Pls & TQ, pissed & f.u. :O)

Warning : The following passages may contain foul languages. Do not attempt to read further if you have only Please and Thank you in your vocab!

My home is just a shout away from my kids’ primary school. So, it is like a half-way home for many pre-teens and 12 years old. Occassionaly, I get visitors whom are my eldest son’s school-mates from secondary school. They are very well brought up. Hello auntie, thank you auntie. But….when they think that I am out of ear-shot, then the f.u. will popped out of their mouth. Put them together in front of the PS2 and boy….auntie feels like bringing the toilet brush and soap to wash their mouth. But auntie couldn’t care less because how other parents brought up their children is their own business. However, if it is one of my own, they can bet on getting two red cheeks with five finger prints on them.

My kids never hang around their friends’ houses so I do not know if they speak the same language there. But I have one theory. If I teach my kids all the names of the organs of the human body in every languages, Tamil, Hokkien, English, BM, they will not be so curious and won’t treat foul languages as a novelty to show off to their friends. Does that make sense?

Is there a book or chart that you use to teach, auntie?

Nay…they learn every word while in the car, when I am driving.

tsk tsk tsk, auntie, how can like that? You say bad words in front of your children ah?

Why not? It is better than to bottled up the anger and whacked them unnecessary, no? Afterall, those morons on the road deserve it.

So it is the unwritten rule that I, the mother, the great one, can say “eee eh mak le” (curse your mother) but they cannot because they are not mothers. Or if I accidentally kicked and injured my big toe, I can say ‘pooh….’ (minus the ki) or ‘chi…. (minus the bye?).

Well, another theory of mine is if the kids are happy and not having bottled up foul moods, then they wouldn’t be using foul languages. If I don’t force please and thank you down their reluctant throats just to prove that I am a good mother who brought up good mannered children, then I won’t get pissed and f.u. flowing out in retaliation.

So, meantime, they can stick to using ‘horseshoe crab sperm’ (hou siaw/bluff) as their first bad word. Anything further, they are risking getting a thunderbolt from me. Oh ya, they are also allowed to complete the ‘ki’ and the ‘bye’ from my uncompleted words. But hey, I do not kick my toe everyday, ok?

Referee dutee

Is something wrong with my method of upbringing or is something wrong with other people’s children? As usual, I am always the perfect one. How can I go wrong….. no way man….. I am always right wan….

How come I don’t see other kids/siblings punching each other in public but my kids do that all the time? Or nudging each other till they fall off the chair/seat? And doing this in church, in a Catholic church when we observe the most prim and proper way of worshipping in silence? Oooh… I am trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea. If I don’t bring them along with me to church more often, I am not being a good mother. If I bring them every week, one of these days, the whole church is going to see this woman possessed by the devil and giving her two sons, one on her left and one on her right, two tight slaps on the left and right cheeks – in the middle of ‘Grant us peace, grant us peace’.

I think it is healthy to allow kids to express themselves. They must be able to tell if they are angry, annoyed, irritated, disgusted, pissed off, (ok, no f word allowed at home)….. They should be able to release those bad ‘chi’ inside them. So, I let them take it out on each other. It is pure, innocent, child-like display of affections to me. It usually starts with each other poking fun, laughing at each other inane jokes then it progresses to names calling like ‘headless chicken’, ‘moron’, etc etc. But soon, one of them is going to get angry, an arm or a leg is bound to cross territories, more arms and more legs and …. that’s where my referee whistle will come in. But I don’t have a whistle, I use my loudest voice. Tsk, tsk tsk, it is not nice to shout at your kids, auntie. Hey, if I don’t do something to stop that pronto, someone is going to get hurt. And I also get to practise my vocals too, good for choir.

*sigh* It is real fun to live with 4 sons. As one can see from the photo above. Only the #2 and #3 fight but overall, they provided each other the best companies. And the best lesson too – you gotta live with people you can’t stand and you gotta love them at the same time. Tough but that’s life.

Love bites

Something I made for my #1 son.

I am either a very loving mom or I am a very nutty mom. It is one of those days when hubby is not eating at home. So I am at the mercy of my kids. If it is a family meal, then everyone is expected to eat what is laid on the table. But when the man of the house is not taking dinner at home, then I will be waitressing. Son #1 wants fried rice with spicy dried prawns. Son #2 wants a ham and cheese omellete. And if I think I can just get son #3 to eat what #2 is eating, then I am safe. But no… he hates cheese and ham and he wants scrambled eggs. Then, what about son #4 who is only a toddler? Should I serve him eggs and bread? Nope, he got China-man tummy and doesn’t fancy western style food. So, I have to find some rice for him. But son #1 fried rice is not suitable for him. Which means I have to fry rice for a toddler. There I was, in the kitchen, toiling over eggs and rice, cooking four separate meals.

Of course, I do not mind doing all the above, washing the frying pan again and again, sweating over the stove, making mundane meals because as long as my kids are fed, I am real happy. But ha ha ha, hubby said he needed something to eat before his dinner with his expat colleagues. Yah, yah, he is eating lobster and sharksfin and I am home waiting for leftovers of cold, mashed up, half-eaten eggs and probably spitted fried rice from the toddler. So, would I be asking “Dear…. what do you want to eat? Fried or scrambled, spicy or non-spicy, with meat or without? bla bla.” No way… I just pop in the microwave – a plate of rice, some dishes from leftover from lunch and splattered, eat! That’s it. The man who brings back the bacon has no ‘authority’ to order his meals. But my four princes will get to make a waitress, kitchen helper, cook out of me. All in the name of love.

Under mommy’s armpit

When a baby is tiny, mommy’s is afraid of germs and want to protect baby. When a toddler, mommy’s is afraid of toddler tumbling and scratching his knees. When a child enter kindy, mommy wants to stand by the fence and keep an eagle eye on her precious child. When in primary school, mommy makes sure that her precious son adapts well to the basic necessities available, like dirty toilets, lousy canteen food, fierce teachers… Mommy worries constantly when her son has to take the school bus on his own. When it rains, she fidgets in her office. When the weather is too hot, she feels guilty in her aircon room. When she tucks in a nice lunch, she wonders if he is hungry in daycare…. Sigh…. how mommy wish she can protect the child every minute, keep him under her armpit. (a Malay proverb for a protective mother, di bawah ketiak mak).

But sooner or later, the sons grow and need to spread their wings. Mommy cannot afford to keep them under her armpit or else they will be in for a major shock when they reach adulthood. They are going to be pretty screwed up and mama’s boys aren’t exactly everyone’s favourite kind of friends.

Spreading their wings start with finding their own circle of friends. Good or bad. Then, simple steps like learning to take the public bus, going to public places, crossing the road safely, be away on their own for a few nights……. All these usually give every mother sleepless nights and restless days. And when her sons are scouts and go jungle trekking (at midnight!) or camping in the jungle, more worries. But what can a mom do but pray? Pray and keep her child in her constants thoughts. These are all necessary.

Hilarous as it sounds but there are women who check on their sons at camps, bringing pajamas, food, clean water… Doing more harm than good. Because her son is ridiculed for having to change into pajamas at a scout camps. Turning her son into the clown. Or the moms who fetch their children in the midway of camps to go for tuition or watching some Cantonese serial. When I heard of these (cases not from my sons’ school but a premier Chinese school), I shudder to think what kind of boys are these women bringing up? Too much of under the armpit treatment may bring up men who has personalities that stinks.

So, here I am, sighing and wondering what are my two sons doing? On a lazy Sunday afternoon, both have asked for permission to go to the internet cafe for a few rounds of games. Games they can play at home with our broadband but games that will have more oomph if they play in a large group. What I can do but to agree to let them take the public bus, nagged them to promise they will use the proper place to cross the road, never accept any food or drinks from anyone and to stick to each other only. This may sounds like a brainless thing to do – let my children go to those sinister internet cafes. Which could be filled with porns and casinos sites. Or loaded with criminals out to kidnap or molest or sodomise boys. But the thing is to build trust. I trust them to do what they enjoy – playing online games with the camaderie of good friends. I trust them not to betray my trust. And also a process to detach themselves from mommy’s armpit.

So far so good. At least, I know I won’t be shocked and run complaining to the Government to take care of my own children. (mothers had written to the Government demanding for the closure of internet cafes/banning children from entering etc etc) At some stage in life, our child has to learn to spread their wings, flying on their own. And with God’s grace and constant prayers, a mom can help by guiding her children to go in the right direction.

Tuition, tuition, tuition

Our Malaysian children are going to have their year-end school holidays starting from 8th Nov. I am sure many of us adults know the meaning of school holidays. It is purely holidays, no early morning, no study, no schedule. But what are we having now? I am already receiving many pamphlets dropped in my apartment’s post box about tuitions starting November??!! And leaflets announcing ‘lessons for Form One’ when the UPSR (Primary Six exam) has just completed!!?? Or camps to build self-esteem, self-confidence bla blah. In the first place, who is UN-building the self-esteem of our children that warrants them to be sent to camp to re-learn them?

This is sad, so sad. We are robbing our children off their rights of a happy, carefree childhood. We are pushing them to excel in things we perceive as important. We forced them to lessons they do not need and certainly do not love. When they failed to live up to our perceived standards, think how they feel? Do the parents know that their poor kids cried in class whenever they received their examination results? These children feel that they had failed their parents.

It is the year end and once again, it is the dreaded ‘meet the parents’ day’. Oh how I hate them. Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting with their teachers, to say thank you for guiding and teaching my sons and sayonara. That’s all I want to do. I do not want to hear the same old thing like ‘your son daydreams during lessons, your son talks too much, your son could improve just a little bit more, your son writing is horrible…..’ Year in, year out, I met the same teachers because they go to the same school. Year in, year out, I hear the same complaints because after all, my kids are brought up by the same parents. The teachers will be facing the ‘blank look’ mommy because I am too polite to tell them ‘oh what the heck, my sons are happy and that’s all that matters. So what if they occassionally turn up last in the class? I do not care. They are still cream of the crop as long as they hang around the top class of the form.’

History will repeats itself. My sons who always fall behind in class will still emerge with all As in their Govt. exam (psst… they are real easy, btw), the smart kids of the class will fail to cinch ‘just one more A’ and ended up crying in class while awaiting the ‘thunder’ from their parents whom had taken them from tuition centre to tuition centre from day one they entered kindergarten until Std 6.

No tuition for my kids, now or ever.

Techie Kids

My kids are those who think they are smarter than mommy, know better than mommy and hate it when I meddle with their computer. We have two computers at home, one for me and one for them. Of course, theirs is a much better, bigger, newer and more expensive model. (that also reflects whom papa favour more, don’t you think?)

I am paranoid when it comes to broadband because I can imagine the kind of junks that can flow in to our computers, unseen. And these viruses, trojan horses, worms and blahs are like the kind of germs that cause us to get the flu, loose bowels etc. Unseen and yet, lethal.

But hey, they refused to let me instal virus protection for them because they claimed it slowed down their games. OK, mommy will nag and nag about the dangers. I suppose they are immune to mommy’s nags. Wash your hands, trim your nails, wash behind your ears, change your underwears…nag, nag, nag, check your computer for viruses, scan for spyware, defragment your drive…nag, nag, nag. Do they listen? Nope.

Great! Their computer kaput-ed, after less than one month of broadband because the viruses or whatever had stopped the computer from surfing the net. So, it has to go back to the shop to get configured again. So, my kids are now having withdrawal symptoms, whining about being bored, got nothing to do, no books to read, exam over, no good show on TV, no new DVD…. And me? I am laughing at them with glee, rub it in to them – I told you so… nye, nye, nye, nye… Padan muka!

I suppose like most lessons in life, one has to fall before one learns their lesson. Now when the computer is back, I know my kids are going to look up to mommy, a milimetre higher, probably. Mommy is sooo cooool, she knows lots about computers!

Making love with the mop and broom

Yikes!!! I just realised that I am holding the hand(les) of the mop, broom and dustpan more than the hand of my man! Each night, these will be the last thing I do, each morning, these are the things that I look for. Throughout the day, I am also close to them. What is becoming of me???!!! Am I bordering on getting obssessive compulsive behaviour? I hope not.

OK, I am not such a neat person. I have a part-time helper to do the ‘real’ chores. But for a lazy bones like me, I realised that this is not healthy…. Oh no…. I musn’t domesticate myself so much. I am losing it. But one cannot help it when one have 4 kids who make constant mess, stains, spills, puddles…. So, I ended up making love with the mop, broom and dustpan or else the ants will come marching in one by one (oh dear, I am hearing the Barney song in my brains) and my lil baby will get so many ants’ bites. So many tiny red dots that I am beginning to feel ashame of myself when I bring him out.

So, how does a woman balance the domesticate front and the ‘I want to be an independent woman!’ role? I don’t want to live with brooms and mops! I don’t want to get intimate with sticks like these. This is so un-me. This is so un-cool. But… this is so necessary.