Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Mother Forgets

After days of raining screams and canes on Coco, it suddenly dawned on me that I had not cut her any slack on her improvements in her SA1.

The fact is, she did improve, her T-score increased by more than 20 points compared to her usual performance, and she did use the methods we taught her for Maths, English and possibly Chinese.

What in the world is the matter with me?

Instead of giving her credit and assuring her that she would do well if she keeps up with the effort and methods, I was constantly taunting her with horrible words and phrases about not doing well for PSLE because of her lacklustre attitude.

The last straw came when she stained her worksheet with oil from left-over dinner and she asked me if I knew how to ‘洗书' (wash book). Oh my goodness, it was truly a 'hell hath no fury' moment! I literally humiliated her in front of some boys younger than her by asking them if they would ask their mother to 'wash their worksheets' for them.

She wept.

After I have cooled down, I reflected on how I have treated her thus far. Is what I have been doing doing any good to her preparation of PSLE? What will all this amount to? They only serve to discourage her, belittle her, erode whatever confidence she has in herself.

So why am I being such a horrible mother?

I have not given her much credit for what she had done well. I have not encouraged her, praised her enough. Besides the movie 'The Avengers', I have not taken her to anywhere else for play or relaxation.

Father Forgets. So does Mother.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

A Trying Journey to PSLE

I have been screaming at Coco almost every day.

She has made improvements in all her subjects for SA1. We are all happy for her. However, she seems to be contented with what she has accomplished and has slumped back into her previous slump.

When I tried doing Chinese Oral revision with her, she was stumped by the lack of vocabulary at the swimming pool ie. lifeguard and buoy.

I flipped through her Oral resources and asked for a list of thematic vocabulary that had been prepared by her teacher.

She could not find it.

I screamed at her for her absent-mindedness and carelessness. I had passed it to her on the day of her Chinese Oral and had asked her to file it back in after the exam.

Apparently, she did not.

After a massive search, she said,"Oh, I might have lent it to Jasmine."

I said,"Then call her now! And ask her if it's with her!"

After a while, she got back to me,"She didn't pick up her phone."

I felt like I could have died on the spot.

After the rant, we proceeded to revising Chinese compositions.

I flipped through the Composition file just to find that the 10 model compositions I had photocopied for her were missing, again.

Same thing. I had given them to her and had asked her to file them back right after the exam.

So she got another harangue from me again, with 'bonus' - caning.

I thought if I continued to stay with her, tomorrow's headline would be 'Mother murders daughter over PSLE revision'. So I, together with William, took Baby to the zoo.

When I came home, I was glad that she had completed a Chinese composition on her own. But to my dismay, there was no evidence of any 'good' phrases used. On the contrary, she used quite a few dialogues in the writing.

I almost flipped!

I rejected the composition right away,"I already told you 'Don't use dialogues in your compositions' many times! Why are you still using dialogues?"

Coco,"Because I think dialogues are good."

So enraged was I that I rained her with another harangue. And this time, I even told her I doubted her intelligence, that she was indeed 'stupid', because despite years of reminders of 'don't use dialogues' from every single language teacher and me, with me explaining the reasons of why using dialogues 'cheapens' her compositions, she still insisted that 'dialogues are good'.

I really buay tahan already.

Her attitude towards learning has been extremely trying. She stretches just about everybody's patience.

The same attitude spans through just about everything she does, every subject that she studies.

Even for something as simple as highlighting key words in a question, she is adequately trained in highlighting the 'important' words, but when she decides to display that lacklustre attitude, she would highlight just about every single word in a question, except words like 'Sue, is, the'. When I get sarcastic,"You might as well highlight the whole question." She says,"Oh, I really should!" and proceeds to highlight the whole question!

In another instance, I was forcing her to highlight the areas she derive answers from. She refused to. Instead, she highlighted question numbers!

When I asked her,"Highlight question numbers got use ah?"

She replied,"Got use."

Before she could explain to me how useful highlighing question numbers are, I was scolding her upside down!

She is a wonderful girl, but when it comes to studying, she can be as trying as, if not worse than, the worst kid in school.

We have talked to her nicely, reasoned with her, showed her the consequences with real-life examples of not studying well in school, even reminded her of her nursery experience of being a misfit in a PCF kindergarten to illustrate how much of a misfit she would be if she goes to a not-so-good secondary school. But she continues to demonstrate disinterest in living up to her own potential.

She is definitely not slow in learning. I see how she could apply concepts in Science readily and how she could grasp the Mathematical methods in solving problem sums when I could not. I see how she could memorise 10 Chinese model compositions even when Chinese is not her forte. I doubt I can do that even though Chinese is supposedly chicken-feed to me. She has great learning capacity, and alot of potential to be excellent, but her attitude is stopping her from achieving a lot more beyond what she is achieving right now. It is such a shame.

I think we are reaching the end of our rope. There is nothing much we can do except to wait for her attitude to turn around.

Speed Matter

I have lost count of the number of my driving lessons since I take lessons practically every day, sans the weekends.

But I should complete Stage Two by next Monday.

There are 4 Stages in all, with Stage 4 having the least number of subjects ie. three. According to the counter staff, I should complete all my lessons with another 7 or 8 sessions, which means I can book my Practical Test by the end of this month.

Last Friday, I slotted in my compulsory Automatic Car lesson just right after my 8.15am lesson. So that made it 4 hours of driving with just a 15-minute break in between.

I was surprised that Automatic Car driving was so much smoother and easier. With the need for attention on the gear-shifting and clutch-handling taken away, you can just focus on your speed and the hundred-and-one thing you need to look out for on the road. With the clutch and gear, I constantly need to remind myself to shift the gears at different speeds for the different road conditions and areas ie. bends, turns versus straight roads.

I was telling William that 40km/h is a comfortable speed for me and below is our conversation just yesterday:

Me: Eh, I always drive 40km/h leh. Will I fail the test for driving so slow?

W: Of course la!

Me: Huh ... Is this car driving at 40?

W: No. About 50-60.

Me: That car leh? Got 40 or not?

W: No. 55.

Me: This one leh?

W: No. ... Aha, this one is 40!

Me looked up.

W: (pointing at a cyclist)

Friday, 11 May 2012

A New Lease of Life

I hadn't been blogging, and if I did, the alignment and paragraphing was totally off - because the computer was removed for at least a week - for a greater good.

It underwent a facelift.

Following my '3D drawing', the carpenter did up the book cabinet, settee and study table.

Let the pictures do the talking:

 The original condition of where the settee would be, with tons of stash, wanted and hoarded
 The Ikea book shelves, with handsewn curtains to cover the eyesore
The Ikea study table, sunken and broken in the middle, covered by the red mousepad.
A mess, as usual 
 When the study was cleared
My nephew's artistic expression on the wall
 Handsewn curtain (by my elder sister) to cover up the mess in the study
 We painted the study with Nippon's Raindrop blue.
We felt it was 'too blue' and boyish, so I mixed 2 litres of white base paint to the remaining paint and repainted the room.
Not very visible in the picture, but the blue did become lighter.
 On the day the carpentry was to come, I was already mighty pleased with the glass door that greeted me
The carpentry, yet to be installed
 Light filled the room when the curtains were down

After Day 1 ...
 The settee
 The table with cabinet and shelf
 The book cabinet 

Day 2 ...
 Table with cabinet and shelf
 9 ft full-height book cabinet
Warm lights beneath the cabinet
The door, with a soft glow from within

Thursday, 3 May 2012

The hurt that has never left

I was sourcing for some ROM images as samples for my brother's coming solemnisation this Saturday when the first Googled page emerged as the ROM website. For some reason, the ROM I had more than 12 years ago came back to me.

With almost no fuss at all, I typed in his name and date of birth on the searching page for marriage registration.

The search showed that he is married three years ago.

I didn't expect him to be a live widow.

We have been freed from each other, after about 9 years of a relationship.

I cried though.

The hurt that was done so many years ago probably has never really left.

In that relationship, all was sweet for the first few months. He bought flowers for me, and told me to let him know when the flowers wither so that he could always get me fresh ones; he asked if he'd returned my call on his pager within five minutes and he'd aim to do just that every time; he said he felt like he was on top of the world when I said yes to being his girlfriend; he didn't even mind if he was a substitute since I was on a rebound.

But after the honeymoon period, the passion turned cold. I tried all ways to retain the relationship. Every possible way. I should have left him. But I didn't.

When I moved to Marsiling, I travelled just about every day to Tampines for our dates. But he often left me crying all the way home, from Tampines to Marsiling MRT station. It was a sure sign that the relationship was doomed but I didn't let it go.

I made a few weak attempts at breaking up with him but I gave in the moment he called.

It took many years of hurt for me to give up on the abusive relationship.

For the years that I broke away from it, I thought all was forgotten and the hurt was gone, but 5 years down the road one day, when I was alone, and remembered how he had hurt me, memories were still vivid and tears couldn't stop flowing.

The hurt was so bad that nothing could make me spend the rest of my life with him, even when there was a baby.

In fact, it was the baby who gave me the resolve to get out of that abusive relationship. I didn't want my baby girl to model her future partner after that Peter Pan.

Today, I still cried. The lost years of youth and emotions are not something that can be easily compensated.

The relationship has left me with a lifetime of regrets and hurt. Each time I recall, the wound feels like it's still fresh. I had held onto the relationship out of fear and insecurity. Not because of love.

Being in an emotionally abusive relationship made me believe that no one else would 'love' me more than he did, even when he would scold me audibly, with despise in his voice, in public,"Useless woman!" and immediately apologised under his breath when I picked up my bag and wanted to leave.

It is this hurtful relationship that gives me the most contrite understanding of quotes about how one should never enter a relationship out of loneliness, else she would find herself end up feeling lonelier, and one who waits for others to give her happiness would never be happy.

There were tons of reasons why I should leave him and just about none that I should stay, yet I was blinded by false emotions. I clung on the past sweet memories of the relationship, thinking that THAT was the real him and when he realised that, he would revert to how he had treated me the way he did when we first got together.

That pathetic relationship made me realise things I would otherwise never be able to:

1. Others will not love you if you do not love yourself.

2. No love is worth your pride.

3. A girl should take time to choose her boyfriend carefully, even the first one.

4. If a man truly loves you, he wouldn't do anything to hurt you. What doesn't break you will make you stronger.

All the hurt do make me stronger. I no longer wait for someone to give me happiness. I go look for it myself.

If anyone is in a relationship I was, my message to her is: waste time not.