Tuesday, 12 June 2007

My little girl is all grown up

It seems like only yesterday when I put the tiny tot on my lap and started signing and reading stories to her when she was just two weeks old. Yes, I was starting her young. Now, she's about to fly the coop, so to speak. She's about to embark on a new chapter in her life. She wants to be a Vet and there's only one place to learn the skills - UPM in Kuala Lumpur. Well, she (we) are still waiting for the Ministry of Higher Education to announce the offers for places in the local universities and in all likelihood, she's going to get only one week's notice to show up on campus. This is totally unacceptable (the short notice). The only reason I can think of is the Ministry wants to cut off all the protest that comes from those who can't get into medicine or some of the choice courses because they got 4 flat. So, the rest of the 50,000 candidates have to put up with this irrationality.

But enough of that. Vivian has made it her mission to cook us a meal, all by herself, as a farewell before she leaves for University. She thinks of this or that and tells us she wants to try cooking it. So we (parents) jump and buy the ingredients. Even when we have not cooked it before, we are game to do it. In the picture are two traditional Penang favourites. The Loh Bak and the Ah Char Fish. This is the first time we have made Loh Bak, based on my mother-in-law's recipe (which my wife recalled from memory). The inside fillings are meat (chicken is OK), yam and water chestnut. Marinade with Chinese 5-spice power, pepper, salt, light soya sauce, a little sesame oil, and some corn starch. The skin is made of soya beans (must be the type which can be folded). Turned out really great. So, we are keeping the traditions alive. The Ah Char Fish we have tried several times already and getting better at it. The fish used to be really cheap, like maybe one or 2 dollars but this plate of fish (7) cost RM10 at the market (bigger yes). The recipe? Modified from the Web. Is it healthy food? Hey, healthy food does not mean we should throw all the great recipes away. Moderation, that's the key.

Oh, I recently asked Vivian whether all the singing and reading to her from 2-weeks old brought any benefits. She said "yes" (OK, maybe she doesn't really know but wants to be grateful). The other 2 kids of ours? No, I did not sing and dance ... erh, read to them from 2 weeks old. But I think they absorbed whatever the older ones were doing like sponge. The second one could read at 3 and half years old ... and we didn't teach him phonetics at all. Maybe it was the Sesame Street, and Mr Rogers, and Mr Dress-up that they watched but I think he was always standing around when we were doing the phonetics workbooks with vivian at the Sandpoint Family Housing in Seattle. So, its the environment ... not the genes. Otherwise the children will never be smarter than the parents! And I assure you they are.


Anonymous said...

I know how you feel my friend...is she your eldest?


Lik Meng said...

YUP, the eldest. And she's got what she wanted, Veterinary Medicine at UPM. I guess my friends in UPM will be see a lot of me on campus for the next 5 years.