Ho mia is Hokkien for good life.
*Caution – Normal post that turns in The Hulk.
I had been asked this question many times over the MSN. Some of the bloggers can catch me online even as late as 2am. So, they always ask the same question – No need to sleep ah?
So, let me explain once and for all.
My toddler lurves to sleep. He can sleep from 11 or 12 midnight for straight 12 hours. That is until noon.
I don’t practice sending little kids to bed at 8 pm. Helllooo….that happens only in Enid Blyton stories. And in those part of the English countries, the sun went down at 5 pm.
Now, my atm only got home at 7 pm. My toddler needs to spend time male bonding, so that means he will need the maximum number of hours to stay awake. So, they happy-happy bond from 7 pm till 11 pm lor.
Toddler has this funny habit. He must have his father with him when going to sleep. And in the morning, he will sense if I am still sleeping. If I wake up earlier and leave the room, he will immediately wake up. I cannot allow him to wake up early because he will be grouchy later in the day. He cannot take afternoon naps because he need male bonding (again!) with his brothers who returned from school around 2-3 pm.
Which means – in simple explanation, I have to sacrifice like all good mothers do. I have to sacrifice by sleeping at 3 am so that I can snooozzzzze until 11 am. If I sleep at midnight, I will wake up at 9 am. And my poor, poor toddler will be alone and not getting enough sleep lor. Geddit?
Argggh….but how the hell am I going to explain to this relative who comes to my house quite often at 9 am in the morning. And opened my bedroom door to check if I am awake. Every single time she was here, my backside was upturned! And I did not know until much later. Yeah, I tidur mati. The house door is opened because her daughter is here to clean house for me. She is not my mother-in-law but bossier than my MIL.
This morning trip is to find out when we (the male heirs) want to do their parents Ching Ming. I had freaking no idea and told her before. My husband had contact his brother from outstation. When that brother wants to come back to Penang, I have NO freaking idea. It depends on that big brother when he can afford time. Why don’t you girls (the female heirs) just carry on with your own in-laws Ching Ming and not try to get us male heirs to schedule ours so early that the grass is taller than us, the grave can’t be seen, the snakes still monopolise the hills? There are freaking four of you female heirs so how are we going to fit in YOUR schedules?
Tiu la, now my blood also boil liao. From the day since I marry until now, i.e. 17 years, I have to endure this pressure from them. Every damn effing year, they will pushing me to do it early-early. I kena farking cook like siao every farking year (until after my son passed away and I dun give a farking care to old, old graves and Ching Ming anymore). I don’t mind Ching Ming. I love the idea of remembering our ancestors. But I farking hate it when these four daughters are fighting to join them every year and insist we do it on certain days just so that they can come and claim ‘part of the prosperity’. I even have to be dictated by the kind of fruits I offer. I cannot offer pear because ‘pear’ rhymes with raking in Hokkien. It will appear like the sons are raking in the riches. Tius. I blardy love pears, ok? Packham pears to be exact.
And each year, the whole hill wasn’t even prepared for Ching Ming yet because it was blardy too early! My late MIL had told me before, she gave me the high authority – Don’t bother to accomodate them! In her own words, “For Ching Ming, only the sons matter because the daughters have been married out.”
It’s is fine being filial. But it is not fine when the person thinks that every damn bad luck that befell on them is probably caused by hungry ancestors.
*punch bolster, bite blanket
Lucky thing that I don’t sleep in my birthday suit. I am always rolled up in the blanket with only a tuff of my hair visible.
When my atm gets home, I am going to get him to call that brother of his and get the date confirm soonest. I can’t have people peeking into my bedroom and wondering why in the world I sleep till 11am. Anyway, wtf can I do by waking up early? Sing with the birds? Surf p0rnsites? Tius la. I am so old already, I don’t have to blardy explain to anyone. But still damn beh song to kena peek like that mah.
Anyway…..Ching Ming falls on the same date every year, around 4th or 5th of April. And we can do the Ching Ming thing, 10 days in advance and 10 days before. I pray that I got some good excuse to be excused again this year. I had never gone up to the hills since Vincent was born and died. There isn’t any meaning for me to do that. And in case you wonder why I am so angsty, it is because it is not only one single grave. It is great grandparents, grandparents, bachelor uncle and my parents-in-law graves, in all the four corners of Penang, within the same morning, in order of their seniority. And only my poor atm and my sons go to these graves but the whole bunch of his siblings waiting at my parents-in-law’s grave.
I have no part in influencing my older kids whether they want to join their father trudging through the graves. But tell me lah, which teenagers like to wake up at 5am and do this? That’s why sons told me they are going to feed me to the fishes! Environmental friendly, save Mother’s Earth and conserve land.
I hope this is my last ranting on the inner struggles I faced being the only Catholic Christian in a family with 8 siblings in-law. I really really hope one fine day, I can go up the hills and sing ‘Amazing Grace’ ala Andrea Bocelli. But ermm…maybe not. The ghosts may not like my voice.