And So It Begins…

After all the cutesie baby pictures, and the aww sibling and dog relationships, and the snarky comments........ There is a sometime idea that this blog is a communication for the kids to read someday when they decide to understand what went into parenting them more. Ok fine, it's what I hope they will read and better understand of some of our parenting decisions (and headaches). That's why this is "For when he becomes a teenager who knows everything." (Sorry Little Miss, I'm still figuring if I can change that thing on top without contacting the site designer and well you've been keeping us up nights a lot...)

The idea gets reinforced every now and again one of our (older) friends with teenaged kids flags us to the fact their child has a major decision ahead of them and hopefully our opinion is sought. While it's usually boring stuff like college majors or professions, occasionally we get one like "totaled his Beemer and is huffy about us refusing to spend huge amounts to fix it" - true story; it still amazes us because we knew Beemer Totaler for years, we had a lot of respect for his grounded-ness as a younger teen, and then suddenly there is Beemer Totaling Emotional Blackmail going on which just goes to show how these things can happen to almost anyone. (The parenting thing, not the Beemer Totaling thing and btw what bothers me is how he was driving to total it in the first place... Money aside, I would drag my heels about fixing it for that reason.)

So anyway It Begins. "It" being what happened when we escorted Rockstar to school and one of his classmates overheard him calling me "Mommy."

Now, the reason this is even mildly interesting is because since he was about 3, Rockstar's called me "Mum". He is the antithesis to the Mummy's Boy (darn), never even having a security blanket or soft toy, the only thing he ever did was slip a matchbox car - any matchbox car from a drawerful - in his pocket to entertain himself before leaving the house. That morphed into National Geographic Weird Facts or joke books and my cellphone apps as he got older. I think he picked up "Mommy" from his friends because most of the time he only uses it when they're around.

So anyway he "Mommy"s me and one of his friends chips in, "Awww, Rockstar called you "Mommy!" As in 'Mommy I love you' Mommy!" (She later says she does it all the time...)

"I wish. Usually he just calls me 'Mum'. As in, 'Mum-this'. 'Mum-that'. 'Mum-why-is-this-like-that?' I wish he'd go "Mommy I love you!" but he never does it." <mock eye roll> The group laughs. I sneak a glance at my very thin-skinned son, and am halfway surprised how pleased I am at his approval of my answer.

I don't know when it went out of fashion, the bit where your parents get to embarrass you all they want when you're a kid. I remember a primary school classmate we all kinda felt sorry for, whose mum used to interrupt class goings-on to snap at him through the open class windows to sit straight, wipe the sweat off his face with his carefully laundered cotton handkerchief (WHO does that, I can barely remember to make sure Rockstar's got a fresh supply of flushable wipes and Mucky Pups hand sanitizer "When I want to finish my lunch (off the bus after school so he doesn't need to come back to eat before going out to play again), I need it, Mum.") Even then that classmate of mine was the only one, but well I can't even imagine that being done nowadays...  

This is when it finally dawned on me how much it's going to matter to Rockstar going forward, how I respond to his friends' comments about us. As in, that they are actually going to expect a halfway intelligent answer. 

(Another first, that's his first ever cotton candy - mildly pleased we made it all the way to 5 years without him ever discovering this - and he chucked a good half of it aside as "too sweet".)

(Another first, that's his first ever cotton candy - mildly pleased we made it all the way to 5 years without him discovering this - and he chucked half of it aside as "too sweet". Then I gave Kings "A Look" for suggesting he finish it)

...One of his friends then tells me he's having a birthday party over the weekend and Rockstar's got an invite. "Oh, thank you, is there anything in particular you'd like for your birthday? What kind of stuff do you like?" <long, thoughtful pause> "I like snakes, lizards. Well....... reptiles. I guess..... a snake? Yeah, yeah how about a live one?" ps: My response to the request for a live snake pressie was to explain the Unwritten Agreement Among Mummy Friends - you generally don't gift your friend's child live animal pets as a surprise...

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About Aileen

I blog about living and raising my son in Hong Kong - where toddlers have entrance interviews, parents keep test score spreadsheets, private school debentures can trade for more than half a million USD. Raising Rockstar's the most important thing I'll ever do. We show our true colors by the choices we make in bringing up our children. My blog is a message to my toddler son, about what the world and his parents are like today - for when he becomes a teenager and knows everything.
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  • mun

    I find cotton candy too sweet too. So who finished eating the cotton candy in the end?

    More often than not, children are influenced more by their peers than their parents. It’s like when the parents ask them to do something, they refuse to do it but when their peers ask them to do the exact same thing, they will do it gladly.

    About the Beemer, is it common in HK for teenagers to drive Beemers or is it a case of if the teenagers’ parents can afford a Beemer easily, then teenagers have to be driving a Beemer or else the teenagers would be having a hard time with their peers?

    • Aileen

      we just chucked the leftover cotton candy. We chuck a lot of leftover junk food and I feel bad about “wasting” but tell myself the alternative is to put more junk in you (or kids) than you absolutely have to, to satisfy a craving.

      Yes re kids and their friends, parents of older kids have told me before this is one of the primary reasons for school choice later on, because of the friends they may make. I’m a little embarrassed to admit, but it’s always been at the back of my mind that when I show up in school, chat with his friends and they see me as a fairly “cool mum,” it’s that much easier to get Rockstar to listen to me too 😛

      Luxury cars in HK cost a lot less than in Malaysia and Singapore, due to taxes. What kills you here is not the tax on the car, but car park or fuel costs (if i recall correctly). Hence a lot more people “ambil peluang” to buy luxury cars here.

      I really don’t know the whole background re that friend because they moved quite far away and we only heard from them because they were trying to cover as many bases as possible in case their teenager sought us (esp Kings) out. We have a few friends like that, about 10 years our senior, and previously I’ve texted them to check I don’t give “advice” they don’t approve of. Not that they are super strict or whatever, but I think just the way kids see their own parents, or else just the natural age gap between parents and kids. But to answer your question, I don’t think it was about other teens giving their teen a hard time in this case (though I suspect that also happens in other cases). I think it was a motivation to go into the banking and finance field, among others…