Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Hand Being Faster Than The Mouth

“Got homework or not?” yelled the mother from the kitchen as she was busy preparing the evening meal.

Another 15 minutes or so later, she went “Hey, I ask got homework and have you finished them, huh?” This time around, the voice a tad louder.

Some 10 minutes must have passed when she boomed,“Aitelyuuuuuu…..turn off the TV NOWwwwww….” her face a crimson shade and the veins on the neck all raised.

“OK larrrrr…..enough larrr….I am not deaf lar….”, the boy finally got up from the bean bag and dragged himself to the small study table.

That’s my friend’s daily tune – mother and son ‘top of the charts duet for the day’. **tsk..tsk…tsk….** aiyoh…INSOLENT, OBSTINATE and dared to TALK BACK summore! Kalo kena my mother or kena me for that matter, herrh.…he’d be toast.

My momma was a hard and tough taskmaster. She had a soft voice but she sure had a ‘loud’ presence. She hardly ever raised her voice because the mighty rotan ‘spoke’ for her. Every evening after dinner, momma kept me company as I struggled with my school homework on the multi-purpose dining table. Momma with her sewing and needlecraft, would be sitting just a few feet away and she seemed to have more than one pair of eyes. I would be perched on the hard wooden kitchen stool, pencil in hand and scribbling furiously away and quite often, my mind would wander and on a few instances too, I stole 80 winks. **twackkk…** goes the rotan on the floor like she was swatting some imaginary fly or something and I’d jump.

Though she could not read what I wrote, momma sure was one sharp lady and if she saw some untidy or out-of-line handwritings, there goes one sharp pinch or smack on the chubby hand **oucchhh…** and God save me if I brought home exercise books and workbooks which contained crosses more than ticks. And for the revision of the day’s lessons, momma insisted I read out loud. Ya…real LOUD so she would know that I was not nodding away to dreamland. Eventhough she could not make out what I was warbling about and whether I got it right, she nonetheless believed that if she made me read 10 times, at least once, I would have got it right. Try playing the fool and bring back colourful report cards and I can be assured of some torturous ‘rewards’.

Momma was also a great motivator and she used case studies to good effect. Her usual repertoire of threats and reminders - ”Hey, if you don’t like school and don’t perform, you’ll end up a domestic help, just like so-and-so.” OR her favourite OK, I go to school tomorrow and strike out your name from the register. "

That would ensure instant theatrics from me,WaaWaaaWAAAaaa….DOWANnnnn…. I want to be a teacher.” I suspected that was music to momma’s ears then. Those days, there were many girls, some as young as 12 years old, who ‘prematurely graduated’ from school because of poor academic performance and in some cases, the parents were unable to afford the monthly school fees. I had one classmate who had to leave school to work as a stay-in babysitter for a mere $25 per month. I felt sooo sad for her…I cried for days!

Looking back, I wonder if my momma had it easier bringing up kids compared to what my other young friend is going through today. Were the kids more obedient and mindful then? Or were the mommas of those days more fierce? Me? Oh, sometimes, my hand works faster than my mouth. **piakkkk..piakkkk….**

 
posted by nyonyapenang at 5:55 PM, |

53 Comments:

  At 7:03 PM Blogger PEARLY said:
hi dear :
I like the first one is sound very much like me , but not with home work every evening is most of the time asking them to tidy up thier room or clear up our home clear the cat poo . there back from school there will be with TV or DSgame . but I do the same as like your mum I don't ask them to do there study , I explain to my 3 monkey , the end of the day is not for me to get a good job or wel pay money is for themself so if there wanted to be a loser is all up to them , well this way didn't do them harm there do all school work well without me scream all the time hahaha. your mama way work very well , my mum do the same to me too .
I been living in holland , all the parent in holland there don't push their kids , there just explain and advise kids , I think this way make the kids make more sense , don't you think too ?

have a lovely weekend my dear xxxxx
  At 10:45 PM Blogger U.Lee said:
Hi Nyonya, the status symbol in my house back in the 40's was a three feet long Manau cane.
Also there was that all time favourite, a feather duster. A lot of chickens made sacrifices for that.
I think the shop made good money at the rate the feather duster kept being replaced by new ones every few months. Apart from using it to dust off my father's Norton motorcycle, it in turn was used to 'dust' me, aiyohh!
But old days, a lot of boys went to school like Vietnam veterans with our red, blue bruises from cane marks on our legs.
Nobody could spell let alone know what is human rights or child abuse.
Hey! Even the teachers had canes, the principal's office had a big, long 4 feet rattan...used if caught fighting, playing truant or caught smoking.
Those days the teachers, both men and women were better than Clint Eastwood, more accurate...not with a gun, but with chalks!
Talk in class with your friend at the back while teacher writing on the blackboard, and next minute a primitive cruise missile made of a broken into half chalk came straight to our bodies or head, 'TOK'!
Had one Byeee teacher, his aim was deadly up to 25 feet! Mrs Chong our maths teacher good for 15 feet range only, ha ha. Sometimes we raise our desk cover as a shield like a Roman gladiator.
But then the school produced Engineers, doctors, scientists etc, all well known and famous too.
Have a nice day, Nyonya. UL.
  At 1:10 AM Blogger Kenny Ng said:
My hand also faster than my mouth when I smash the shuttlecock... LOL
  At 8:34 AM Blogger may said:
can't remember if my mom ever spanked me for not studying, but definitely got spank me when I've been naughty... lol!
  At 9:07 AM Blogger ah nel said:
last time my mom not so strict at my school thing tat y i end up like tis now.she indeed fierce than my dad when i make her angry n stil in my mind tat i spoke out 1 bad words she went fridge look for cili then my whole mouth lebam.

*u feeling beter liao kar?must drink more water oh! *
I was sent to tution class after school, but I really hate having to do extra homework other than the sooo many homework from school. I beg beg n promise I'll be good and do my homework by myself at home. If I dont do well or got lazy at doing homework, mom will say, "you dont do homework huh, I'll send u back to tution!" That will send me flying to do my homework without her saying another word hehehe
  At 2:48 PM Blogger Pi Bani said:
Hand faster than the mouth still okay what... the problem is when the mouth is faster than the brain! Talk first, like "If you get straight A's for your exams, I'll buy you whatever you want." Then only think, "Alamak... what if the kid really gets straight A's and then ask for something outrageous?" Die...
  At 7:36 PM Anonymous mott said:
Hmmm...

I don't know la. I set aside a time for homework..so the kid actually does it. He used to dwaddle..but when his teacher praised him for doing his own very untidy work (yes....she chided those who asked their parents to 'help' them)...he diligently and happily does it. I just wonder how long this honeymoon will last.....and I think I better enjoy it while I can!

HA HA HA!!!!
  At 8:14 PM Blogger ilene said:
Your friend sounds just like me! Sometimes I used to think that I'm the ONLY one in this housing estate with a school going child as it's only my screaming that can be heard and no others! I very garang wan you know. My daughter kena the rottan from me don't know how many times, when she was small lah. Now I pun tua oledi sudah tak larat liow! At least some good did come out of the canning! hehehehehe!
hi pearly,
hahaha...The first one sounded like you? I guess, a few parents with young children would somehow relate to it. I had my fair share of screaming too and of course I also d abit counselling lar. I told the boys, you don't want to work hard now...next time sure got a lot of hard-hard labour to endure.

I remember too, my father's wise words to me, "IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE STRENGTH TO CARRY A CANGKUL(A HOE), THEN YOU BETTER LEARN TO HOLD A PEN."

Ya lar, I'm like a softie lidat...cannot do hard labour wan.

You have a great wek too, Pearly.
  At 9:45 PM Blogger ikanbilis said:
when i was really really young, whenevr my mum bring me along to the market, i would always demand a tractor. and i don't know why until today, why i love those tractor so much!
Hi Uncle Lee,
Oh ya, that multi-purpose feather duster with that thick fat cane curved one end into a handle. Thank God, my momma never used that on me. She preferred the thin rotans and also her cubits...adoi...it sure was painful.

I came from an all-girls school, so I have never seen public caning in my school but have heard frightful stories from some of my male cousins where they have fearsome discipline masters.

'Cruise missiles' fashioned from broken chalks? hahaha....You sure had very garang teachers hor?

But nowadays, I think not many teachers 'dare' to cane or throw chalks at the unruly students. They sure do not want to see 'artwork' on their cars. :)

You have a nice day too.
hi kenny,
of course...of course. ^O^
hi may,
my mother never had the chance to attend school so i guess she wanted to make sure that we make the most out of our opportunity. and she sure kept score very well.
hi ah nel,
hahahah....you also suffered from 'chillieliatis' before ar? gua pun kena satu kali when i tried to tell one lie....adoi...betul lar...the mulut lebam.

i am feeling better liao....at least now the voice doesn't sound so nasal anymore. thank you for your concern.
hi winniethepooh,
you sure have excellent negotiating skills since young. you got your mom to buy your idea and all she needed to do was to gently remind you of the deal. a good one, winnie...a win-win situation. :)
Hi Pi Bani,
Teruk lar kalo mouth faster than the brain...sure will end up with foot-in-the-mouth disease.
hahahaha...
hi mott,
you train your kids well and like you said, the teacher also plays an important role. she recognises the effort put in by the child, praise him and this in turn motivates the child.
hi ilene,
i have actually been told that it's difficult to teach our own children do their homework..what with all the screaming and rotanning. but i insisted that i teach and guide my own children with their homework, until they were in upper secondary when i could no longer manage, then I send them for tuition.
hi ikanbilis,
welcome home!

you love mechanical toys, huh? must be you were fascinated by the different moving parts of the tractor...so many arms and legs and looked so invincible. :D
  At 5:51 AM Blogger Winn said:
i think the parenting style now are softer compared to before...children now are tougher to teach coz they know how to talk back, with insults or arguments or terms u dont even know exist...

ppl back then are more accepting
  At 9:03 AM Blogger savante said:
I think parents were much fiercer back then - and the canes weren't too far away as well.
Hi there Rockin' Girl Blogger. Yes, thats you! Cos' you've just been given this award. In your case you should be the rockin' nonya blogger though. Lol!
i oso scream liddat...yerrr..now think about it..doesn't sound very good lor...use the cane oso cannot everyday ma..right??
  At 1:41 PM Blogger Kak Teh said:
nyonya, sorry lama tak visit. Anyway, have you ever wondered abt children's concept of time? For example
- Get off the phone! - In a minute! (read- half an hr later)
- Do the dishes! - In a minute (half an hr or an hr later!)
- When are you coming home? In a minute . (three hrs later.)

Has time really changed that much since we were young?
hi winn,
its true, what you said. touch a little bit and you have all those human rights and child abuse thingy to land the parents in jail.
i thought i read somewhere too, that if the child is delinquent, they are gonna bring the parents in as well.

punish to discipline the child...then you gotta face child abuse; don't discipline them and they turned wild, the authorities bring you in for bad parenting.

it's a thin line.
hi savante,
i think so too.

and i remember too, in school those days, if the naughty fellas kena whacked by the teachers, they dare not go home and tell the parents. tell, and the parents would have the pleasure of giving another round of spanking.
now? if the teachers try that, he can be assured he will get to meet the whole family , whole kampung and include a few politicians, the next day.
hi mumsgather,
thank you...that's so sweet of you.
i'll pop by to 'receive' it another day, ya?

you have a great week.
hi laundryamah,
it's never easy. too much cannot...too little also cannot.
just do your best and speak to God for the rest. :)
Hi Kak Teh,
Ya....lama tak jumpa....gua miss you.
I know you have been busy and I have been a little bit tied up in knots too.

Children's concept of time? Now that you point it out to me...hmmm...can it be because to them, a day is equivalent to 72 hours? That's why their "in a minute" can s-t-r-e-t-c-h-h-hhhh extra long. hahahaa...

My no. 2....his favourite answer is "Soon...momma....SOON.."
**scratch head** :)

Have a great summer day, Kak Teh.
  At 12:20 AM Blogger J.T. said:
Hi Nyonya

My dad used to say "If you don't study hard, you will end up like that drain sweeper out there."
Then, another day he mentioned that any honest job in life is a job worth being proud off. We should not be ashamed of it. Then my dad said, "see, like that drain sweeper out there. He is doing an honest job."
As you can guess, I wanted to be a smart mouth, I had a smile on my face ready to say something ... and my dad caught it. He quickly said, "and just because I said that is honest job, it does not mean you can ditch your studies today and have the ambition of being a drain sweeper." haha
His brain and mouth was faster than mine.

Your question, "Were the kids more obedient and mindful then? Or were the mommas of those days more fierce?"
I believe kids were more disciplined and/or afraid of their elders then. Some kids are a little more 'brave' these days because they are influenced by things around them i.e. media, fast-moving world, ultra-modern and fast-talking peers, etc. Who knows? That is just my observation. Mommas seemed fiercer those days... or so it seems. I know my sister is strict with her children but she also lets them have a little room to breathe too.
  At 2:03 PM Blogger eve said:
My time hor..oso same same la..piak piak first..tok later..
kids now..where can piak so much..nanti they shout child abuse lor..
  At 8:19 PM Blogger Jonzz said:
LOL, somehow that post made me nostalgic.
  At 9:17 PM Blogger sengkor said:
ha.. my dinner when i was a kid was a plate of rice + 1 rotan standby next to me..
  At 12:13 AM Blogger Helen said:
personally I think strict but understanding parents are good. Parents nowadays try too hard to be buddy buddy with their kids.

I'm not asking people to whack the kids, but parents got to realize THEY are the parents... not their friends! A little rules are justified! lol
  At 1:11 AM Anonymous zeroimpact said:
I believe in the rotan too and I think no child should be spared, even today.
If I could just see every parent doing that then I foresee less social issues
On another note, during my time, those graduating prematurely would be more towards the pregnant side, I wonder why, but then again, that is just so little compared to later or the very near past.
Talking back is disrespecting totally, more reason to cane cane cane
hi j.t.,
Your dad had his favourite lines too and I can imagine that as he was talking to you, you were already stringing some smart retorts BUT your dad was quick to the draw. hahahha...

And those days, children were only to be seen and not heard, so talking back was not condone.
hi eve,
if a parent were to discipline the child until it constitutes child abuse, then i fully agree that the first to go in would be the parent. the parent needs help to be a parent.
hi jonzz,
it sure does to me too! :)

it was a phase of my life i live with no regrets.
hi sengkor,
huwahh....so i guess i cannot name your dinner 'HAPPY MEAL' ya? :D
Hi Helen,
I agree with you. A parent and a child - they are not friends, for goodness sakes!

Parenting is a very difficult job. To give them space - how much is too much and how little is too little? I really have no clue, so I play by the ear and by the eyes. Eg. when my boys want to go out, most times I am agreeable BUT I insist on knowing where, when , how and with whom and what time they are expected to be home and I keep some of their regular friends' phone numbers (so far, have not faced with the need to call their friends at all). The boys know that if at all they will be running late, they will have to phone me, unless they want to see me standing right in front of them wherever they may be. I know they wouldn't like that at all.
hi zeroimpact,
Use the rotan to discipline and never to hurt and abuse. Two swift strokes and then sit them down and get them to talk...ask them if they know and understand why the punishment. Explain to them that everything has a price - step out of line and this would be the price to pay.

Now that you mentioned about teenage pregnancies, I know of 1 case - this girl rode in the same bas sekolah with me. Then she started to be absent for a few days and then she came back and then absent again and then never came back at all. Months later, someone met her with her new baby.
wah...thank god my mommy not that fierce. Ha ha ha! I wouldn't disagree with the piak piaks but in a child's shoes, its everyone's greatest phobia. Ha ha ha ha!!
hi bibik nyonya,
those days it was piak, piak and the child would cry but if cried non-stop then, it would be more piak, piaksss
  At 12:11 PM Blogger Sasha said:
when the mouth being opened so WIDE but the respond so slow...then the hand so the work edi..like me...

i'm still trying not to buy rotan for Jayden ( u know how old he is la) but then....No means Yes, and Yes means Yes. How ah?
Nyonya wah! your mother so garang one aaa? I think most of us 'old timer' faced the same experienced. Mothers during those days were very stict with their children education. My late father was VERY garang!!!Lucikly, he hired a teacher to give us (me and my two siblings) home tuition....the teacher was very nice to us. I still remember his name...my English teacher in school...MR\r. Lee Sai Hong...oh..whereever he is now???..only God's know.
hi sasha,
aiyoh....jayden is too small for the rotan lar. he will feel the pain of the rotan but won't really understand the punishment. just give him TLC and lots of kisses.
my late poppa left the disciplining to my momma and was she fierce! she spoke through the rotan.
  At 11:44 PM Blogger Chen said:
The kids of those days were definitely more obedient. Might be they don't have so much distraction as what the kids have nowadays ;)

Nowadays, there are many parents who are being bullied by kids, or the kids climb over their heads.. Aiyhhhh...
hi Dr Chen,
re: kids bullying their parents, has it got anything to do with the parents now being more indulgent and also parents trying hard to be 'cool friends' with their kids?
  At 2:15 PM Anonymous JL said:
Mama's right hand:

1. Rotan
2. Belt
3. Clothe hanger
4. Payung
5. Kek (wooden slippers)

scary oh...
hi jl,
your momma is sure well-equipped.
jangan main-main oh! :D
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