Tuesday, 22 February 2005

Where are all my 'sayang mama'?

I was reading interesting accounts by mak andeh of adventures with her brood and how I envy her.

When my own children were small, that was what we used to do. We’d bundle them into the car and drive anywhere and everywhere hubby took us. We never had a destination in mind cos hubby is famous for his wrong turnings and we’d end up miles away from where we intended to go. There’d be endless questions of “Where are we going, where are we now, are we there yet, and finally, when are we going home?”

I must admit, I am not very patient but God is great, cos my quota of patience was doubled and given to him. A car journey was almost an education trip.

While I battled with the games on Gameboy, he’d entertain them with stories and history of the places that we passed by. “See this road? Why do you think its just straight? During the days of the Romans…,” alternating with, “sit down or the police will arrest you, put your seat belts on….”

Drat and I’d lose my game.

Anyway, the children never used to complain. It was never the destinations that they were interested in but the Welcome Breaks and Little Chefs dotting the British highways. They used to love the pricey food and the games while I took the opportunity to rest my tired fingers. And they loved staying at hotels.

And then they grew up. Nothing interest them anymore. After all they had seen the yellow rapeseed fields in summer, the British seasides in spring soon became a bore, and staying in a cabin during the weekends was never their idea of fun. And English castles?? Duhhh! So, before a drive out of London, we had had to resort to sweettalk, emotional blackmail and if nothing worked, threats.

So, you can imagine the long faces mopping the floor in the backseats of the car. “Hey, look at the horses, aren’t those thatched roofs beautiful…”

Silence. Everyone had their ears plugged to their MP3 players or bergayut on the phone to friends. Only T, the youngest and curious one, always standing behind hubby, alternating his whispers between daddy’s right and left ears with questions.

So we thought, it must be the estate that’s becoming too small for the growing family. Afterall, the eldest always had cramps as he has long legs.

So, we decided to buy an MPV. What a luxury!! But soon the novelty wore out as well and we found a seven seater MPV a big and lonely place for the two of us. Even our voices echoed when we spoke to each other.

No threats would work now. They have disowned us.

I am wrecking my brain searching for answers to where we went wrong? But, silly me...of course! They are embarrased now at the thought of going places with their parents. So, tak cool!

So, let's see signs that perhaps I had missed, clues that they gave and I didn't see.

Well, I remember we drove to see H playing football, and as it was raining, we thought we'd stop and give him a ride back. Instead of appreciation, the look on his face registered anger!!

Then there was the time I saw H for the first time with a group of friends and a few girls. So happy I was, I shouted,"H, sayang mama..." but he shot daggers at me. What did I do to deserve that?

And when R was performing her beautiful Malay dance, this proud mama was jumping up and down, videoing her. We watched the video again, and there was my voice telling anyone who cared to listen: That's my daughter, the one dancing, that's my daughter. Clever or not?" Now, what was wrong with that? You see lots of proud parents like that at school concerts waving to their children on stage, much to the chagrin of the teachers!!

And you know, N's friend died in an accident. I was devastated and as we prepared to visit the parents, N hissed into my ears as she squeezed my hand hard until it hurt. It wasn't a squeeze of affection, more of a warning: Don't say anthing embarassing, mama!" Laaaaa, when did I ever do anything embarrassing to you? At the house, everytime I wanted to open my mouth, there was this icy stare from her. There was another parent, Bina, and as we left, Bina confided in me that her daughter Shahidah also warned her not to say anything embarassing. Laaaa....!

Anyway, am still wrecking my brains in search of anything remotely embarassing that I had done. Hmm, there's the joget lambak with the cultural troupe at Whiteleys and the one by the River Thames, mmm perhaps the karaoke at Malaysia Hall or during the Family Day in Brickendonbury? I thought my performance was quite impressive...

Anyway, even T now, all grown up does not want to be seen being hugged by me anymore. You know this is the boy, my baby, who never left for school without as many as 10 times, "I sayang you mama, *kiss, kiss*." and at the door, " I sayang you mama," and before disappearing around the corner: "I sayang you mama!"

Now he'd make sure he gives a quick peck on the cheek before dashing out of the door, in case his friend waiting outside could see. Well, maybe I overdid it a bit with the sayang mama thing. I'd tickle them and hug them breathless until they say, I sayang you, mama. But I should have seen the warning signs from T. Sitting on the stairs, he asked for a glass of water. I said: Say, 'I sayang you, mama' first. And you know what he retorted? "Oh, mama, for heavens sake, its only a glass of water!"

Makandeh, enjoy the adventures with your brood while you can!


MA said...

Oh, Kak Teh, I read your entry with tears in my eyes !

I know that my time with them are numbered that soon they will be flying off searching for their own destiny. That is why now, the present is very important, as I know the future is not ours to see. That is why I really, really value the short time that I am having with them, as I know they will not be my sayang-mama forever.

I am prepared for that. I do not want to miss them when they are “gone”, regretting not doing many things we should be doing RIGHT now.

So, when I grow old – I have all the memories in the blog to reminiscing on.

d'arkampo said...

kak teh,

all i wanna say as other readers is scared to say...

(with pok ku's support behind my back blowing all the mantras taken from the kitab Permata Yang Hilang).

make new ones so that you don't have to sell the luxury MPV!

he he.

Sunflora said...

Hehehehe Kak Teh! I am pretty sure you didn't do anything embarrasing to them but I think as adolescence they are uncomfortable with themselves, let alone their mummies. They are at an age where their peers would mean more than their family. Insyallah once they are over the adolescence period, things do get better. PS Do your children read this blog? :)

d'arkampo said...

oh..the original kitab is in the possession of Pok Daud Basikal and can be sent via courier to UK within 3 days.

Thank you.

kusyi said...



shidah said...

kak teh: I'm not sure which phase i'm in now ...... but there are few stages in one's life:
1)my mum knows everything - she's cool
2)my mum knows a little
3)my mum is an old fashion lady- most of the time her comments are outdated
4)my mum doesn't know/ understand me at all - I'm all grown up
5)Though my mum's opinion are irrelevant - as her kid I'll better just shut up.
6)I should ask my mum's opinion before I decide on anything
7)I wish I have my mum with me so that she can give me some adv

MakNenek said...

kak teh
i cant wait to have a bunch of kids like you do. it must be fun watching them grow up and all. salma is with me 24-7 but sometimes i do feel a little envious when she shows more enthusiasm for her dad when he comes home :( jeles sikit jer..hahaha.. and yes, i remembered you telling me abt T, and ohh how i adore that boy! but alas, T pun dah besau panjang ye ujangg!!

drbubbles said...

saaayyyaaaaaang my mother in law nih!! hehehee......

crimsonskye said...

my 14-yr-old sister and I used to squirm whenever my mother hugged us in front of our friends after her weekend visits at our boarding school. apa ni ummi.. malulaaa... jgnla peluk2 dpn org mcm ni...

if she was hurt, she didn't show or say anything about it. she only said why not? ummi ni kan mak korang... then she'd hug us again... and we'd go arrrgghhh inwardly.

now i'd give anything for her hug any day, in front of people or not.

SC said...

kak teh,
i'm at the stage where my biggest fan is my 2 year old who has just mastered "sayyyangg ma" to get away with murder.i used to play "motherhen" to my fellow latchkey younger siblings with wet smackers on the cheeks, in public. Sometimes I would deliberately jatuhkan saham my brother by holding his hands or hugging him at the mall whr his frens hang out.these days i only request for emoticon-ic kisses.tu pon susah.had to resort to"K.ong ada satu je dlm dunia ni.Jangan menyesal".kak teh, mohon ampun for my audacity to link ur blog to mine without 1st seeking ur permission.hope it's not too late to seek ur consent.pwueees...may i keep it there?

atenah said...

i remember when we came back form UK after our 1st yr there, my mom hugged and kissed all 8 friends of mine at the airport. you should have seen their faces, so embarrased. i didnt care as i'm used to my family's expressive ways. whoa, you should have witnessed the arguments that we have, all out man. i believe in telling yr loved ones how much you love them, takut menyesal satu hari nanti. so muah, muah to kak teh

Woman at the well said...

I guess we all have a "turning point", a moment when we feel we lost them. Mine was when my older son got married. He married a girl who came out of the blue, went to live in another town and took his brother with him ...
I just survived.
Now they act as if they were afraid of losing me, isn´t that funny?

Jiwa Rasa said...

kak teh,

That's the signs they have grown-up, which you should be proud of. You have done your duty and its their time to continue living and hopefully they will replicate what you have done to them.

It could be the time to pass the baton to the next generation. Cheers..

Lollies said...

I'll watch out for the signs

mummydarling said...

my youngest bro who is going to be 15 this year is kinda termalu-malu whenever my mom hug and kiss him but he never say a word. If he refuse, my mom will say sayang mama tak? and he will go aww mama ni and will procedd to hug her. Sweet kan... hehe...

Kak Teh said...

mak andeh: there were times in my life when i dont want them to grow up. once they are big, there's only so much you can do for them, with them.
kampo: hai...kak teh macam radio pok ku jugak...pencen!
sunflora:woooo, hope they wont read this one!
kusyi: memang kak teh ada MPV - tapi sekarang ni tak berjalan..hehe
shidah: yessss, i went through all those periods too.
maknenek: treasure your moments with salma.

Kak Teh said...

crimsonskye: you know what i do is kiss and hug them when they are asleep...hehe!
Iskandar: mana cayang badut mama ni???
spasticolon: he he, mean!!! Yes, of course you can link me as i'd like to link yr colon to mine..okay?
atenah: muah, muah back.
woman at the well: yes, so i heard that too...and as I am now of losing my mum. and it is sad that when i speak to her on the phone, she cant hear me saying ilove her as she has gone quite deaf.
jiwa: yes, but i am in denial.
lollies, you do that and take note. haha..i bet we went through this as well.
meow-meow: how sweet.

Captain Barbell said...

i think it's more proper to call you makteh la :)
from now on, i'll call you makteh...

Kak Teh said...

paul riza, of course u can can call me mak teh!

CikNi said...

saya pernah baca dkt mana ntah yg mengatakan- anak2 semasa kecil dahagakan perhatian ibu bapa mereka tp ibu bapa pula terlalu sibuk utk melayan karenah anak2.
ibu bapa semasa dah berumur dahagakan perhatian anak2 mereka yang dah besar tu, sedangkan anak2 tak dpt lagi melayan ibu bapa kerana mereka ada their own friends, their own family dan tengah bekerja keras utk karier masing2.

Begitulah adanya

Yasmin's Mummy said...

kak teh, rasa sayu pulak baca entry ni. such is the cycle of life.

Kak Teh said...

cikni:ya, betul tu. kak teh pun setuju. tapi nak buat macam mana ibu pun kena keluar cari makan. masa anak kak teh kecik lagi, balik malam bangunkan anak2 jadi boleh main dengan depa.
yasmin's mum: yesssssssss!

CN said...

sayu nyer kak teh .. sob sob sob .. seramnya nk tunggu anak2 dara nih besar .. sayang ke idak kat ummi dier ek ..

Kak Teh said...

che Ngah: Insyaallah, selalunya mama juga dia orang nak..esp. bilatak ada duit!

lacrema said...

Hi Kak Teh,

Well, I am currently discussing Syair Bidasari with Braginsky. It is very interesting how the concept of 'indah' or 'beauty' is understood by the Malays of those times. 'Indah' in the context of syair, or Malay literature in general, is a constant leitmotiv in many of the early works. I was really fascinated when we discussed the psycho-therapeutic value of literatures of this particular genre. For Malays, 'beauty' causes such anxiety and fascination. For someone whose emotional institution is weak, the sheer experience of beauty can be bad for him, causing him to be sad, sorrowful, losing his senses etc. But for those whose emotions are in balance, 'beauty' might serve as a positive force. This is why I noticed in many Malay works, they explicitly mention sort of like "Hikayat ini penglipur lara, untuk hati yang luka etc" i.e. for those who just had a love crisis (unreciprocated love), 'beauty' embedded/interwoven in the literature serves as a substitute for the unreciprocated love. This concept has much to do with Sufi understandings of the soul (nafs). There is much to talk about. Actually I am the only student in his Masters program and I don't get to talk or discuss this with anyone else but him. Anyway, I hope, inshaAllah, we can meet up to chat about Malay literature. I am living in Russell Square by the way. Take care Kak Teh. Salaam.

budakkampong said...

kak teh,

my mom has four boys and imagine all thenonsenseshe has t oput up with...

now none of us stays at home. we are either at school or staying somewhere else

Kak Teh said...

lacrema, yes the concept of beauty as defined by Braginsky is, ..err beautiful (what better word can I use?) Erti kedindahan dan keindahan erti..You shd also read Mohamad haji salleh's interpretation of beauty in "The Mind of the Author". As for Indraputra, yes, I think it was Braginsky who wrote "Hikayat Indraputra as a Sufi allegory" ...no one can beat Braginsky where Sufism is concerned.
And as for Bidasari...sigh, isn't it just beautiful? Talk to Sarah and Mulaika about the fate of women at the hands of the other woman.
Yes, I a sure we can meet and talk.
budakkampong: yes, i am sure you mum misses all those antics you were up to...mesti nakal ni!

iJun said...

now i'm missing MY mama... *sniff* :(

CikNi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
CikNi said...

(sorry the earlier post byk typo)
kak teh, i just want to share and pay my respect to my late father in-law.
anak2 dia berjumlah 11 org hampir semua tinggal berdekatan dgn dia kecuali seorang anak yg dah arwah tp anak2 arwah masih tinggal berdekatan dan seorang lagi anak yg tinggal kat johor, selain dr itu paling jauh pun tinggal adalah 15 minit perjalanan dari rumah dia.
itu dulu la sebelum saya terpaksa bertugas kat shah alam.
anak2 mesti melawat dan telefon kerap (kalau tak dia marah)= result1: kami akan melawat not less that 2 times per week and call not less that 3 times per week
result2: keakraban anak-anak+parent.
weekend mcm kenduri kat rumah dia dgn 9 anak, 8 menantu, 3+ cucu (may be now 40)- bayangkan--every weekend!

lacrema said...

Kak Teh,

wait a minute...you mentioned a certain Mulaika. I met Mulaika in SOAS yesterday, she's doing Malay literature as well....something to do with women. Well there you go, yet another Malay literature expert. Is this the same Mulaika you are referring to?

Kak Teh said...

cikni: thanks for sharing, kelaurga kak teh pun macam tu, semua berhimpun dengan mak...dulu dia manjakan kita, sekarang kita manjakan dia.
lacrema: u will soon know.

Ordinary Superhero said...

Totally agree with Mak Andeh's comments. Being young(?) parents I share the same worries. But I just give my best now and pray that they will make their parents proud one day.

Ordinary Superhero said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kak Teh said...

msi, thank you for visiting. Yes, we can only do our best! Insyaallah!