to respond in real time and handle such situation so accurately. They are definitely made up of something so special. Ingredients and compositions that gives them the ability to react so differently than most you and I.

I am compassionate but I am judgmental too, a little too judgmental. Sitting in the comfort of my house it was easy for me to tell my husband, I think he should have done this and that but would I have done the right thing if it was me on that train? I don’t know what is right or wrong but I do know, ignoring a child who wanted to speak is so wrong.

Hypothetically speaking I would have aced this situation but in real time, with so many others reacting in a certain way, would I have reacted differently;

Would I have had the guts to embrace him, skip work and travel with him to where he wanted to be?

Would I have actually said “sorry boss, can’t come to work today because I have a lost boy who needs me more”?

Would I have dared enter a restaurant with all eyes on us and sat there eating together?

Would I dare follow him to wherever he needed to go and see whom he was meeting?

What would you have done?

Remember, thinking that you know what to do and to actually be doing it are two different things.

forsaken-1273885_640 

 

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