Dad keeps his promise.

Dad took me to the zoo. He kept his promise. I told him “I feel better”. He laughed  and apologized at the same time. The night before I looked for my zebra print tee-shirt and carefully hung it beside my bed. In the morning I watched the clock. At 9 a.m sharp I tell Dad to stop work or we’ll be late. Mum and cousin Kak Lin also came along. From the moment we parked we could hear the siamang (gibbon) making their unique, loud territorial sounds. I joined in. Mum went to buy tickets and realized that she if she had brought along my OKU (orang kurang upaya) card I could have entered for free. She doesn’t ever carry that card with her because she doesn’t like a reminder of what my ‘label’ is. Kak Lin took charge of the camera and diligently photographed any animal that I got excited about… which was pretty much all of them. I was like a kid in a candy store.

It’s odd that normal folks don’t know the most basic thing about animals. I mean our conversation would be something like this;

Kak Lin: ” look a llama”. Me: “NO, its a guanaco”. Kak Lin:”huh? what’s a guanaco?”  Me: Sigh . . .

Mum: “there’s a wallaby”. Me: “NO, its a pademelon”. Mum: “a whaat?” Me: “Pade…melon, a kind of wallaby”

Then they (except Dad) would go to the info board to check if I was right. Dad says why bother, I’m always right about animals. After awhile they stopped naming the animals and just asked me to identify them (while they took quick sneaks at the info board). Oh by the way, I can also mimic the animal sounds. How good am I? Good enough to make Kak Lin’s mouth gape open in amazement. Mum makes me watch the camels. She stresses ‘See how the camel chews its food?’ I replied ‘Yes but the real name is dromedary. It has only one hump”. Mum glares. I’m missing the point. Viewing the tiger, puma, lion and leopard was exciting alright but I spent the most amount of time watching the deers. Mum doesn’t understand what it is about them that appeals to me so much.

Check out the photo below of me ‘petting’ a giraffe. We had burgers for lunch at The Wild Restaurant and made a stop at the souvenir shop before we left. Kak Lin asked me to chose something. I chose a Zoo Negara mug with pictures of apes. Thanks! As we got into the car I realized that we had missed the Aquarium and told Dad “Please come again”. He said “We’ll see”. I don’t know what that means so I ask a bit too anxiously . . . .When? . . . . .When? (again). Mum makes a disgruntled sound. I stop. I know what THAT sound means. It means to stop pestering before I ruin a perfectly good day. I do this a lot apparently without realizing it.

However, as I get older I learn to check myself before I cross that threshold of no return – the point where I exhaust my mother’s patience and she issues me a final warning to STOP or I will not (do/go/have) whatever-it-is again for a long time. One thing I can tell you about Mum. She does what she says and she says what she does. It’s this no-nonsense firmness that has taught me discipline. In the early days I threw tantrums and rolled on the floor if I did not get my way. She would physically drag me away while people watched, shaking their heads amidst whispers of what a bad mother she is. Some say she’s too harsh. Mum calls it hard love. It’s the strongest kind of love there is.

*P.S Mum says she doesn’t want to be the mother that’s always searching for the child who’s constantly wandering off or having to coax a child to go to sleep every single night. I stick by Mum’s side (except that time I got lost at Animal Kingdom, Orlando) and I have slept on my own since I was three years old, at a regular time. How did she manage this? Ok this surely requires a new post.

Imagine petting a giraffe. A reticulated giraffe to be exact.

Having a good time at the Savannah

9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by manana on August 3, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Dearest Haziq, i can see from the pix you really ‘feel better’. Wondeful mum and dad u have.. and kak lin too.


  2. Posted by Laila on August 3, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Shimah, I always enjoy reading your blog…so proud of you, dear


  3. Posted by jenny on August 3, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Hi Haziq, its wonderful reading your blog……. Your mom must be real proud of you……. Aunty Jenny hopes to meet you some day.
    Hi Shima, you are doing a swell job…. i salute you…. God bless you, my dear sister!


  4. salam haziq,

    my mum knows your mum. she told me about your blog. i like it very much. you are so clever with the animals. i surely cannot differentiate all the types of monkeys or apes. they all look the same.

    haziq’s mum, please write about the bedtime discipline. i am having trouble with my sons about this. i sure need some help.

    keep on writing!


    • Will certainly write about bedtime discipline. It is a very important topic. It’s even more important for parents of special children because at the end of the day its pure exhaustion and both you and the child need adequate sleep to face the next day with resolve.


  5. Posted by Kak Naan on August 7, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Hi Haziq, u should ask yr Mum n Dad to bring u visit Singapore Zoo and the Jurong Bird Park. Beautiful park and it can be educational too.

    You missed the Aquarium? I suggest you get into the aquarium and swim with the fishes. At my age, that’s how I felt when I went snorkeling at Pulau Perhentian….. really like swimming in a huge, huge aquarium with all the beautiful God’s creation. The best thing is, Swimming is not a pre-requisite. I can share with yr Mum n Dad the best way to get there.
    -Aunty Nani-


  6. Posted by Kak Lin on August 9, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Haziq you are really amazing with the animal names and facts. Walking encyclopedia..I wish I can fit you in my pocket. So what’s the next trip??


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