blogging gobbledygook and such

My Kindergarten Days

I started kindergarten when I was 6 years old. The first five years of my life, I was pretty much taught at home by M. One of my earliest childhood memories was writing my name in a notebook. Back then, I used my English name. (I only started using my Chinese name in Standard One, and it stuck on ever since.)

In kindergarten, I was a big crybaby. I was also very girlish (it was all about Barbie and cooking sets and play pretend, usually some girly scenario) and hated being teased. I went to Tadika Tinkerbell (That’s Malay for Tinkerbell Kindergarten). It’s actually an old semi-detached house. The master bedroom is my class. I know it’s the master bedroom because it faces the front and it has an attached bathroom with a bathtub in it. I remember peering into the bathtub once, and found it full of dead cockroaches.

I sat near at the 3rd chair from the front. Sitting next to me on the left, second to the front (the table is a long one and we sit at the side, rather than facing the blackboard directly), was Joyce, my rival. She competed with me for my best friend, Denise’s attention. Joyce and Denise were smart; they were already doing Standard One work, while I did the normal class work like the other students.

My teacher’s name was Theresa. I liked her. She taught us our dances. It’s customary for kindergarten students to put up performances at the end of school year, usually dances. Most students only get to do one dance, but I got to do two, along with my best friend Denise… and Joyce. We did a Broadway dance, the kind with the tophat and cane and tailcoat, dancing to The Entertainer. We had a boy partner each for that dance. I remember Theresa complimenting me on the way I wiggle my butt as a dance move. The other girls were shaking their butts from side to side, I was wiggling it with my butt muscles… like cocking one butt, then the other. She was so annoyed with the other girls shaking their butts that she made them watch the way I wiggle my butt.

We also did a Spanish dance. I liked the costume. It was colourful, red and blue and green and shiny. We had boy partners too, and another boy who played the bull; there was this boy who played the matador and held the red cloth in front of the bull and the bull had to charge through it. They recorded the whole concert on tape, and for a few years after that I kept watching it, until VCR became out of fashion.

I sat the bus to school. I also sat the bus to the zoo, a school trip. It was my first time to the zoo. I have not visited it since then. I want to, though. Anyway, I don’t remember much of the animals. I remembered that we had KFC for lunch, and I was pouting because I wanted a drumstick, but I was given a thick slab which is the breast or something. Denise got the drumstick. She always got the things I wanted. She was prettier than me, taller, fairer. But she still drank milk from the bottle, even though she was 6. Hah. Anyway, when we sat the bus home from the zoo, I remember holding on to my pee so bad. Luckily I made it home in time.

Even though Joyce was my rival, there was one point we were friends. I even went to her house to play once. Joyce was very mature for her age. I wanted to play pretend that we’re on a holiday in the Caribbean… or something. She wanted to play pretend that we are kidnapped and have to try to escape on our own. I didn’t like it. As mature as she was, she still had to sit on a potty while I use the normal toilet a long time ago. Hah!

So… that’s all I can remember about my kindergarten days. I liked it. I regret giving my ex a photo of my kindergarten graduation. (I have a copy of it, but it’s bigger in size and framed. I have that photo frame somewhere in my room I think.) I looked so serious it’s cute.

Comments on: "My Kindergarten Days" (21)

  1. You have a pretty good memory. I have only the vaguest memories of when I was six.

    Sounds like you were pretty competetive as a child!

    sulz: maybe it’s not as interesting or dramatic as mine, that’s why. :mrgreen:

    actually, i always have a competitive streak but i stop trying anymore because i mostly lose. 😦

  2. This was touching, poignant, warm, and funny—much like you. You write beautifully here; I feel like I was inside the mind and heart of a winsome six-year old girl. You actually gave “wiggling-your-butt” lessons! Hehe! And I loved how you’d say “Hah!” when you demonstrated how you were a BIG girl, not like…her. I did not like the cockroaches in the bathtub, ewww. You kids should not have had those in your house. I would have loved to have seen that videotape! Perhaps you can transfer it to digital. Lovely slice of life, sulz! 🙂

    sulz: awww, thank you! 🙂 you know, i never actually questioned the hygiene matter of dead cockroaches and i never knew why there were so many, hmm… can’t find the tape now. 😦

  3. This was really funny. 🙂 Only you know how to make a post like this one.

    Back then, I used my English name.

    What? You have an English name?

    You have no idea how hard I laughed at the butt wiggling part. That was totally unexpected!

    Aww I wish I had video tapes of myself as a kid. Apparently there’s one of me reading a book out loud when I was three, but I’ve never seen it, and I don’t know where it is, so it’s the same than nothing.

    sulz: thanks! 🙂 i have not only one, but two english names! ask me on msn the next time and i’ll indulge. 😉

    find that tape!

  4. lovelyloey said:

    She has an English name. I don’t think I should say it here because she might want to maintain this anonymity here, heh. I only got to know it recently though!
    That’s very good memory for a six-year-old. I don’t think I can recall that much from my kindergarten days.
    The dead cockroach bit is scary la~

    sulz: not just one, two!! 😉 haha, why else it’s stuck on my mind as memory of those days, huh?

  5. What was really interesting to me apart from your amazing memory is that your need for one really special friend that you did not want to share was there from that age…some people have been known to have more than one friend you know!!! And also that you were a teensy bit jealous of Joyce…even though you fought Denise for her favour. Hmmm….

    Cockroaches in the bathtub make me wonder about the standard of care in that preschool as well…although I know that they had to pick up used condoms before school at CJ’s primary school. eeeekkkk!!!!! [yes I did clean some up too]

    As to the competitiveness BobbyG mentioned …its interesting as a parent to see that all the children were developed at different stages..some could not go to the toilet yet were bright at work..some could not drink milk fromm a glass …yet were smart at work…you could do those things but had a problem with socializing. By that I mean learning to share friends is like learning to share toys etc…it can be innate but it can and should be taught as well.

    Sounds like you were teaching them about the dancing but as a mum I have to ask how you even knew about scrunching up those buttocks and separately at that?

    sulz: i don’t know. i just didn’t like joyce and that’s why i didn’t like her hanging about denise, especially since the rivalry was mutual.

    i didn’t fall sick because of the school or anything. i remembered liking the school snacks when it was break time, in fact. 😀

    i think i’ve always had problems socialising because i’m having some right now too. maybe i’m just bad like that.

    the teacher taught us! it’s a dance move.

  6. I echo the others, what’s your english name? You have to tell me. And no riddles, please! 😛

    Dead cockroaches in the bathtub? Eurgh! You made the story sound like it was gonna become something straight out of the Exorcist. I mean, come on, dead cockroaches in a kindergarten? How spooky is that? :/

    My mom’s teh fuckin’ Butt wiggler! 😀 You make me proud mom, very proud. You had to attract attention, it was ‘butt’ natural. 😛

    sulz: mom’s secret! 😛

    goodness, you must secretly wished you had a celebrity mom or something for being proud of my butt-wiggling antics, lol.

  7. Well, that reminds me of some hazy memories of my pre-nursery school. It was also housed in a residential house with large living room. I remember reading along with others, catching attention of friends, and reluctance of being forced to go to a toilet faraway corner of house. Other kids would usurp your place when you come back. I don’t remember much though.

    Thanks for reminding me of my childhood. Btw, normally we Indians too have two names 🙂

    sulz: so in india it’s about the same, huh? i hope you enjoyed going down memory lane a bit after reading this. 🙂 hmm, like poonam sharma, huh? 😀

  8. Thats what I meant actually sweetie…picked up from previous posts. Being shy or introverted is different to being poorly socialized or not having those skills. I guess its that it stands us in good stead for times like this when we may be away from our home…or just outside of our comfort zone.When CJ was younger they started teaching it primary schools as parents were not teaching it at home anymore.

    There are social skills courses run here and am sure in different countries….they might help. You are great online and we see the real you but its controlled to a certain extent cause if we do not like someone or violently disagree with their philosophies and we feel we have no voice we can just not return to those blogs or chatrooms. In day to day life in the world we do not have that and it can be distressing and confusing and I should think plain tiring. Hang in there… now have a surrogate mum [does that make me Ish’s grandmother?] and maybe there is something we can work on….apart from time which as I have said boringly before makes these things easier.

    Oh by the way is there any reason why you could not scan up your photo so you could have whatever size you want?

    sulz: they don’t really teach it in malaysian schools, we just learn to socialise on our own. on my part, i know i’m very sensitive and i believe in manners and courtesy very much, which is not the case with most malaysians here. friends always arrive late for dates with their friends and people don’t get upset, people cancel plans last minute and it’s alright… for me, it’s not.

    indeed, i think if my blog friends were to meet up with me they’d discover a side to me they may not like or expect in me but i think it’s only natural. whether does that flaw overwhelms all the good things that you know of me is the question.

    oh no, i’m very possessive so you guys are only related to me. 😉 as for my photo, i wouldn’t have problems putting it up, why do you ask? except that i don’t have much photos to show, be prepared – have reason for that.

  9. I meant so you would have another copy as the dreaded ex has the other one that is all…not asking you to show yourself in the flesh here !!!!

    I just saw some photos on flickr of this Malaysian girl living in Melbourne who has the most incredible shoe collection and handbags…she is a serious spender. Saw some photos of her parents house in Malaysis….very modern and sleek inside but with wood and stuff. What is your home like….in case you are not homesick enough?

    sulz: oh, that photo! i thought you meant the ones in macau. speaking of which, i took some and uploaded it into my pendrive, but my roommate’s laptop had a virus or something so it wiped out my pendrive too. i didn’t take that many pictures luckily, but still i decided that i’m not going to take much pictures except for the ones for my blogging project. 🙂

    i have pictures of my house in the secret post which i think you have the password to, yeah?

  10. well that was really touching …….i think you have got a real sharp memory.i don’t even remember my kindergarten days. but yes i do remember one of my first stage show during my pre-nursery days when i became a joker painted all red , white and yellow. it was really fun. god really wish to relive those days! 🙂

    sulz: thank you. 🙂 haha, a clown huh? i’m sure you were a very merry one.

  11. how in the world do you remember all that from kindergarden? I couldn’t tell you a single kid that was in my class.

    And that bathtub..filled with cockroaches? Like something from a horror film. I would’ve been feeling them all over me in my imagination if I had seen that. Every little blow of air near me I’d convince myself the roaches had gotten me.

    sulz: i don’t know i just do. i hope i didn’t grow up too fast, haha.

    hahaha… i think i remember feeling creeped out whenever i had to take a pee in that bathroom and i didn’t dare to peer over the bathtub ever since then!

  12. Wow.. I don’t even remember my kindergarten days… and you’re older than me!

    Cockroaches in bathtub… gross. I went to a place once and they had cockroaches in their fridge.. loads of them. I didn’t eat anything there. lol.

    sulz: did you go to kindergarten? 😛

    i think people eat fried roaches as snacks in thailand!

  13. Nope, Poonam Sharma is my full name. But my other name is what my close friends and family call me at home. 🙂

    sulz: if you’ve got an other name then poonam sharma isn’t full! unless they call you poo for short? 😛

  14. Nope, Poonam Sharma is my full name. But my other name is what my close friends and family call me at home.
    Moony! One of the fabled 4 – Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs. 😛

    sulz: who’s the other 3 then? you must be wormtail. 😀

  15. Technically yes… Lower KG [as they call it here]. I was in Upper for a month before my teacher had me shifted into Class 1. I was [and still am] teh moste intelligent! 😛

    Some folks really DO call her Poo you know… 😀

    No, I would like to be Padfoot. Nice big dog. The names are from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, my first HP book. You read em?

    sulz: i just have book 7 paperback to buy, dear. ‘course i read harry potter!

  16. Hi
    Just found your blog when searching for Tinkerbell Kindergarten! I went there too. You have more memories of the inside than me. I remember sitting at the table to write. Mostly I rember being outside in the garden. What year were you there and where did you go to primary school? I started school there, went to Highgate Hill after…do you know if either are still there?? Planning a trip to K.L. soon and would love to show my kids where I went to school.

    sulz: wow, what a coincidence! i ‘graduated’ from tinkerbell in year 1990, then i went to sk ss19 for standard 1. tinkerbell is still there, though i think it’s downsized from the two houses it used to be upon to just one house.

  17. Nicki – I was at Highgate Hill until I left in ’57 to return to UK, aged 9. I’ve been in touch with a contemporary who went to KL a few years back -it’s possible the school buildings may still exist. You can see the site on Google Earth. Would be good to exchange memories.

    I was born in Singapore, Johore Bharu to be precise, in 47, returned for a couple of years to York in the UK then my Dad got posted out again to Malaya in ’54; sailed in March to Singapore on the P&O steamship SS Corfu then on to Kuala Lumpur.

    Look forward to hearing from you


  18. I remember the odd years in kindy, Tadika Mesra, if I’m right. I recall the odd lessons in Chinese language (since the kindergarden was run by a Chinese lady) and the fact that I injured myself frequently by running too fast and using the wooden tables as a walkway several times and also the frequent drinking of Milo in the afternoons. The people I met there wound up in the same Sekolah Rendah years later. Wow, my memory is that good 😀

    sulz: you sound like a handful. bet you gave them grief! 😛

  19. Maggie Thomson said:

    Hi Ian!
    Like you I was born in 1947 but in Vienna. My dad was posted to Kuala Lumpur in 1952. He was in SIB/RMP.
    I was at Highgate Hill from !952 til 1956/7, but do not remember it at all! I don’t remember anyone from there!
    I have put some pictures on my Facebook and also on friends reunited!

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