Monday, November 26, 2012

Bamboo Whips

To cane or not to cane. Disciplining children has always been a topic of heated discussion between Mrs Dewey and my mother. Mr and Mrs Dewey hails from America, the land of opportunity (and opportunists), and have set foot on our sunny little island about seven years ago. Mr Dewey is an engineer in Peugeot and Mrs Dewey is a full time housewife. They have a seven year old girl Lily, and a four year old boy, Daniel.

My mum hates their guts, especially the two "devil spawns" (my mum's words, not mine) Lily and Daniel. My mum call them Lily Hillbilly and Daniel Spaniel, because according to my mum Lily will grow up to be one of those disgusting rednecks and Daniel would grow up to be

I'll be honest, I hate those kids too. I've never liked children anyways and these two kids are not making my hatred dissipate either. Oh they are the most obnoxious, rude and annoying kids you will ever meet, you have no idea. Lily doesn't speak she screams all the damn time and Daniel is this kid who just cries and wails and cries and wails like someone is dead but in actual fact, nothing. They have broken my mum's clay pot in the corridor three times and the last time they did it was yesterday and my mum screamed from behind the gate.

"Kaninabe Chaocibai!!!"

They obviously didn't understand a word of what my mother said and they just stood there with their smug annoying faces and you really feel like slapping hard across their faces.

"I am going to boil you both and make curry out of you two!" my mum screamed from inside the house.

"No you won't!" that damned Lily girl said in her thick American accent.

"One of these days I am going to throw that little bitch down the rubbish chute, you watch me," my mum snarled that night.

"Mum, language!" Harold said.

"Oh stop it you're not five anymore. If you did half of what those two devil spawn did in my house, you won't be alive today sitting in front of me," my mum said.

That's true though. My mum is the epitome of an Asian upbringing. The bamboo cane. Spilled water on the dinner table, whip. Homework not done, whip. Making too much noise in the room, whip. She has been whipping it back and forth way before Willow Smith made it mainstream.

"And you know what that Dewey lady gave me as a form of apology? Muffins! She think she's Marcia Cross from Desperate Housewives. I haven't even touched those muffins. I shudder to think what she have put in there, you know she is a sneaky lady. A sound apology is if you smacked the shit out of your kids for being such brats," my mum said.

"Mum! I had three of those muffins just now!" Harold cried.

"Die, the first one to die," was my mum's reply.

Mrs Dewey, in short doesn't know how to discipline her kids. She talks to them, she doesn't even give them timeout or ground them, like normal caucasian mothers. She talks to them. "We need to treat them like adults, they will learn to listen," she would always tell my mother.

"Your son is four, what does he know about talking? His crying drowns your talking anyways," my mum sarcastically said last week when that Daniel kid threw a bowl of cereal and milk in front of our gate because he didn't want to have breakfast.

"Well, then you try again, you make them apologize, understand it's worth and the repercussions of their actions," she tried to explain to my mother. She did though, she said to her kid, "Say sorry to Aunty. Good boy, now do you really mean what you said?"

My mum gave a stupid look and grunted.

"What about caning? That'll teach him," my mum said that night.

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