I scribbled this story on a piece of paper two years ago. I kept it because I wanted my daughter to read it someday and remember this moment. Here it goes:
She was eight and it's UPSR time (a major exam for Primary school students in Malaysia).That morning after taking her shower and getting ready to school, my daughter who was in standard two, suddenly looked confused and hesitated. Out came the question,
"Do I have to go to school today?" Puzzled and amazed, I asked "Why dear?"
She quickly responded, "Coz my teacher said, if you are not able to CONTROL yourselves, you better not come to school." (Kalau kamu semua tidak boleh mengawal diri, tidak perlu datang ke sekolah).
She then looked at me with her innocent eyes, "So, do I HAVE to go?"
Instead of being angry and alarmed, I asked her "Can you control yourself then?"
My eight year old girl who is witty and a bit cheeky casually answered " I don't know " (Tak tahu)
Now, the ball is in my court. Again, I have to decide on her behalf.
"Well, the answer is yes. You definitely have to go."
In that instance, she brushed the issue aside and resumed to the normal state. I on the other hand, was thinking all the way while driving her to school. Is this a situation when a mother has to decide what's the best for her child? Or was there any motive behind this conversation?
We finally reached school.
When she stepped out of the car, she looked cheerful and happy as usual.
I quickly stepped out of my car too and asked, "Now, teh, are you able to control yourself?"
She turned around and with a cheeky face answered, "Of course Ibu!" (Mestilah)
Aha! Only then I realized that she was trying to get her way of not going to school. Perhaps, she was just 'testing' me! Thank God she didn't get away with that!
I winked my eyes and waved at her. She was only eight and she knew me too well already. Enthusiastically, she waved back and walked confidently to class. I sighed as I turned back to my car,
"Haha! Fat chance Teh Aisyah...Fat chance!