Featuring Malala and the “bad guy”. 😂😆
We completed the puppet homework on Saturday!
The hubs stuck the hair, eyebrows, eyes and lips while I sewed the hood and buttons. Eye straining and backbreaking work.
I wonder where Clarissa got the idea that “bad guys” wear transparent ziplog bags on their heads, but she put it on and declared, “This is Malala (on her right hand) and I am the bad guy!”
So Saturday was spent at the gym, followed by a very nice lunch at HDL, followed by playtime with Allie while Clarissa and her Daddy napped. I asked the hubs to start working on the puppet before dinner even though he’d initially wanted to do it after dinner.
Good thing he started early because it took a while to plan and figure out how to make the puppet.
I started sewing after dinner and I think it took me an hour or more? So difficult to sew inside the “glove”, if you get what I mean. Especially when I’m not good at sewing. 😂
And then there was shower time, Allie’s bedtime and Clarissa’s bedtime reading.
I was so tired by the time we turned off the lights in Clarissa’s room.
Clarissa, as usual, asked for cuddles and continued to chat. We cuddled for a bit and I said to her, “It’s getting late so let’s sleep now..”
“.. because tomorrow is a long day?” She finished my sentence. “But we are only going swimming right?”
“Yes, swimming. And tomorrow, Yaya is off so Mummy would have a lot of things to do,” I explained. “We need to sleep now otherwise Mummy would be so tired.”
“But Daddy can also help what,” she countered.
At this point, I was really amazed by her thinking. Yet on the other hand I wondered how I could explain the concept and weight of a “mental load”.
I decided not to, and agreed with her.
“Yes, of course Daddy can help. Can you help me remind him tomorrow? But we should still sleep otherwise you’d have no strength to swim tomorrow,” I said to her.
On Sunday night, we did our usual bedtime reading and also went through Malala’s story to prepare for her puppet show and tell.
She was introduced to Pakistan for the first time and kept asking me “What country is Malala from?” even after I kept answering “Pakistan”.
We talked about where Malala came from, her family, her incident on the bus, her beliefs and how she won the Nobel peace prize at a young age of 17.
After we turned off the lights, she asked me to repeat the story again.
I did, and the only time she contributed to the story was at the part where Malala has two pet chickens besides her parents and two younger brothers.
She asked for a quick cuddle and rolled back to her own bed.
“Oh no, Mummy, I forgot to remind Daddy today to help,” She said out of the blue.
Aww, my sweet little girl.
“It’s ok sweetie! Daddy washed the dishes tonight right?” I said. “And he played with you while I made Allie sleep!”
“Oh yah hor?” She said, chuckling to herself before she turned in for the night.
I appreciate conversations like this with her, because it helps me see things from her point of view, and how she perceives people, relationships and things in general.
The way she suggested that “Daddy can help too” made me realise how, in her mind, household chores and parental roles could be and should be shared, yet her use of the word “help” probably suggests her sense that there is still a “main” person doing the work.
Still, it looks like genders and gender roles should be equal in her worldview, however young she might be.. or perhaps this view is a result of her tender age, where there are fewer biases she’s she’s exposed to, and fewer societal expectations and so-called norms imposed on her.
It’s something that I sometimes forget, that not all the responsibilities need to be on my shoulders. I might have to ask, remind and nag sometimes, but yes, I can share the load and the hubs would do it with me.
In Clarissa’s world, it is as simple as that, because she has seen her Daddy at it.
Yet she cannot fathom Malala’s world, where not all girls (and boys) get to go to school, and where there are actually “bad guys” who do not allow girls to go to school.
“Why huh, Mummy?” She asked. “Why they don’t want girls to go to school?”
It was such a difficult question to answer.
How far back in the history of mankind and in the worldviews shaped by cultures and religions should I go to, to explain this?
I don’t think I can ever make a huge impact to the world on gender roles and equality, but I guess I can take baby steps.. at home.