Sunday, December 28, 2008


A tribute to the little girl who seemingly got me thinking that kids are actually fun to have around sometimes.

Since my younger days, my mum was almost convinced that I have pedophobia. I always gave excuses or even refused to leave my room just so that I won't have to play with any young kids who came by.

And till' now, I never carry babies. Infants, especially. Carrying toddlers will be a rare moment. That has to change, doesn't it...?

Maybe it's because I'm the youngest child? Or that I'm hardly around kids?

Excuses... I know.


lil' Salsabilla

Little Salsabilla hail from Belakang Padang, a little island that's 10mins boat ride away from Batam.

This little firecracker, who's a tad on the tomboyish side, loves the power rangers, riding bicycles and singing (albeit only songs that are sung by MALE singers or bands only).

And yet she loves the colour pink.

This is the little girl who surprised her own mum with her hearty appetite during her stay here. Apparently, she hardly eat (especially rice) back home. And yet, here, she actually finished the plate of rice that that's meant for her mum. Just put some fried chicken or fried egg and she'll be fine.

She eats rice THREE times a day, over here.

So excited was her mum that she called her husband to tell him this news and he himself was surprised. My mum believe that it's due to the much better quality Thai fragrant rice that we use here.

One time, we brought her to Hj. Maimunah Restaurant and my mum put some siput sedut/balitong (stewed snails) on her plate. She had looked at the little shells apprehensively but on seeing how the rest of us had enjoyed sucking on them, she gingerly picked one up and did similarly.

So that was her first time trying it and she actually finished almost half a bowl of them! Needless to say, this proved to be yet another surprise for the mum.

my bro carrying her on his shoulders (that's a cute batik dress!)

Her favourite moment, I believe, must be when she got to play a game of rough & tumble with my bro, on his day off.

She threw really strong punches & kicks. My bro had used his slippers for protection as she threw punches at him and he remarked that he can actually feel the punches THROUGH that brand-new slippers.

One time, I instinctively raised a frying pan to protect myself. Instead of holding back, she actually went on to punch that FRYING PAN! Continuously. And she didn't even flinch!

Like the Malay saying, 'Tulang besi, Urat dawai' (Bones & veins made of steel).

Salsabilla & her mum

This poor girl was much ignored by her elder sister and her bro only like picking fights with her, back home. Her time was mostly spent playing with other boys in the neighbourhood (I don't know what happened to the other girls).

She tried playing with the girl triplets next door but she was initially shy because she thought them to be 3 boys. My bro let on that they are actually girls and that got her to gleefully exert her aggression on them, thus scaring them away. 1 against 3, ok?

And yet, here, there's only her mum and my mum to keep her company when the rest of us were out at work.

It's such a pleasant feeling when I came home from work and she'll be at the door, joyously greeting me. Even though she'll then start throwing little punches or kicks here and there, I let her be, knowing that it's just her way of getting my attention.

It just so happened tat I took leave on the 23rd to go shopping with MOH and utilised that morning to bring her out to Bedok. I amused me to bits, seeing her delight when taking the double-decker bus, as she stood throughout the whole journey, on the upper-deck, at the very front.

Seeing the awe in her eyes and the joy in her voice, I realised just how much I've taken all these things like MRT, buses and other amenities for granted.

My dad had promised to bring her on the ferris-wheel ride at Downtown East, for I had driven past it one night and she was much taken in by the lighting at E! Hub. I myself had promised to bring her for some cycling at East Coast Park.

Due to time and weather constraints, we were unable to do so. Besides, her mum was very much prone to motion sickness. And she seemed allergic to air-conditioning, too.

A short ride in the car will have her doing the merlion into a plastic bag soon after. Doesn't help that it's midday and there's no way that I'll open the car windows instead.

..when watching horror movies

One thing I don't understand about this girl was how she loved to pester us to turn on horror movies on the DVD player. Her favourite would have been the 'Pochong' (ghost in white shroud)series.

And yet, she'll then get into a fetal position, covering her whole head with a cushion. And it won't be long before she doze off into la-la land. This happened EVERYTIME she got us to watch a horror DVD.

My mum eventually figure something out and will turn on any horror movie to get her to sleep early so that we can enjoy watching our regular tv programs in peace.

Despite her being my niece, she insisted on calling me, 'Mbak' (elder sister). Hearing her mum calling my parents, 'Pak & Mak Deh' (elder uncle & aunt), she proceed to call them the same manner, when they are supposed to be her 'Yayi & Nyayi' (grand uncle & aunt) instead.

I tried to brainwash her into calling my bro 'Paman' (uncle). It worked initially. However, when she heard me calling him, 'Abang' (elder brother), she proceed to call him the same way.

Is that really frustrating or what??!

Bright, definitely stubborn and really straight-forward, she won't hesitate to correct you (albeit a tad bluntly). Despite her age, she's a proud kid and she loved to admonish other kids in the playground, saying, "Aku dah jagoh ini semua!" (I'm a champion in all this!).

Sometimes she does act too smart for my liking... Heh.

I don't know if she missed her dad, her friends or her home. Or that her mum kept getting sick. But she finally decided to return on x'mas eve (yes, she had the final say). We coaxed her into agreeing to return on x'mas instead, for that's when my dad & I aren't working.

at VivoCity rooftop sky park

We convinced her to go into the pool (to make up for all that unfulfilled promises) and she in turn, convinced me to frolic in there with her.

Very shiok, but it's darn cold! Did you see us wearing jackets there?! Brrr...

That was taken while we waited for her departure time that morning. Thankfully, the sky park was very much accessible from the newly relocated ferry ticketing area on the 3rd storey.

There's no way I'm gonna risk making her mum sick by staying in the air-conditioned building.

Seeing the both of them walking down the gangway into the ferry, I can't help feeling a little sad...

I suddenly had this thought, "Maybe that's what it feels like, to have a little sister..."

.... man, I'm starting to miss her already...

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