Friday, January 27, 2006

Turns of Tide - Playing Mum to Mum

I remember when I was little, I suffered separation anxiety whilst living with my maternal grandma. I made a huge fuss whenever any of my aunts hogged the phone long enough to prevent me from making my daily calls to my mum. Every night, without fail, I would call my mum to tell her about my day. Further, I will pepper the day with random calls to complain about insignficiant, inconsequential trvia like "Julia doesn't want to friend me!".

Finally, when I reached the age of twelve, I migrated from my maternal grandma's home to my own home. The calls to mum reduced significantly, with the increasing load of secondary-school homework and extra-curricular activities. Still, I will call my mum in her office to gripe, "Today I had to run 6 laps at 3 pm for Netball training leh!", or ask very fundamental questions like "How much water to add into the rice cooker?"

Gradually, years passed and age seeped. With a subtle hint of sadness(?), I noted that I call my mum only to ask the essentials, "Do you want anything to eat? Do you need a ride?" Gone were the gripes. Gone were the bitching. Instead, my mum became the one who began to find the need to telephone me to gripe about family and work woes.

On a normal work day, it is not unusual for my mum to interfuse my time with calls. Yesterday was one such day. Besides the usual errands arranging...

*Ring ring*
Me: Yes, mum?
Mum: Girl ah, I received your credit card bill you know. You spent S$300 on your citibank ah?
Me: Uh, okay.
Mum: You bought cosmetics? (Asked incredulously because it is as rare as a blue moon)
Me: Uh, yah. Why, cannot ah?
Mum: Can, can. (Paper flipping sound in background)
Mum: What's Ministry of Sound ah? Why I haven't heard of such a Ministry before?
Me: Uh...... it's actually a name of a place lah. We bought drinks there.
Mum: Oh okay... just checking....

2 hours later...
*Ring ring*
Me: Yes, mum?
Mum: Girl ah, you know the chiller for the wine? Cannot close, you know?
Me: Oh? (Thinking: So?)
Mum: I so angry with Papa! He say I spoil the chiller!
Me: Mmmm. Wine won't spoil one lah, if you store outside.

1/2 hour later...
*Ring ring*
Me: Yes, mum? (more resigned tone)
Mum: Girl ah, eh you know ah, why the wine chiller cannot close?
Me: No. (But I believe you are aching to tell me.)
Mum: Because got a water bottle sticking out lor! So funny hor! Lucky I found out, blabla
Me: .....

1 hour later....
*Ring ring*
Me: Hello, mum.
Mum: Girl ah, I TELL YOU! I SO ANGRY!
Me: Why leh?
Mum: You know, I went over to Jeanette's house for a 5 mins, I come back and realize the bird flew into our backyard and steal my duck meat!
Me: ...
Mum: I AM SO MAD!!!!!!!
Me: (Don't know to laugh or to cry) Then how, you want me to find the bird a not?
Me: What you want me to do? I find the bird and kill it la.
Mum: HAIYAH. NEVER MIND! *Slams phone*

Ah, the turns of tide. I must imagine my mum to be quite patient to tolerate all the shiat from me when I was young.


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