Saturday, April 9, 2011

What I learn from 'Hamza Yusuf's artistic talent - unleashed!'

My husband came back from his work, emptied his pocket onto the top of the dresser. It consisted of the usual items for a lecturer, which include multi coloured marker pens. Afterwards, our usual routine is to perform the Asr prayers together before having our tea.

While performing the prayers, I heard an 'unidentifiable child' (since I was praying) dragging a stool to the master bedroom and a few moments later, I could smell a very distinct smell of the ink from marker pen.. (so much of khusyu' asr prayers that day! Astaghfirullah!)

And this was the masterpiece.

I've never thought Yusuf, at the wee age of two, was talented not just in graffiti art, but also in problem solving activities. He managed to observe Abi's behaviour (with the sole interest in the marker pen), drag the stool from the kitchen sink to the master bedroom, climbed, tiptoed and secure his precious goal - the glorified marker pen! He must have been interested in it for a long time, for Yusuf was banned to even hold it since an earlier incident, which caused Alwani's cheeks and feet were stained for nearly 4 days.

And we were right to ban him.
Proudly admitting 'Yusuf conteng..' (I doodled this.)
Warning was due. We believe that a child should be told that he/she did a wrong thing, however young they are. It is important to start early because the child might thought what his/her actions were purely normal and acceptable. He/She would be shocked (not forgetting, would rebel in return) when he/she was told off in another year or two. In his mind, he might think, 'why can't I do it now when I've been doing this for the past 5 years!?' Hence, it is important to start disciplining our child as early as possible.
 I don't know how to rotate videos. Sorry for the head spin! This footage was taken in Malay Language.

Obviously, Yusuf still finds it hard to say sorry and making eye contact at the same time. We are still working on it. I realised that when my kids apologised without making eye contact, the tendency to make the same mistake all over again is highly promising.

On the same note, I believe that it is highly essential for both parents to be on the same page on the discipline routine. The discipline regime won't work when the mom is exercising it and the father 'rescues' the child. Children are intelligent creatures, and do not underestimate them.

And so, Hamza Yusuf's punishment was to help me clean up his own mess. He tried (in an extremely short time), and then proclaimed, 'Penat. Nak milk, please' (I'm exhausted. Can I have milk, please). And I told him straight to his face, with a wicked smile, 'I'm a bit busy, you can play outside first', and believe it or not, he dashed out to play with his trike, without demanding his rights to have milk! Told you that the wee Nessie can be very bright and sharp, even when he's only two!

So, accompanied with the faithful WD40 (the essential ointment for my hubster's Pinarello wheel), I sprayed and scrubbed with the dish scrub and after half an hour of my right hand work-out, voilà!!

Not as good as new, but at least our rented wall was clear(ish) from Yusuf's unwelcomed artwork.

Another practice I learned (and perhaps, try to practise) from renting a house in Australia was to return something you borrowed in as perfect condition as possible. The issue of being responsible (amanah) should be put into practice, especially when you're using another's house for shelter and safety. Embedding the feeling of respect to our landlord's property should be applied not only within ourselves, but also within our children.

Yusuf knew what he did was wrong. He even confessed to our landlady (who actually lived next door to us) and said sorry! Now, how can you actually be cross with the sweet wee Nessie?


  1. anak aku pon sama..dah beli segala jenis kertas lukisan, A2 size, paper in roll, you name it..dinding jugak yg dia nak conteng, nasib baik la rumah sendiri..cukup umur dah tido bilik sendiri, I will paint the in my case, he has the access to all kind of doodling tools- crayon,marker,pen,color pencils..huhu..


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