**Updated as at 18 Nov 2012**
Before he leaves for Putonghua class after school…
Rockstar: Mum. I hate Chai-nese.
Me: The subject, or your (tuition) class?
Rockstar: <thinks for mom> The subject. I hate it, it’s so……. hard to learn. (probably because he has to do more reading/ writing now)
Me: Oh, that I can’t do much about, if you hated the tuition class I might still try to make small adjustments.
Rockstar: Oh yeah yeah yeah change my class too.
Me: You just said it’s actually the subject you don’t like, and anyway you made me put you in a class (instead of with a personal tutor) so you wouldn’t be so bored, you could make some new friends.
Rockstar: <gloomily> Now I don’t like anyone in the class.
Me: <bit worried> What? Why?? Last time you were always talking about this or that friend, and The Little Miss Twins (at one point there were identical twin girls attending, much to his amusement)…
Rockstar: I don’t like them anymore! Now I realize they’re quite… naughty! <nodding convincingly>
Me: ?! What do you mean?
Rockstar: They all speak Chai-nese!! <This Is Terrible expression>
Me: It’s a freaking Chinese class!!!
Rockstar: But they even speak Chai-nese when they don’t need to speak Chai-nese!! They speak Chai-nese all. The. Time!!
(I have to not laugh out loud at the way my not-yet-5yr-old is saying it, all Get Me Outta Here I’m Surrounded By Fruitcakes. But to be fair, he doesn’t complain much about the school chinese lessons where apparently some of the explanation is still done in English. Also, he appears to like some of the Putonghua-speaking mums who volunteer in that department..)
Me: You’re speaking English when you’re not supposed to be speaking English. Don’t you think maybe some of them think you’re naughty for speaking in English in that class? And I suppose you’re the only one speaking any English there?
Rockstars: <snorts, then schools himself into more serious expression> Mum. I really hate learning it. Do I have to?
Me: Sorry darling, but yes. I agree it’s hard, I find it a very hard subject too. Back in the day it wasn’t seen as that important where Mummy went to school, and so she didn’t try to learn til she was much older. Then when she finally tried it was much, much harder than you’re finding it now and Mummy gave up a few times. But you know what?
Me: I really regretted it. You want a good job, right? (Standing agreement with Rockstar – he can’t wait to grow up and get some Big Important Grownup Job so I told him he has to do well in school to get what he wants. “They don’t give the big responsibilities to the people they don’t think will do a good job, right? You wouldn’t, would you?”)
Me: When I came out here to work it was very hard at first. Mummy had to work much harder to make up for her lack of command of the Chinese language. (Try covering Northasia RMs when you are illiterate in Chinese and have only very rudimentary Cantonese – I literally had to tell some of my mildly irritated RMs holding Chinese language investment product term sheets Then I’ll Try Harder To Make You More Money To Make Up For The Discomfort Of Having To Have Discussions Partially In English)…
Me: Daddy and I insist you learn Chinese because we don’t want you to quit now when it’s still easier to learn, and then find you really need it for work one day and struggle even more to pick it up when you’re older. (I’m not kidding, Rockstar really listens gravely through the whole soliloquy and nods at the end.)
Rockstar: <very grudgingly> O-kay. <like he’s pronouncing an important verdict> But if there’s an easier way I want it to be easier.
Sigh, don’t we all?
Ps: For the record though, mum friends have told me he will respond to them in Chinese if they casually (and unexpectedly haha) speak to him in Chinese…
This for Mun:
Some I really cannot tell left or right, but if I look for others then I can see punctuation marks on the right (i.e. it’s left to right).. PLEASE tell me that is simplified Chinese because otherwise I’m the biggest dunce – Kings recruited Rockstar’s original tutor and told me she is doing simplified and I simply took his word for it ages ago
And thanks for the other link for Chinese…