So, as you know, we just came back from our Perth trip not too long ago. We had a fantastic time - didn't chalk up visits to tonnes of tourist attractions - but we spent lotsa time with just each other, and family and friends living in Perth. That made the trip faboo, in our books!
However, being the paranoid Pam I am... (*That Pam-I-Am, that Pam-I-Am! Oh!!! That Paranoid Pam-I-Am*)
Before the trip, I said many quick prayers (whenever these worries cross my mind) for our safety while overseas. It's always a little unsettling to leave home, albeit for a holiday. I would worry about losing the kids, or meeting with terrorists on the plane... etc. Not totally unfounded, right? Considering we are two adults travelling with three kids, and terrorists, well there can be terrorists and mad people any where. Besides, planes can malfunction even without the aid of terrorists...
|The hits and misses of self-taken pictures! My Isaac and I - October 2012|
In any case, rather than just worrying about it, I decided that I needed to try to educate the kids as best as I could, Stranger Danger and that sorta stuff. The twins may be slightly too young to really understand what I am saying, but Isaac should understand fine. It never hurts to start educating the kids about such stuff this early, and so I started to...
Me:"Isaac, when we are in Australia, or even in Singapore, when we go out, you must always stick close to Mummy and Papa okay. Don't wander off."
Isaac:"What is 'wander'?"
Me:"Walk off. Don't walk off without us. Don't suddenly stop."
Isaac:"But sometimes my shoe come out, that's why I stop."
Me:"It's okay, then you tell us you need to stop, then we will stop to let you wear your shoe properly. It is not safe to suddenly stop. In places where there are lots of people, you can easily get lost and separated from us."
Me:"Oh, also, you cannot any how follow other people ah. You can only follow Mummy and Papa. Even if someone tell you they are Mummy and Papa's friends and tell you to follow them - you cannot."
Isaac:"You mean they are telling lies?"
Me:"Yes! Exactly! You are right! They are telling lies! These bad people, they tell you lies to bluff you and make you follow them and go with them. But they will catch you and take you away. So you should not listen to them."
Isaac:"Oh, adults can tell lies?"
Me:"Yes, these bad strangers can tell lies. You know what is stranger, right?"
Isaac:"People we don't know?"
Me:"That's right. So if people you don't know, suddenly catch you, hold you very tight like that. You must scream and shout very loud ok. Say "You are not my Mummy!" or "You are not my Papa! Help help!" Then I allow you to beat the stranger, kick him, scratch him, bite him, poke his eyes."
Isaac:"I know I be like a ninja and hiah hiah hiah him! Chop him and kick him!"
Me:"Yes! That's right! Cannot let them take you away! And cannot let him change your clothes or cut your hair, you understand? Cannot!
Isaac:"Why they want to change my clothes and cut my hair?"
Me:"They do that so that we cannot recognise you, then we cannot find you. We love you, so we will definitely be looking for you coz we don't want to lose you. But these bad people dont want us to find you, so they may try this trick to change your clothes and cut your hair."
Me:"Oh and you must take care of your brother and sister ah! If you see a stranger talking to them, or want to take them away or catch them, you must shout for us also."
Isaac:"Okay, I will protect them!"
Me:"Yes, very good. You're a good kor kor. Oh, and you also know, right? That you cannot take and eat sweets or chocolates that strangers give."
Isaac:"Yes, the policeman come our school say cannot. But why cannot?"
Me:"That's right. Because sometime these sweets they give you got bad things inside that will give you a stomachache or make you sleep - then they take you away. Not good."
I thought this was enough for one sitting. At another time, I approached a different topic...
Me:"Isaac, in school, now, who bathe you?"
Isaac:"Teacher S turn on the water, but I bathe myself"
Me:"Oh, so you soap yourself and wash your backside and kookoo bird yourself?"
Isaac:"Yes, I wash myself."
Me:"Okay good. So ah, Mummy tell you ah, you cannot any how let people see or touch your penis or your backside, you understand."
Me:"If outside, got people say to you 'Little boy, can I see your penis, please?' what must you say?" I asked him, as I shook my head. He took my cue and said
Me:"Yah! Cannot! Even though he said 'Please' also cannot, understand."
Me:"What if he say 'Little boy, you so good boy, if you let me see your kookoo bird, I give you chocolate.' Can or not?"
Me:"That's right! Cannot!"
Isaac:"Mummy can I have some chocolate please?"
Me:"That's right! If you want chocolate or sweets, you ask from us; cannot take from strangers, understand."
And I hope that he really understands what I am trying to knock into him. Just over the weekend, while standing in a queue at the Ikea cashier counter, I took the opportunity to teach Isaac my mobile number and managed to successfully get him to memorise my number. This is partially in preparation for the planning for my next lessons: I want him to learn to recognise cashiers and information counters in shops and shopping centres, so that if he ever gets lost, he will go to such points to seek help.