Wednesday, 11th January '06

Parents, the Care and Feeding Of.

Parents are a tricky business.

I've been raised on a diet of fillial piety, the story of the whatshisname who cut off a chunk of his arm to feed his mother, the 慈母手中线 poem, honour-thy-Father-and-Mother and other associated Chinese-Christian values. And it works very well for me. That's because I have pretty liberal (by Asian standards, anyway), reasonable and quirky parents.

The cool things my parents do / have done:
- Never set house rules. Nothing about the amount of TV I can watch, how loud the stereo can blast (heck, I end of nagging Dad about the TV volume), or running in the house.
- Never forbade swearing. I love that Ma was the first person to teach me the proper usuage of "f*ck". It's hilarious, I think I was 7 and she told me it was for "very bad people". Like the other drivers on the roads (a.k.a. "f*ck-face), evidently. *chuckle*
- Never caned. Very at odds with government policy, but it somehow worked.
- Never grounded me.
- Did ultra-stupid things with me: like when I was 5, Dad took me "mountain-climbing" on that pathetic little molehill near the house. Or how we sit in the car belting out Beatles classics.
- Forget to give me the "where do babies come from?" talk. Ma somehow just start discussing procreation issues until she realised, to her horror, that her 10-year-old daughter still thought that two people sharing a bed was enough produce a new member of the family. Of course I got the full low-down - biology, pictures and all, after that - the joys of parents in the medical field.
- Never compared me or my results to anyone else... mahjong khakis' kids / neighbours / cousins or anyone. They also never sent me to SCGS and joined the tai-tai clubs. Muahaha.
- Never worried about me being left on the shelf and go all trigger happy with my guy friends, thank heavens for English-educated parents.

Obviously there's a very delicate balancing act in keeping that all in check. I've had my share of what I term "Simple Plan moments":
- "I'm just a kid, my life is a nightmare."
- "One day, I won't take this anymore; one day I'll be old enough to do, to do, to do, what I want to."
- "I'm sorry I can't be perfect." (Quite the song of my generation, it seems.)
And general fantasies that they must have picked me out of of a garbage bin in Ulu Pandan and that I couldn't possibly bear their genetic material.

But by and large, the major meltdowns haven't lasted very long. So I always feel vaguely out-of-it when I'm discussing the issue of how to deal with parents with other people. I don't always know what to say about it when faced with conflicting interests. Somehow I've always used a combination of selective disclosure, tactful compliments, playing the you-want-me-to-learn-to-make-my-own-decisions-right? card, nodding and going "mm!" but being non-committal overall, and good ol' "pretty please?!?", and I've never not gotten what I needed (lack of permission to go scuba diving and fear of the giant squid notwithstanding, for those of you who know what I'm talking about). And I never get why it doesn't work when my friends do it.

Err. Yesh. That's about it. Effectively what I think I'm trying to articulate is I have a hard time arbitrating the child versus parent thing. I've never really needed to deal with it myself. I get kind of inconsistent, one moment telling someone not to judge her mother, and the next telling her to encourage said mother to leave the country. Maybe I should jsut keep my meddlesome fingers out of it.

Yeah, I think I'll do that. Mai kaypoh.



en ying snapped a shot of life @ 05:41 pm
[8 photographs developed.]


8 photographs developed.

limz:

haha i remember scub diving and how sadam might bomb the hot air balloon.. *muffled laughter* uncle if u are reading this, no offence. LOL

en:

AHAHAHAHHHAHAA. i forgot about that one!!! that was seriously the best.

dage:

oh was it when you all were planning your australia trip..HEY!i thought there were more to it..haha..but yes..its hilarious..NO OFFENCE too!

en:

ok. enough. stop diaoing my parents. angry, grr they're hilarious but they're cool.

lucas:

haven't popped by for some time now chicky! =p thanks so much for ur emails last yr. Can't wait to see u soon!!

en:

LUCAS LUK TIEN WEE!!!! You're alive. that's a relief.

dude. i'm not going to see you till june EARLIEST. unless you come here! *wink*

limz:

i never diao ur parents lah. and they are seriously cool. i like how auntie assumed u knew how procreation happened. razz i've never really talked about it to my parents sleepy

en:

heh. i know lah.





name:
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big grin razz *wink wink* hey baby
angry, grr blush confused
cool crazy cry
sleepy hehe LOL
plain jane rolls eyes satisfied