My children love reporting what they did or what they encountered. They can tell me how the movie developed, what happened during Numeracy in school, what one sibling did to another, etc. However, it is SO exhausting listening to their stories!!!! Let me try explaining.
When we finished our dinner of macaroni and cheese, with some naan breads, my second twin son was still exclaiming how great Flushed Away was (we went to mamasarah's place earlier in the afternoon - mommies baked, kids watched DVD/ played). So, I asked him what the story was about. The thing with my twin boys is, they don't know how to summarise! Be it a paragraph of article, a story book, a movie - they'd want to tell me EXACTLY what happened, and what the characters said. Come on, mommy's gone through all the steps and procedures of summary-writing. Grrrrrr....
Nonetheless, parents should listen to their children. So, I listened. Or tried to, at least. Ironically, my eyes were glued on the TV, showing The Madness of Modern families (they showed British parents enthusiastically sending their children to latin classes, violin classes, tap dancing, ballet, french, sanskrit, drama, to name a few, that they have to check on their children's schedules if one wants to socialise/play together). There, Twin 2 was, relating to the plot of the story almost very precisely, but very exhausting to me. I nodded, I smiled, I looked in his eyes then back to the TV, I was impatiently waiting for him to end his LOOOOOOOOOONG never ending story-telling session. What irritated me most was how he used the same discourse marker repeatedly. And, at the beginning of each new idea/clause!
"Lepas tu, dia lari sampai hujung. Lepas tu, dia ambik benda tu. Lepas tu, dia tengok-tengok. Lepas tu......."
You see what I mean? Even half-listening, I could distinctively make out the same discourse marker used. So, I told him, "Try using a different word, or you don't even have to replace it with anything. Sambung je ayat tu. Ayat awak pendek-pendek. Itu pun nak guna lepas tu!" He continued the story. Every time he used lepas tu, we shouted at him, "Haaaa!". He tried controlling his words but it was obviously very difficult. After some attempts, he reverted to his old habits. I then told him, "Ok, mama tutup mata. Kalau H sebut je lepas tu, mama buka mata". Oh dear... eyes had to open so many times. No chance for forty winks!
Maybe tomorrow we'll do some storytelling lessons - discourse markers. Perhaps they have limited vocabulary, hence the repetition. Yes, tomorrow will be story telling - writing and oral. I have to help them improve their oral skills. I developed mine through public speaking and debating. I owe it to my dad. He truly trained and drilled me. He gave me motivational books when others were enjoying teenage romance (I didn't miss this though!). Carnegie, Ahmad Deedat, de Bono. I was even asked to read Dr M's The Malay Dilemma despite my lack of interest in politics... Prggghhhhh.
Pause to reflect: Perhaps, those were the things that make me the me today. It's time to do something of that sort to my off-springs. Haiya... language lessons tomorrow. Should it be English or BM?? We'll probably be bilingual!