Sunday, July 22, 2007


Kak Teh asked:-

“…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?”


Hmmm…….I don’t get answers like those above from my no. 2. His usual would be the flexi-and-all-convenient ‘SOON’.

- Please mop the floor. - Answer : SOON

- Can bring in the laundry, please? – Answer : SOON

- Go and shower. - Answer : SOON

- Have you posted the letter? - Answer : SOON

Arrrghhh…he drives me round the bend with his non-time specific answer. He is the ‘hang-loose’ type whereas I am the ‘hold-the-clock-to-your-face’ type and often times, we clashed because of this. Last time, he would tell me he’ll get certain things done or come home by a certain hour and when I don’t see the things done or see him come through the door within 15 minutes grace time, I get all wound up and was ever ready to spring on him. And sprang on him, I did, many times too! He smartened up and came up with a literally correct but to me, a technically flawed answer - 'SOON'.

My no. 2 has some ‘unconventional’ and 'skewed' views. For one, he does not understand why would I be so willing to part with good money to get some overpriced mechanism on my wrist. And do I really need to be reminded of the time through out? You sure don’t need to know the time every other minute, right? So why carry something on your body, as if your life depended on it?

You guessed it. He does not wear a watch now and I don’t remember when I last saw one on his slim wrist. But when he was little, besides his Lego and Transformers, he wanted a watch. Everybody else he knew had a watch. He pestered and badgered me for one and I finally relented and got those mickey mousey types for him and of course, he initially could not read the time. We would be traveling back to the kampong and he would be asking repeatedly, “Are we there yet?”/ “How long more before we arrive, Momma?” and I would reply, “In another 3 hours.” And then he’d come with, “Oh, but how long is 3 hours, Momma?”

I would hold his little hand in mine and patiently point to the watch face. He could read the numerals, so I’d say, “Okie, its 8.45am now and we will arrive at Gramma’s when it reads 11.45am.” This would make him happy for a while until he comes again with, “But Momma, the number takes so long to jump.” He learned fast and soon enough, he picked up the concept of time….how time is measured and how we are controlled by time, so to speak. He must have found it stifling and then thought he could just get away with his smart-alec answer, ‘SOON’.

posted by nyonyapenang at 12:16 AM, |


  At 7:54 AM Blogger Winn said:
my usual answer will be

'i know i know'
'm coming'...

guess.....they are no better than soon eh? heeeeee
I dont have a problem with time. Instead its my Mummy who has that problem. hahaha Mummy like to do this, do that so when she say 15 mins, it will always turn out to be 30 mins or more.

Whenever I hv a time that I want her to be there..i'll tell her, "mummy, see u 3pm ar" when its infact i want to meet her at 3.30pm...SOON she oso got smart and come later than 3pm. what to do?? headache :P
  At 10:47 AM Blogger U.Lee said:
Hi Nyonya, these are typical answers from everyone. I too am guilty.
However, with my wife when she tells me something, she'll say, "I don't want soon, in a minute, or later..I want it yesterday"! When she stands like Clint Eastwood, hands near the gun holster, I sure get up from my settee pronto. Ha ha. She holds the Aces. She cooks. I don't! Ha ha.
Wait, wait..before you think I'm hen pecked or Queen control, no is when one of the lights blow a fuse, to change a bulb, or cut up a pineapple for her, or open a bottle cap for her.
I have learned her "now" has three meanings, depending on tone and how she stands or looks at me.
So, with two, I can say "soon", or "later"..but there's one "NOW" Clint Eastwood again saying, "go ahead make my day", I move my self like as if my settee on fire.
Have a nice day, Nyonya. Soon. UL.
  At 12:37 PM Blogger Will said:
hahaha khai ma, your number 2 too smart...
  At 1:13 PM Blogger a^ben said:
"lai liaw!!!"

"oh oh oh!!"

"tang jit eh~!"


My answer to my parents normally is "later". Sometimes I am doing my own stuff, I can't just dump it and immediately go help my parents right?? Hahahaha.

Just my two cents... :D
  At 3:51 PM Blogger Kenny Ng said:
Ayam Kambing! That's my answer... LOL

If u ask me when kahwin? I'll answer not soon... hahaha
  At 6:55 PM Blogger doc said:
we are at one time or other guilty of giving non-specific answers, esp when we are uncertain or don't know. i get that all the time at work :

is the patient coming down? on the way.

call Dr X to OT. on the way.

can you send the xrays? on the way.

sometimes, i wonder on the way from ward/clinic, or from timbuktu!
  At 7:42 PM Blogger ehon said:
HAHAHAHAHAHA! And mine's always "almost ..."

My girls' favourite response is..WAIT.
It can mean anything from 1min to 1hr. It depends on how loud my voice is!
  At 11:54 PM Blogger U.Lee said:
Hi Nyonya, one good mother is worth a hundred teachers.
Whatever the words, 'soon. later, in a minute'..your son may love his sweetheart the most, if married, his wife the best, but his mother...the longest.
Have a nice day, UL.
  At 1:14 AM Blogger J.T. said:
I think I used to drive my mom crazy with "later", "wait" and "I know". hehe
I grew out of it eventually.

Dare not try that on dad. When dad told us to do something, it is "on the double or you're in trouble". :D

Now, I don't like to put things off, if I can help it. Impatient? No. Efficient! haha
  At 1:21 AM Anonymous aceone118 said:
SOON is a clever answer from your no 2. "Lei tak jor lah" wakaka
  At 2:32 AM Blogger ah nel said:
my answer...

don woli!!!sure wil do wan!


if i say SOON we go makan makan again wat ur reaction ler?

my SOON hard to wait ho?

  At 9:15 AM Anonymous zeroimpact said:
Guilty, but I find that this like many other things normally happens to close ones like family.
I have developed a sense for time, though I do not wear a watch, well, not for the time anyway.
Like yourself I think that time is important and never waste other's time
But I still do that to people I love... I'm bad!
  At 11:33 AM Blogger savante said:
Emmm.. when I'm off from work, I have a pretty crappy perception of time as well.
hi winn,
you got your 'arsenal' of answers too, ya?
hi winniethepooh,
oooh....your Mummy is a practitioner of 'e-l-a-s-t-i-c' t-i-m-e.....
so it takes the loving daughter to help 'adjust' the schedule for her.
Hi Uncle Lee,
huiyoh.....Mrs Lee's 'NOW' has 3 meanings and you have decoded them well. If only more men were like you, then perhaps, there would be less 'miscommunication' between husbands and wives.
And Mrs Lee hold the Aces....You kept the Jokers, right? hahahaha....Very interesting.

Your description of the Clint Eastwood reminded me of my momma...**berkemban and bercekak pinggang..**
Don't play-play oh!

You have a great day too, Uncle Lee.
hi will,
i suppose kena 'roasted' a few times already, he'll try to find a way to go round the 'problem'. :)
hi a^ben,
you also got your favourite set of answers. hahahaha....
of course lar, you are not expected to drop everything else unless its a matter of life and death. but 'LATER' ...'SOON'..., what time is that suppose to be leh? :D
hi kenny,
kambing or lembu BUT when your girl ask you when wanna get married...think betul-betul before you answer 'NOT SOON'. :D
hi doc,
i agree with you, doc.
'On the Way' is one of the most used poor excuse of an answer. What answer is that actually, huh? Like you wondered, "on the way from Timbuktu?"

Eg. Is the Patient coming down?

Answer lar...Yes, he is. The nurse aide will wheel him down in 10 minutes.
hi ehon,
'ALMOST...' ???? marks for you.
hi king's wife,
hahhah.....the louder it is, the faster it gets. oooohhh....
Hi Uncle Lee,
Thank you so much for your most meaningful words. It sure is nice to be loved MOST, BEST and LONGEST.
I will reciprocate by loving the DEEPEST and TRUEST.

You made my day, Uncle Lee.
hi j.t.,
Here we are trying to get things over and done with and there they sat with their annoying response of 'SOON'...'LATER'.

Last time, I got especially mad when I was trying to tidy up the place and found their toys all over. One yell and another yell, still no response..okie...all the toys went into a bag and I sent it out. A painful lesson for them.

I am like you too...I don't like putting things off. I try to get if off my back and move on to other things. Ya, agree with you...EFFICIENT! hahahah..
hi aceone118, kasi sapot summore.
hi ah nel,
I will ask "WHEN?"

And if still no proper answer, I buat tak tau nia lar. ^O^
hi zeroimpact,
ya, we are all guilty at one time or the other. its only those who are perpetually and habitually late are the horrid ones.
hi savante,
you 'hang loose' when you're off work that's understandable.

can you imagine when at work and your answers are:- 'LATER'...'SOON'....'COMING'....
  At 2:24 PM Blogger Jonzz said:
What would you do if your kid said, 'WAIT LAR, I'M DOING SOMETHING, CAN YOU WAIT OR NOT?', LOL

Hmm.. that would probably be suicide. HA HA.
  At 8:46 PM Blogger angel said:
why mothers all cannot wait wan hor? haha...
  At 9:16 AM Blogger ah nel said:
u buat tak tau nia...

awwww...u so good...

*tapi komplen to sivanji atlantuya*

hi jonzz,
hahaha....that's why the word 'SOON' is popular.
hi angel, see....mothers are very busy people and some do have short fuse too.
hi ah nel
eh...already buat tak tau, apa maciam mau komplen? :D
Aiyoh, H and my boys say the same thing too. And I will be all fired up just like you.

Complaint to my mother, her reply was - "you were just like that at their age. " !

So, this is like a circle. Now I must start thinksing what I had done before.....
  At 12:49 PM Blogger Mónica. said:
Nice to meet you.
I wait you in my blog.
Kiss from uruguay
hi aiyah nonya,
hahhaa....these type of answers are universal and they are as old as time.
I like your mom's response. She is one cool lady.

Have a great day.
hi monica,
A warm welcome to you! Its my pleasure to have you visit here. Thanks so much and do pop by anytime.

Have a great day too.
I'll be the one yelling. I have my hubby and son to deal with over this time concept thingy. And in the office, it would be the male staff. aiyooo.... why the males liddat!?
hi eastcoastlife,
i suppose those who are 'cool' over this time concepts place less stress on the poor heart.

you take care and get well soon. :)
  At 7:12 PM Blogger ikanbilis said:
i was like.. "um ok i'll go to nyonya's page later.."


ok here i am. lol.
  At 11:43 PM Blogger PEARLY said:
Nyonyapenang dear :
Many thank for you to drop by to my blog with some warm thougth about me .TQTQ
by the way your No2 son just like my steph , I think there both can be best friend ahhaha.
I am like you I hate it when I ask them to do something there say in a min or wait .
so now I wil tell them < I don't wan tto hear in a min I want it done NOW it mean NOW ahhaha is work xxxxx have a nice day my lovely xxxxx
  At 6:44 PM Blogger Helen said:
Aiyah, soon is better than 'don't know.'

My boy's favorite line. When is exam? "don't know."

Drives me mad! lol
  At 8:50 PM Anonymous mott said: right now..5 minutes.

of course, 5 minutes can last to up to 2 hours.

  At 10:12 PM Blogger Chen said:
if someone tells me soon, i will ask further - how soon is that soon? few minutes? half an hour? an hour later? etc...

cos this is subjective mah.. what is soon to him/her might be eternity to others. Hehehhe.. :P
hi ikanbilis,
welcome..welcome back!

'soon' or 'later', it sure is nice to have you come a visiting again.

you have a nice day. :)
Hi Pearly,
Steph can be good friend with my son ar? hahahah...But I think your Steph follow your training very well already. Every request comes with a 'NOW'. I must learn from you...okie I go and practice my 'NOWWWWWWW!!!'

Hope you are feeling much better already. Take a good rest ya?
Miss you lots, Pearly.
Hi Helen,
ah....Kids - they sure are good with giving answers that drive the parents nuts.
And of course, they give the occasional gems that make our day too. :)
hi mott,
oooh....5 minutes can really S-T-R-E-T-C-H, huh?

I used to hear that too, when I told them to finish up the games they were playing. "Okie, 5 minutes." they'd say. I gave 15 minutes and then I would just switch off the power.
Padan their muka. :D
Hi Dr Chen,
hahahah...that's why I said the answer 'SOON' is literally correct BUT technically flawed. :D
  At 11:04 AM Blogger eve said:
My hubby's quick answer will be..ya ya ok ok..and On The Way...haihs..sien oredi la..
Hi Eve,
I guess he is very, very busy and running all over the place, so those are his most suitable answers. :D
  At 10:31 PM Anonymous Bengbeng said:
you r right..children only have a vague concept of time. about being old-fashioned mamma n not sparing th erod it is difficult when they r in laws to consider :(

Penang taxi drivers r notorious for taking ppl for a ride rather than on a ride
  At 6:39 PM Anonymous seefei said:
time is relative.
  At 6:01 PM Blogger William said:
Get your kid to read Eistein's Theory of Relativity. Haha.
Hi bengbeng, satu kali comment on 3 postings here ar? hahahha....

re: children and the concept of time, we have to help to make it 'less vague'.

re: disciplining the child and to consider the feelings of the in-laws and 'out-laws', it work both ways. i would appreciate they understand that i am trying to instill some discipline. too much meddling and it won't be good for the child and for everybody as well.

Re: penang taxi drivers...oh ya...tell me about it. i have been 'ketuk' once too many.

you have a great day.
hi seefei,
long time no see! err....but you said time is relative hor? hahahhaa..

okie, nevermind. i am happy to have you visit me today. thanks you.

how have you been keeping, seefei?
do make time for a teh tarik and some bites when you are in kl next. :)
hi william,
ya...good idea jugak. they read already, then come and explain to me what it is all about. i am big-time clueless. :P