Gong Xi Fa Cai From Amber Chiaby Amber Chia
Posted on 06 February 2013
Chinese New Year(CNY) is in the air! I look forward to the pre-CNY mood every year; everyone is decorating their house, buying new clothes, baking cookies, etc. I really love the atmosphere!
I took Ashton on a shopping spree at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur yesterday. We chanced upon a Lion Dance and Ashton watched it with such wonder in his eyes. When he was younger, Lion Dances scare him. He thought that the “lion” was real. I explained to him each time that there is a “kor kor” (Chinese for big brother) in the costume. He is okay now but he has yet to go close to the “lion”. I think kids at his age can’t fully grasp the idea yet. My little Ashton still thinks the “lion” will bite him. Nonetheless, he would not miss watching a Lion Dance. He will tell me that the “lion” ate oranges, received ang pows, did the Gong Xi Fa Cai greeting, etc.
The CNY decor at Pavilion is beautiful. Ashton spotted a “dong dong”(Chinese noise maker) and pestered me to buy it. I bought it for him as it was not too expensive. The next booth had lion head masks on display and Ashton kept telling them to dance. I had to explain to him that they were not real and can’t dance.
We went into Skechers and bought shoes.
I went a little crazy with the shopping at Mercato supermarket. The back of my car was so full that I could hardly see the back windscreen. I am really in CNY mood.
I taught Ashton to say “Gong Xi Fa Cai, Ang Pow Na Lai” and he now says to me, “Gong Xi Fa Cai, give me ang pow now!” He catches on fast, my little Ashton. I think Ashton enjoys the CNY environment too. Unfortunately, he has a cough now because he ate too many Mandarin oranges. So mothers, don’t let your kids eat too many Mandarin oranges. I hope Ashton will recover from the cough and runny nose by CNY.
Ashton’s school is holding a CNY celebration for all the kids this Friday. We are looking forward to it. Ashton loves parties. He has been promoted to Level 2, the next higher class.
Every day they have drawing classes and Ashton will proudly show me his work. I display all his work at home and tell him how clever he is with his drawings. One day, he proudly showed me his drawing and asked, “Mummy, look - what is this?” I could not figure out what it was so I fished for the answer, “Yah, it is so beautiful! Ashton is so clever! Can you tell Mummy what it is?” He pointed out, “It is a chick!” I praised him again and told him to show the drawing to Papa.
When we got home, he excitedly ran to Papa and showed him his drawing. Papa went, “What have you drawn? Oh my God, this looks terrible!” Poor Ashton burst into tears. There goes all the hard work I have put in every day, encouraging my little darling to draw. I think if looks could kill, my husband would have dropped dead then. He asked me uncomfortably, “Honey what do you want me to do?” Does he have to be so honest? After all, Ashton is only 2 years old. I don’t think we can expect a 2 year old to draw comprehensibly.
I must say Ashton enjoys school. When it is a holiday he will ask: “How come today no school? I want to go to school”. He already has a best friend in school you know.
He is one of the naughtier ones in school too. I simply must tell you this conversation I had with him after school one day.
Me: How was your day Ashton?
Ashton: I stood in the corner.
Me: Huh? What did you do? Why did you stand in the corner? Were you naughty?
Ashton: No, I was not naughty. I played with water.
Me: Oh! Don’t play with water again. If you play with water, you have to stand in the corner.
Ashton (as an afterthought): Yesterday no play water also stand in the corner.
Me (thinking “Oh dear!”): Why did you stand in the corner?
Ashton: I was fighting!
He looked so innocent when he answered me but I am really worried that he is so naughty. He is very active and talkative. I am so pleased that he can talk to me, nonstop, from morning to night. He is my 100-questions baby. I am glad that he is doing what I had trained him to do from day one. He tells me everything. I pray that he will always be like that with me. Ashton has a very positive and cheerful outlook too. I love his PR skills – he says “Hi” to everyone and tells everyone how he feels.
Last Saturday, a group of friends and I organized a CNY sharing and caring visit to the Persatuan Kebajikan Kanak-kanak Terencat Malaysia at Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya. It is a home for mentally challenged children but there are a few disabled adults there too. I donated some of Ashton’s toys to them. Ashton, bless him, had readily agreed to give them away. We stayed for about 3 to 4 hours, just getting to know the people there. They all had very sad stories to tell.
When we went home, I reminded Ashton to give thanks to God for being born normal and healthy. I told him how lucky he is; being able to think, stand and walk. I want to encourage him to help others who are less fortunate than him. We had only been to orphanages before this. I can’t help counting my blessings and feeling so sad for the people we met. You know, we should not complain about life. There are people out there who are in worse circumstances than us but they are more appreciative of life. I am not sure if Ashton understands all these at the moment but I hope to nurture a sharing and caring nature in him.
I realized that Ashton will definitely be in the entertainment industry. The reason is every time he sees me on stage, he wants to be on stage as well. He will cry otherwise. Just 7 days ago, I was giving away prizes on stage at Genting Highlands when I noticed that Ashton looked tired and moody. He was sitting in the audience in the front row. I thought it was because he had missed his afternoon nap. Then he started to cry loudly when the last prize recipient, a 13 year old girl started to sing. I was worried so I apologized to the audience, telling them that I had to take Ashton away. When we were walking off the stage, Ashton turned around and said he wanted to sing. Surprised, I gave him the microphone and he stopped crying and sang, not one but three songs (kids’ songs). I had to tell him to stop at the 3rd song because the prize giving was already running late. He still insisted on saying goodbye with the Gong Xi Fa Cai song…Gong Xi Gong Xi Gong Xi GOooong Xiiiiiiii . I had to say; “Okay, okay. Thank you! No more singing, Ashton!”
He loves the stage. On another occasion, a hypermarket launch, I had to let him join me on stage for the signing event. He drew on the backdrop and then posed for the cameras for so long that the hypermarket owner had to ask me to join him for the photography session. Ashton really loves performing and the attention of an audience. He can stop crying and smile the instance he gets on stage.
I often tease Ashton that he has to be good looking otherwise he cannot do well in the entertainment industry. Laugh out loud!
I am looking forward to CNY. For the first 2-3 days, we will stay in Kuala Lumpur to be with my in-laws. On the fourth day, we are flying over to Sabah to be with my parents. Ashton is going to get a lot of ang pows but I need to give out a lot of ang pows too. I actually like the mood before CNY more. It is so much more “happening” – the shopping, the decor, everyone you meet wishes you Gong Xi Fa Cai… you know, happy happy? I always love it. During CNY, it becomes kind of boring.
For people who are heading back to their hometown for the festive period, please drive safely. A girl friend just died in a car accident yesterday. I am really very sad as we just launched a Drive Home Safe, Kampung Tak Akan Lari campaign last Friday. Don’t risk your life and the life of your loved ones.
I like to wish all Gong Xi Fa Cai, Happy Chinese New Year of the Snake. Have a better year. Always think positive and positive things will happen. Believe in the power of self-fulfilling prophecy. Don’t believe too much in Feng Shui. Remember the good things and forget the bad things that you hear. Like me, I always believe every year is a good year even though Feng Shui may say it is not going to be a good year for me. Think good and the good happens!
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