I was 5 years old when I was first attended kindergarten. That was pretty much the first time I was exposed to many children who were my age, all scared and worried on the first day. The kindergarten I went to was called ‘Tadika Ria’ and I remember it being a very fun place to go to. Somehow, I also remember myself not crying when my mother left me there, though I saw many who did. It used to make me wonder why the other kids cried when there were so many other kids to play with, unlike at home! Anyway, kindergarten made me recall one incident when I was being a bad and naughty girl.
Back at this kindergarten, there was an old aunty who used to sell junk food at one end of the compound. Needless to say, it was a hit with all the kids! Every time during breaks, there would be a long queue forming at her counter. As a kid myself, I was also very excited whenever breaks came. However, I remember I wasn’t given any pocket money back then, mainly because the kindergarten served food to all the kids during breaks, and the only food that my money would have got would be junk food. So, I guess my mother thought it was best not to give me any money at all lest I stuffed myself with unhealthy food. But little did my mother know, restraining me from something only made me yearn for it even more! Each day went by and I started to be jealous of those who had the money to go and line up at the junk food counter. I even asked me mom for money and when she found out why I asked, of course she didn’t give me any.
Eventually, I did something really nasty… It was night time, and my mother was out of her room. In the dark, the young brat of me crept into her room and towards her handbag. I then rummaged through her bag to look for her purse. Being scared as well, I quickly grabbed the first piece of note that I could see from her purse. Then, quietly, I sneaked out of her room again without anyone noticing, and I felt happy and achieved. The next day at school, I was fidgeting in class, looking forward to the break time. Finally, I told myself, I was able to line up that queue! When my turn came, I paid the aunty and she looked at me with one weird expression. Now, my memory is blur as to what happened at this point of time, but I remember the headmaster coming over to see me after that, and asked me where I got my money from. *gasp* Being a quiet girl back then, I didn’t really say much and the headmaster just told me she would inform my mother about it.
When I got home, my mother was waiting for me and asked me where I got the money from. Of course, the cat was out of the bag soon and I got scolded for it. Later on, only did I realise that the big fuss occurred because the piece of note that I stole was actually a RM50 note! Bear in mind, I was just 5 years old back then, and I didn’t know how to differentiate the different denominations of money. -.-’ No wonder, the aunty thought it was very weird, because I’m sure NO student would have got RM50 as pocket money when they were in the kindergarten. That prompted her to inform the headmaster, and the rest was history. I remember getting a very VERY long lecture about this from my parents. At one point, I was even thinking why was I so ‘lucky’ to have chosen the RM50 note instead of the smaller unsuspecting notes. I know, that’s not a good thought. Anyway, I came to my senses after that, and knew how wrong I was. My mother also realised that not giving me any money was not a good idea after all. She ended up giving me pocket money of 50 cents everyday since then. Well, thanks to the experience, I got my first pocket money as a kid!
Fast forward two years later to primary school, and my mother was also there to accompany me during my first day. This school was so much different from the kindergarten, I thought. It was humongous! And the chairs and desks were not colourful as before. I was getting a little culture shocked when I first reached. Fortunately, before long, my mother met with her friend, who was also bringing her son to school. We were introduced to each other and before long, we were already running around the school compound, chasing each other. Mom always knows what’s best for us huh?
My mother is a very strict and fierce person. From the outside, you wouldn’t be able to tell. However, once you get on her nerves or if you do something wrong, then you’ll have to face the music. I still remember the punishments that I had to go through when I was young. The most common of all was the rotan. I can tell you, the number of rotans that my mother bought was uncountable! It was always beaten to the point of wearing out, and she would buy a new one. You can imagine how very often it was used on my and my brothers. Then, there was another method of punishment which was more severe, not physically severe, but mentally. It was kneeling down in front of the prayers altar at home, during the night when everyone was asleep! It was really scary, because there would be a deafening silence, and I felt very alone in the whole house. My mom would usually punish me to kneel until one joss stick finished burning. But, most of the times, she would come out from her room half way through and asked me whether I knew what mistake I had done and whether I was sorry for it. Of course, I said I was, and then she would tell me to go to sleep. Sigh, I must have been a handful for my mother to handle back then, what with having to handle my brother as well.
I must say, after all these years, I still see my mother as someone fierce, though she never lashed out her rotan anymore. However, deep down, I am very grateful to have her punishing me and yet caring for me all these years. Sometimes, it makes me realise, all her punishments actually turned me into a better person. For one, I now know how horrible it is to be a liar, because sooner or later you’d be caught. Therefore, even at this point of time, I despise liars to the core. Also, I learn not to be so stubborn. I used to whine and cry for my parents to buy me things. And if they didn’t, I would just sulk all day long. That didn’t really work with my parents, especially my mother. I guess I learn that things would never always go your way, which is really true in life.
There are so much more things that I would want to talk about my mother, and how she has impacted me as a person. But it would take me days to finish writing! So for now, I think it is apt to end this post by wishing my dear mother a very HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! I wouldn’t have been where I am right now if it were not for you! I love you mom!
I bought her the bag!