The Logic of a 5yo

Kids nowadays seem to grow up faster, much faster than when I was a kid (ahem! sensitive terrain, we’re in).

Well, I can almost imagine that the BCG vaccine my kids received on their butts when they were mere newborns might also contain a dose of growth enhancers.

While I could barely comprehend English at the age of 5, having spent my earlier years in a Mandarin-only environment at home, Matthew could converse in both English and Mandarin.

This incident happened when the kids were asked to bring mooncakes to school to share with their friends.

Matthew has told us a few days earlier that the teachers requested each child to bring only 1 mooncake to school. However, we prepared a panda-shaped, ultra non-traditional mooncake and a traditional mooncake for each kid to bring to their class. Matthew had already insisted on the way to PoPo’s house that he was supposed to only bring 1 mooncake to school, on the teachers’ instructions, not 2. The Man vetoed him. Megan, as usual, was not listening to any of this.

Knowing he could not get through to us, he tried to sway PoPo into following the teachers’ instructions. My parents were schooled in Chinese-medium schools in the 1960s & 70s; they speak pre-dominantly Mandarin. So Matthew was trying to explain to PoPo that his teacher told him to bring only 1 mooncake to school. PoPo insisted that it was okay to bring 2 mooncakes each. The whole time they were conversing in Mandarin.

In exasperation, Matthew exclaimed, “我们是不是要听老师的话?” (translated: Aren’t we supposed to listen to the teacher?). PoPo, while secretly agreeing with Matthew, vetoed him as well. In the end, Matthew had no choice but to bring both mooncakes to school.

Matthew and I spent an enjoyable Saturday morning going to the swimming pool, walking a long way to get bubble tea, and taking the bus back afterwards. He took a few sips of the drink and left most of the bubble tea untouched in order to surprise and share with Megan back home. As part of our on-going conversation, we brought up Megan and how she doesn’t listen to us much.

Matthew: Yes, MeiMei doesn’t listen. I think she needs to go for a ear checkup.

I was quite taken aback that he linked Megan’s wilfulness to the need to have her ears checked. I guess to him, if you can’t listen, your ears ain’t working very well. I didn’t have the heart to correct him. If only the problem with Megan can be easily solved with a trip to the ear doctor….


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