Last Christmas 2013

Dear Ian,

Last Christmas was a time of great challenge for your dad.

We did some shopping and on our way back, I was walking with you and your mother was walking with your 弟弟, little brother. When we reached the MRT gantry, I knew we were walking a little too fast and we needed to wait for your mum and 弟弟 before getting into the train platform.

So I told you, ‘Ian, wait.’

You paused for a moment before tapping your card and went over to the other side. I screamed at you ‘WAIT!’ The MRT auntie heard me, you, finally heard me and waited.

The damned part of being a parent, is of course the worry that someone would simply pick you up, carry you to the platform and took off.

The angry part was the disobedience part. You heard me, and you stopped for a while. When I interrogated you, you said you didn’t hear me. even you mum heard me. I was seething with anger, with you and your typical bochup, aloofness. It could have been fatal the next time around, if you didn’t hear me and the instructions given. You simply have your way of being in La-La land and not having situational awareness around you.

Perhaps seeing me angry, froze you in a state of panic and fear, knowing that you’ll be anticipating a smacking from me. I told you, I am so angry that I wanted to hit you. And I did eventually, which is a living breathing example of self fulfilling a prophecy. I told you I will hit you, so subconscious, I am justifying hitting you. Hey, I did say I was going to hit you, so I hit you, so I wouldn’t have hit you if I didn’t way I was so angry that I wanted to hit you.

Anyway, we got home, you are still in your bochup, aloof state, or perhaps your cognitive is so hampered by fear of being hit, you could function. You could pick out your little brother’s shoes and put them back in the shoe rack. After being told repeatedly. Until I smack you, hard on the head, only then you saw 弟弟’s shoes and picked it up. By then the damage was done. I hit a bit too hard and bruised your lips and you bled a bit.

It was the last straw for me.

I think I was so shocked by my own violence I told myself I will never do that again. The heart-breaking part was you bear no angst towards me, neither were you afraid of me, after my anger as dissipated.

So I told you, I will not hit you anymore, you have to learn your lessons, I will talk you through it, if you are lucky enough, someone will save you, if you are dumb, you’ll learn your lessons through your flesh and skin. No more will I hit you to discipline you.

Partly because I learned something, you are not only my kid, you are also my wife’s kid. And my wife, your mum, carried you through the nine months, risking her life to bring you to life, I cannot hit you anymore, because I will also be hitting my wife’s child. This was a very powerful insight for me, and it sustained me. I cannot disciplined you by hitting you anymore, because doing so will hurt the woman I love as well.

But, your personality and stupidity can get to me, and I can only hope that through talking and reasoning, you can become smarter. And from the looks of it, you’ve more than proven that you don’t need the rod, as you are not spoilt.


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