Saturday, June 30, 2018

Being Bubu

Lately I've been thinking about parenting styles. Eversince I wanted I child I promised myself to be a good mother. An ideal one to be precise. You know... The kind who never scold & yell but give encouragements instead. The kind who is not spoiling the child by giving her everything that she wants. The kind who will only give the child the things that she deserves. The kind who makes a list of must-dos & must-don'ts & make damn sure that the kid follows them all. You know... A too-good-to-be-true kind of mother. For example... I want Kukka to know that if she makes a mistake, she has to realize it & apologize. I don't want to be the kind of mother who thinks that her child is always right. That if something is wrong, it must be the other's side's fault. Or even worse, I don't want my child to realize that she makes a mistake & doesn't even WANT to apologize. But of course there's no such thing as an ideal parent.

The older Kukka gets, the more I realize how hard being a mother can be. Sure. Most of the times we get along very well. For example Hubster & I always make sure that Kukka greets everybody & says thank you. Like every morning when Kukka meets our housecrew she would say "Selamat pagi Mba Dewi. Selamat pagi Mas Ari." She also says "Tolong" & "Terima kasih". Alhamdulillah she does all those things just like we taught her to do. Kukka almost always asks for permission. Even if it's just whether she's allowed to eat Nutella sandwich or drink milk between meal times. Or if she's allowed to hear music while doing her homework. Kukka goes to bed at 8pm, accompanied by me until 10pm with the lights off. If it's passed 10pm & Kukka is still jumping around, I leave her to sleep by herself. She doesn't whine or worse, cry. Sometimes Kukka just asks whether she's allowed to turn the lights on or not. After she finishes her meal, Kukka cleans up our dining table & picks up the scattered food on the floor. Before putting the dirty dishes on the sink, she throws the left-over in the trash bin outside.

Kukka loves to ask questions & I try to answer them...age-appropriately. If I don't have the answer, I ask Kukka to give me some time to find out. We share lots of stories before bedtime like my mom & I used to do. Kukka's idea of bedtime stories are about my childhood and lately it becomes more like a Q&A session. It can be about anything. Starting from love like my ex boyfriends or how I met her beloved Bapa to "Bubu, have you ever wondered why some things are satisfying & some don't?".  Or "Bubu, what happens if Donald Trump & Hitler teamed up?". Kukka is also curious about religion. One time she asked me if it's true that there's absolutely nothing that can kill ALLAH SWT. So yeah...  Parenting is difficult & I'm trying to be the best kind of mother that Kukka deserves. 

But of course now that she's getting older, things are getting tougher. Especially when it involves school stuff. Good god! I think 80% there are yelling, screaming even tears involve when it comes to homeworks! "I don't know." & "I don't remember." Everytime I hear those sentences I feel like pulling out my hair! One time things got very dramatic, Kukka cried & screamed "You don't love me anymore!!!" I must admit it was a pretty dilemmatic situation. I wanted to cry but also laughed my butt off when I heard Kukka said that. I mean... Seriously?????? :))) Anyways, as for punishment, the worse I can give to Kukka is no game time. This is like the end of the world for Kukka. One time she said "I'm sitting in sadness." I think it was because she wasn't allowed to play game before she does her Kumon sheets & Bahasa Indonesia. Yes. I can be tough like that. Meanwhile her Bapa can ruin everything by bending the rules. That's why lately Kukka loves to go out with Bapa even when he's actually working.

I don't know about you, other mothers. But lately I feel like I'm the bad guy here. I'm the one who say NO. I'm the one who say it's bathtime, it's bedtime, it's homework time, it's no-tv time, it's Kumon time, it's Bahasa Indonesia time. I'm the one who is not fun. I'm the one who want only the best for my baby.

Yeah. I am the mother. :) 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Forty-Two In Bengkulu

A typical day at The Ica Lawendatus. No plan, no talk whatsoever. Suddenly Hubster said "Let's go to Bengkulu!" :)) So... We did! We spent June 21st - 25th in Bengkulu City. Hubster wanted to revisit his junior highschool memories, starting with staying at Grage Horizon Hotel. He said he used to go there with the whole family. Kukka was not very impressed though. Probably the only thing she loved about Bengkulu was the beach. It was like having the whole beach to ourselves. The saddest part about the beach is the trash. There were lots of trash on the sand and in the water. How can people be so careless I simply don't understand. But yes, mostly the beach is beautiful. Kukka enjoyed her time in Pantai Panjang. Me? I enjoyed our time in Bengkulu. Delicious food, tasty coffee, beautiful view, interesting language and accent. It was the heat that was too much. Honestly I didn't think that Bengkulu would be THAT hot! I must say I didn't pack the right clothes for it :D

There are many historical sites in Bengkulu. Too bad we couldn't visit all of them. I did make a list but I threw it away because I thought the trip was canceled. So when we did go, I mostly relied on Tripadvisor. Historical buildings, culinary must-tries, tourists sites, etc. And of course we also relied on Hubster's memories. We visited his house at Jl. Indragiri and his junior high school, SD Sint Carolus. My favorites must be the Rumah Pengasingan Bung Karno (Bung Karno's Seclusion House), Danau Dendam Tak Sudah (Neverending Grudge/Revenge Lake) and Fort Marlborough. 

At Rumah Pengasingan Bung Karno I felt kinda sad. Especially when I looked at his bed... And the whole house just feels so...lonely. Who knows how Bung Karno felt when he stayed there... And I must say I was quite impressed AND happy to see that the house is very well taken care of. Everything is clean. Nothing is smelly as you would expect in an old house. I didn't sneeze at all!!! That really is a good sign! :))

Fort Marlborough. The view is definitely nice. We were lucky it didn't rain. In fact it was quite hot. But the sky was blue and Kukka had fun. She was somewhat shocked when she saw the tombs of Charles Murray, Residen Thomas Parr and Robert Hamilton. She asked "There are dead persons in there?" :)) Meanwhile I was impressed with the cannonball. I didn't know that cannonball is THAT heavy!!! I also find Fort Marlborough to be somewhat... Exotic. I don't know... Somehow I felt like I was visiting an inca temple or something :))

Danau Dendam Tak Sudah or if you literally translate it: Neverending Revenge Lake. It is mesmerizing. The water is dark it almost "got" me. I mean... I kept looking at it, hoping to see something emerging out of the water. Like... A woman's arm pulling me to the water! Or creepy face quietly grinning at me!!! :))) I know it's stupid but yes. Danau Dendam Tak Sudah is definitely a must visit if you ever go to Bengkulu. I just wished I could spend more time there. Like maybe sitting by the lake, reading a book and drinking coffee. 

Let's see... What else is interesting in Bengkulu? ... Coffee! Ah yes! I can't write about Bengkulu without mentioning the coffee. I love the coffee!!! It's so delicious and fresh. Before we went home I made sure I bought a couple pack of local brands. Yes. I will enjoy cups of Bengkulu's coffee at home beside my favorite Liong Bulan. During our short stay in Bengkulu we already have a favorite cafe which served delicious coffee. It's called Bencoolen Coffee House. We kept coming back because it has delicious ice coffee. As for the pempek, we went to a couple of supposedly famous places. What interesting was the way they eat pempek. The sizes are small, no noodles and cucumber pieces. The pempek were small I HAD to order 6 pieces in 1 go. And yes. I finished them all and sipped the cuko until its last drop. Too bad I didn't buy and bring some to Jakarta... 

As for my birthday... I received lots of messages from my friends and families. This year I even received best wishes from people I didn't expect. The messages started to fill my inboxes since June 22nd, 00:00. Right that second I felt very grateful to be surrounded by kind people. I also got cuddly surprises from my loved ones :) I didn't expect it because... I don't know... I didn't expect much from this year's birthday. I didn't think or feel special. Maybe because it isn't... I don't know... This year feels different. I must say it's kind of sad. I used to think that birthday is a special day. That it's a day to celebrate with your loved ones. A day to spend...differently. But not anymore. And the saddest part about it is to think that Kukka will probably think and grow up thinking that birthdays are not special either. It might not a be big deal but I always think that being indifferent is sad. That some days, some events are worth to make fuss about. Even if it's silly. Why? 

Just because.