Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Housewife's Dilemma

That time of day arrives again when I have to ask that question. My mouth starts to pout, the wrinkly patterns appear on my chin and three deep lines suddenly appear in between my brows. A sure sign, observed my husband, that the grey matter is working a little extra behind my broad forehead. My steps will then start to lag and my shoulders start to slouch...

WHAT AM I GOING TO COOK TODAY? I'm not a chef! I was never trained to cook! What will likely tickle the tastebuds of my boys and my man today? Something soupy perhaps? Or maybe something spicy...

I admit I have always had an interest in cooking. But working full time before and having a maid and having my husband's parents around has made me neglect my interests in the kitchen. Not just in the kitchen actually, but basically about anything and everything to do with housework.

Eight months ago when I started on this quest of mine to become a first class homemaker, I realise I have even forgotten how to cook the main staple food: rice! My first few days, the rice turned all lumpy due to too much water. Then, I overly reduced the water: obviously, the rice became dry and not very easy for my young one to chew. Talk about lack of the 'experienced touch'. But then I improved. I must say practice does make perfect, and not just when cooking the rice. First few months passed and I have worn the few recipes that I know. It was curry, kurma, chicken sambal, chicken soup, spaghetti bolognese, lasagne and baked pasta. We reached the point where my husband told me that he'd rather not have blablabla today (and he never makes any complaints about my cooking!). And my children began to take small bites and declare that they're already full. And, to be truthful to myself, I was fed up of eating the same old stuff too. For consolation, my husband will always tell me that I'm such a good cook and I have mmm...a 'natural talent' for it. But still, 'don't you know any other way to cook the minced mutton?' (In London its not so easy to get any other types of halal meat of the minced variety.)

So I suppose that was when I started to try new recipes that I found from the internet and from friends and family back home. Suffice to say, it's been great, not too many culinary disasters for I have long known that almost all disasters can be salvaged unless, it is totally black and dried up of all liquid. But I have still very far to go before I look calm and serene every time I have to start preparing lunch and dinner instead of the current screwed up face which indicates the worry and 'deep' thought. I will, I think, share some of the good recipes and successes I have had in my kitchen with you from time to time, simply because I feel good recipes and good tips must never be hidden away deep in your granny's grave. Not that I'm a professional at this, mind. Just a housewife with dreams once in a while to become a supermom, but most of the time, just a normal tired mom trying to survive the day...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

When's the captain coming back from work?

Another day of failed attempts to teach my younger son to do his business in the toilet. Today, instead of the normal announcement of his need AFTER he has already done it in his nappies, he informed me before doing so but when he was seated fairly uncomfortably(I think) on the toilet seat, he started to wriggle and squiggle until he lost his own patience to do it and came to the conclusion that he doesn't like to do it on the toilet: "I don't like it! I don't like it!" Well, now I'm really in trouble.

Why do children like to repeat what they say anyway? They repeat and repeat until you feel like screaming bloody murder and then you become exactly like them: "Yes! Yes! Yes! I heard you the first time! I heard you the first time!" The other mothers tell me that the children just want my attention but what if this happens when I am actually sitting down with them and talking to them or teaching them something and giving them my FULL attention? I do not understand it. I just do not understand it. Very complex these wee people are, compared to we, the big people.

My eldest is ever the attention seeker. He repeats and repeats to get my attention and when he gets it, he starts to act up. He cries harder when I try to console him over something he's upset about and when I finally give up, he starts to sulk. Wow..I'm feeling stressed about it all over again even as I'm typing about it! This just shows how helpless I feel when I'm around these kids. One can't be too lenient and I don't want to be too strict. You have to make tough decisions everyday and I dread to see that day when I suddenly realise that that particular decision I made a long time ago was a horrible, horrible mistake. I wish I can see beforehand how each decision will affect them in the future so that I can think it over and plan my actions. I wish life is like an adventure game book I read a long time ago when I was young, so I can cheat and peep at pages beforehand to stay alive and to make the right decisions to solve the problem.
I wish...

Nevermind. I have been told again and again that in a life such as mine; as a housewife with young children like mine, you sometimes need to just sail in your boat slowly, taking one day at a time, not caring too much about those jutting rocks and simply braving those storms, true, wrecking your boat a bit here and there on the way, and praying hard you will reach your destination. Just never give up, stay strong and pray that the captain of the ship knows what he's doing and that he's gonna help you bail out the water. Fortunately for me, I have a good 'captain' at the helm to stir this wreck of a boat! Looking at my children right now, jumping up and down as their father returns from work, all I can say is that to those women out there who are captain of their own boat and mother to their children, I salute you.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The beginning..

So, this is my first post. I've never had a blog before and I have yet to decide what I am going to write in this thing but I will strive to entertain myself by putting my most inner thoughts and feelings onto this screen just so that I will remember them and perhaps that fleeting brilliance in my brain will not just disappear :) Not that I feel that that occurs often, mind. It's just that sometimes, when I'm alone in the kitchen washing the dishes while my eldest son is at school (he's 4 years old and attends reception class) and my youngest son is watching TV in the living room, I think of so many many different things that I feel perhaps, I should write them down somewhere... just so that i can organise them and retain some semblance of my old self, not the dirty-aproned, spatula-wielding mistress and slave of my own home that I am now.

Well, I have decided that this is the place for me to write these thoughts and nobody can suffer them but for my husband who I will undoubtedly force to read these writings. For the rest of you people of the earth who have access to the internet and currently reading this...feel free to move your cursor to the address bar to visit another more interesting dwelling. Adios.