When I was a young child and teenager, mother used to issue several commands and advices in order to instil some discipline in me and my siblings. Obediently and timidly, I would say, ‘Yes mother’ with no question asked, although some of those advices left me wondering as to whether there were any truths in them.
Among others, mother would say:
- Don’t sing in the kitchen or you’ll end up with an old man as a husband.
- Don’t sit on the staircase, no suitors will ask for your hand in marriage.
- Don’t forget to perform your prayer.
- The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
- Be home early, there are lunatics out there prowling.
- Wash your hands properly before taking your meal.
- Make doa before you go to sleep.
The first two, as mentioned above are rather baffling. As a young girl, it was hard for me to comprehend as to how by singing in the kitchen one would end up marrying an old man; And what’s wrong with a girl sitting on the staircase and how will that make her an anak dara tua or an old spinster? I just don’t see the connection. All that just makes no sense!
There must be some logic or rationale for them, so, I concluded that I shouldn’t be singing in the kitchen as to avoid burning something on the stove or worse still, burn the whole kitchen down! Probably too, I was such a lousy ‘singer’ and mak wanted some peace and quiet! I guess I shouldn’t be sitting on the staircase as to allow free passage for others to pass through. Now, that sounds more plausible and acceptable.
Now that I’m a mother, to my surprise, I’m sounding like my mother echoing the same advices and commands to my children. I’ll constantly remind them to perform their prayers, wash their hands properly, not to come home late, make doa before they sleep and ‘come and watch me cook …………….’ and the rest of it. Like any other parents, I only think in their best interest. Unwittingly, I use the same clichés to discipline them and now I sound just like mother.
I am sure that many parents out there must have experienced the moment when they say something to their kids and sound just like their mother.
JMJ: Mothers know best.