Words of Wisdom ...or so it seems...


Monday, 13 August 2007

Spank Her If You Must

My daughter came home one day, almost in tears. Apparently, she made the mistake of not completing her term homework and the teacher made an acid remark regarding her late father. "Please do not use the orphan status to gain sympathy", said the teacher, who is the coordinator of Bahasa Malaysia homework, an orphan herself. She doesn't know my daughter at all, for she had not had the privilege of teaching my daughter's class. From someone who is basically a perfect stranger to my child, she added," if your father is alive today, he would have been ashamed of you".

I thought to myself, had my late hubby is still alive today, he would have told my daughter , "I know it is difficult to finish your homework, as none of your parents could manage that either, during their time in school, but try not to get caught"..

For those of you who had known my late hubby, you'd agree that that is what he's most likely would say. Perhaps even added,not to my daughter, but to me, " thank god our daughter does not spend all her childhood time completing homework designed by Ministers who they themselves have no trust to the education system they had laid out to the Malaysian citizen, instead, send their kids to private schools.".

How exactly would I like my daughter to spend her childhood time? Well,she should spend it being a child of course!! Enjoy it, because she will never get it back!!! That was exactly how I raised her. The house was almost alway messy from a child's activity. Boxes cut out to be transformed into a space shuttle, a barbie doll's house, a demolecularizer box where human demolecularize and dissapear from one zone to another, when they remolecularize.

I remember coming home one day, mira was about 7years old. The maid got a nice acid remark for what I thought to have been failure on her part to clean the cobweb on the lighting set hanging low from the ceiling , casting its light onto our dining table. The maid looked taken aback and blamed my daughter for it. I was about to scream at her, (you know how maids are trained by fellow countrymen to lie no matter what. They will gain 5kilos over 2 months and your child stays super skinny and they would still insist they are not given enough food and your child was the one piping down all the good expensive food into their system!!!). Apparently, my daughter made that cobweb by using PVA glue. She explained to me, with a grin that almost split her cute face into two cute faces, that all she did was rub the glue onto her hands and rub,then clap her hands just below the chandelier, and the small strands of glue would travel up slowly, then deposit onto the surface, forming , walla!! cobwebs!!!...

She's a reader, my daughter. That made her hit precaucious puberty. Once she sat in the TGI Fridays with me. I was busy talking to my friend, and I did not notice a man who was sitting beside her on the single's table, engaged in a conversation with mira. On the way out, the man introduced himself to me and my friend, surprised to learn that mira was actually my daughter, not my sister (god, he should try another pick up line, that's why he was still eating on the single's table) and with this earnestly awed expression , said to me, "your daughter is very intelligent. I really had a great time talking to her. And she's only 9years old!!!"...I smiled and said something for the heck of saying it, then carried on with my journey home, wondering whether, was he genuinely impressed, or is that another not as dumb as the first pick up line, or worse, was he a paedophile? Can't be to carefull nowadays. My crazy friend on the other hand, suggested I bring my child to every joint I go,as I'd probably stand a better chance of getting a man, by making my daughter woo the guys for me. She'd seen me ignore men in public hangouts and she'd given up hope with me!!

Back to the story. I was upset with the teacher who came up with an insensitive remark. It's more irritating, that she doesn't know my daughter at all, yet she could come up with such remarks. Perhaps she made the mistake of using her orphan status to gain pity in her past, but why generalise? She had no right saying something to someone she hardly knew, decided on what that person's dead father would say to her for merely not completing her homework, leaving a child, more devastated by reminding her she's fatherless, rather than not completing her homework. Leave the dead, dead. She had no right to decide what my late hubby would say to my daughter when she failed to finish her homework. Imagine what she'd say to my daughter should she fail Bahasa Malaysia!!! A bigot!! That's what she is. And it is worrying that she's a teacher!!! Can you imagine the impact on our education system, employing these type of teachers with these set of mentality.

Don't get me wrong. My daughter was absolutely wrong in not completing her homework. No excuse for that. But I told her that she need not apologise to anyone for not completing her work. Instead she should stand in front of the mirror, and apologise to herself, as what she did, or rather, did not do, was detrimental to none other that herself.

I have always brought my child up in such a way that she does not feel handicaped without a father. In fact, when she was nominated for "Anugerah Pelajar Yatim Cemerlang", I was against it. She should compete with the rest. Some kids have father, but it is as good as not having one. Why discriminate?

I showed her the certificates of achievement that I had just framed and hang them on the wall. I told her, if her father was alive today, he would be so proud of my daughter, that his heart would burst. I guess, that consoled her, and me.

It was very emotional for the both of us at that particular moment. We consoled each other, by hugging each other in silence. We know, Mira's dad lives on inside of us. No bigot so called educationist can tell us what we already know. My husband would be proud of my daughter, and me, for doing his job quite well. I plan to call the teacher up and tell her " Spank my daughter if you must, but don't remind her she's an orphan"

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