Toddler Gymnastics

Lately, E has been causing me heart-stopping moments, when he climbs the sofa and other furniture, runs speedily on the marble floor or standing with one leg on one chair and another leg on another chair of the dining table or just dangling from the dining table by balancing from his chest. The two of them also liked to jump on the bed....and I had visions of them losing their balance and falling down or knocking against the wall. Thus, I thought a toddler gymnastics class would be good for them. I didn't want them to grow up in an environment, where I said "No" to all those climbing and balancing. I think that climbing and balancing is good for them, provided it is done in a proper place with padded floor and is supervised. In my mind, I was thinking, "How did people get to be gymnasts, if their mothers kept saying "don't jump, run, climb, etc, or you'll fall". I don't they'd gone that far if they were brought up with that belief.

Not expecting to find anything, I googled it up to see if there are any near our area. It was a pleasant surprise that there was such a class, and a new branch of Fly Kidz just opened last month in Kota Damansara, which was about 15 minutes away from where we lived. As an opening promotion, they had a free trial class.

I brought the boys for a trial class....and they enjoyed it. So, I've signed them up for the remainder of this term. They both have to be in different classes due to their ages. After the class, they were tired, and fell asleep in the car. They were also more subdued at home, and played together quietly for several hours (which is rare). I think their excess energy were beneficially used up during the class.

Melaka River Cruise

Entrance to the Melaka River Cruise
We went for a 45 minute cruise on the Melaka River to give the boys the experience of sitting in a boat. Before I went to Melaka, I had called up the office and asked about the cruise. I also enquired whether we would be given safety life jackets to wear. I was assured by the girl who answered that there would be life jackets provided, and that the life jackets were kept under the chair. I enquired about children life jackets, and she said that they were provided. However, when we were aboard the boat already and I asked about the life jacket from the boat driver, he said that there would be no need to wear a life jacket, as this is a river and there are be no waves. My heart sank. I was concerned and looked around for a life jacket, but there were none. We were already in the boat and it was too late to revert.

Throughout the journey, I was praying that the ride would be fine. On the way, we met passing boats returning from their cruise. Those boats also created waves, and our boat had to slow down and not to go too near to the other boat. I was worried what if due to some malfunction of the engine or some fluke accident, they crashed into each other and the boat went overboard? It would be too late to open the seats and get the life jackets out then. These are our lives and our children's lives. As we went on, I was able to relax well enough to enjoy the ride. The cruise went relatively well, but E wouldn't sit still and wanted to walk around and climb on the seats. I had to hold on to him and he resisted being held onto and started whining.

I still feel that life jackets should be provided on the cruise, for people who choose to wear them, since this is a water based activity and human lives shouldn't be compromised.

We stopped awhile to observe 2 monitor lizards, one swimming and one on a tree.

Murals painted on the walls of buildings


The boy who wouldn't sit still.

Around Melaka on a bus

When we were recently in Melaka, we brought the children to sit on the Panorama bus, which went around Melaka. They have never sat in other vehicles other than a car, so they felt very excited to get to sit on a bus. We parked at the car park in front of the construction of a new hotel, in Taman Kota  Laksamana. It was RM3 per entry. Then we walked passed OCBC bank and across the bridge towards Malacca tourism outlet.
We took some pictures at the new "fort" with canons.

Standing in front of an ancient crane. 
The boys just wouldn't stay still and started jumping up and down when I tried to snap their picture. the Malacca Clock Tower and Stadhuys building - the red buildings. The boys were very excited.  They wanted to go aboard the bus immediately. We then crossed the road and headed towards the  the Malacca Clock Tower and Stadhuys building - the red buildings, which is the location for the bus stop. 

While waiting for the bus, this fire engine passed by blaring its siren. 
S loves fire engines. I snapped this photo so that I can later on refer on how a fire engine in Malaysia looks like when teaching him to draw. 

The Panorama bus was very slow in arriving. I think it took a good 30 minutes of waiting before it arrived. Most of the foreign visitors went aboard a normal non-airconditioned bus. While waiting a trishaw puller asked us if we would like to use his trishaw services. Most of them carried laminated A4 sized posters of places of attraction and pointed to the pictures, in order to communicate with tourists more effectively. 

On the bus at last!
We paid RM2 each for the adults. We were taken right up to Ujong Pasir, and then back through Melaka Raya and then towards Melaka Sentral Bus Station. It stopped at Melaka Sentral where everyone else alighted and new people got on board. The whole journey took us 1 hour and I was pretty surprised that the boys could sit still for that long. S asked why the bus wheels were squeaky and why the ride was bumpy. He observed more of the things inside the bus than outside.  

I was quite impressed with the comfortable environment in the Panorama bus. It was air-conditioned and relatively new, very different from those non-air conditioned old buses spewing black diesel smelling fumes going around Melaka. This Panorama bus had large windows, so we had a great view. It reminded me of the bus that I sat in Australia. What was missing was the announcement of places, so passengers onboard would need to know where they are. The cleanliness could do with some improvement though, although I guess it's still acceptable for Malaysian standards. I felt that they should have a proper schedule and adhere to their schedule.    

Having not sat in a bus for more than 2 decades, this bus ride showed me things that I've never noticed before in Melaka as the vantage point is different from being in a bus and in a car. It also relieved my childhood memories, as the bus passed by my old Convent school and to places that I've not been for a long time. The Panorama bus is red in colour, but I forgot to take a photo of the outside of the bus. 

Wearing socks

Lately, S & E are going into pretend play and went through my drawers of clothes. This time, they took out their socks and wanted to wear the socks by themselves. S was nearly able to wear the socks on his own but struggled a little with the second sock. The socks were a little tight, and required some adult help.

"Look at me mum!"

E starting on his second sock. 

Finally, S managed to complete his task and started to help E. 
"Here, let me give you a hand"

Where's the Klebang Beach?

I brought the kids to Klebang Beach the other day. The last time we were there was when S was less than a year old. We were surprised that the beach wasn't there anymore. I thought that I was a different place, but I recognised the playground structures, so it had to be the correct place.

What happened was that the beach was reclaimed to build Melaka Gold Coast. There was a road leading into the reclaimed area, formerly the sea. There were a few cars there and just a handful of people standing and looking at the sea. We drove in, parked our car there and alighted. I wanted to get the boys to play under the sunlight, in order to strengthen their immune system as S had a persistent cough. However, the sky was cloudy.

Making sandcastles

I tried making an octopus from the sand, but S kept "smashing" it up for fun and so I gave up. He wanted to make a racetrack. We later on removed our slippers and stood on the sand to "connect" to the earth and absorb the "qi" from the sand. E, who earlier on wouldn't remove his shoes and socks joined in barefooted. Then they went stomping on the sand, leaving their footprints in the sand. Just as we were about the leave the place, the sun came out.

Bee Museum, Melaka

Recently, when I asked S to smell the sweet smelling ginger lily in our garden, he replied that he didn't want to smell the flowers as he was afraid that the bees would chase him. I believed that he was influenced after reading Winnie-the-Pooh books, where Pooh and Christopher Robin got chased by bees. He also didn't like to drink honey drink, although E loves the drink.

I told S that he need not be afraid of bees, but he was adamant that they would come and sting him. I wondered how to reframe his thinking and I recalled that there was a Bee Museum in Melaka. Thus, when we went down to Melaka on 27 August, I brought the kids to the Bee Museum.

We were greeted by 2 large bees, and the priorietor who largely spoke mandarin. 

Different types of beehives for different bees

A large beehive
Various beehives

After a short tour of the place, we were invited to drink some honey. There were various types of honey. I took some propolis and mixed it with water and gave S to drink, as the signage claimed that propolis could help with cough. This was the first time that S drank honey drink, as he always rejects them at home. After that, I bought a bottle of Propolis honey and mixed some for him to drink to help him with his cough. 

After that visit, S said that he was not scared of bees anymore (whew!) and he wanted to smell the flowers in our garden. (Actually those bees on display were not alive)

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