Wednesday, April 08, 2009

12 Lessons from a Slide

These three wooden slides found in the Methodist Children's Home Kindergarten at Journey's End in Sibu must be more than 35 years old. They are small(less than 5 feet in height) solid wooden ones and the joints which had been put together without any visible nail are still in perfect condition. They are exactly the same measurements as those in the the Kindergarten at Island Road. When I looked at them they reminded me of what my Goo Poh (the late Madam Tiong Yuk Ging) said to me from time to time a long time ago. They were my first "game rules".

These are the lessons I have gathered from playing on a slide with her as the quiet and soft spoken supervisor.

1. Go up the steps slowly and hang on to the side bars. Don't rush. Play safe always.

2.Take turns politely. Show that you are well brought up.

3.Never push your friend down.

4.Slide down with joy and pick yourself up.

5.Don't cry if you land badly. Smile. Pick youself up like a lady and hold your head high.

6.Do not dominate the slide. Join the queue.

7.Don't crowd around at the bottom of the slide. Give a clear space to your friend. Or else you will cause an accident.

8.If no one cheers you as you slide down, give yourself a pat on the back. That is a simple success.

9.When you are up there on the slide realise that there is always a downslide. Life is like that. Up and down. Accept both. Going down is great fun.

10 You can play on a slide alone. It is not lonely to be alone. You have the slide! And God is watching. In real life you are often expected to do things INDEPENDENTLY.

11.Happiness is accepting the challenge that you are going down because of gravity. The wind on your face is a bonus. You gain confidence along the way. And you slowly mature.

12.You may scrape your knees. But you have some marks and scars to tell stories with when you are older. So don't cry.

Years and years later I discover that it is always such a wonderful activity to watch children play on a slide. And more often than not they break the rules.
(I took this photo a little too early before the sun drench the yard...but it reminds me of the days when I sent my own children to Kindergarten...early in the morning ...)

10 memories:

ngoh said...

Nice slides. I like antiques.

We have huge modern safe playground alat alat today. Most children are choosy. They like colourful stuff in malls.

Superman said...

Nowadays children don't go out and play under the sun. They preferred stay in door and play computer or PS3. They are missing all the goodies like morning sun.

sarawakiana said...

Thanks for visiting.
I understand that parents prefer good high tech playground. They are pretty and lots of them take photos of their pride and glory (children) in the malls.
Wooden play ground alat alat belong to my days. But they are the best and beloved to me.

sarawakiana said...


Nowadays kids are really fortunate. They can have everything in life. Ask and they are given!! When I was young I learned to postpone my future orientated. Save some every day to buy a handkierchief or a new toy. I used to tell my own kids too that they had to wait till end of the month. They cried!! But they learned. They learn to save for the rainy day...

These are rainy days!!

headsteadi said...

very good analogy. thanks for sharing.

Daniel Yiek said...

Lesson 13: Use a cardboard below your butt before sliding...or else your pants will have holes!

sarawakiana said...

Hi Headsteadi
Thanks for visiting. It is wonderful to remember lessons taught to us by our elders.....

sarawakiana said...


Thanks for your lively suggestion....
Nowadays the slides are of good high tech materials - quite smooth on the bottoms though. not many of wooden ones left.

Sungei Merah has some really good belian ones constructed by the Catholic priests for Hua Hing Primary School.

bliss said...

I had many nasty experiences in kindy. Many of the boys and girls liked to push me or even pulled me down. And when teachers heard us cry they pretended not to see.
Then I just did not like sliding down the school slide after a while.
But I was able to put of the boys' shoe in the rubbish bin. He cried and I was satisfied. This is a real confession from me after reading your Lessons. thanks.

sarawakiana said...

Most kindies give their children good memories. But I am sure some kids do have some bad memories of their kindy days.
All my children loved their kindergartens and their kindergarten teachers with whom I am still in touch . You were courageous to stand up to a bully! cheers.


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