No one perplexes me more than my little gal who turns 5 in March. Most of the time she seems to be in her little dream world, oblivious to what is being said and done around her. But when she wants in for a piece of action, she will repeat tirelessly until we finally address, or rather, blow up at her for her incessant noise and inappropriate timing.
I scold her for being a noise machine; not stopping to think, observe, think, listen, think, then finally speak. Instead, she speaks off the cuff, anytime she likes. And she is naturally loud. Which is a bad match with me, for I value peace and quiet so much. She head-butts my big, glowing “Please be Quiet” button all the time, albeit unintentionally.
Once in a while, however, she amazes me with her powers of perception, which she hides very well under her chatty personality.
I was keeping my eyes downcast and averted all eye contact during dinnertime, but was unable to avoid Megan’s eyes because she was sitting right next to me. When our eyes met the first time, I saw that she was taken aback. Immediately, her eyes took on a curious and very concerned twinkle.
“MaMa, what happened to your eyes?” she blurted out, a bit too loudly. I quickly hushed her, not wishing to draw any attention to myself. “I’ll tell you later. Not now.”
“You can whisper in my ears.” She mimicked my quiet voice, while turning her head and presenting me with her pretty ear to whisper into.
“Later,” was my response to the next 6 times she asked me, staring into my eyes every time. I did tell her a white lie eventually. Sorry, darling.
When we reached home, I busied myself preparing for the kids’ schoolday the next day. Megan helped by bringing their water bottles to me for rinsing and filling up with water.
“MaMa, I help you?” She asked to unscrew the bottle caps. “It’s okay Megan, MaMa can do it.”
“I don’t want you to be 辛苦.” she said, her eyes downcast and watching the bottles in the sink. I did a double take, certain I had misheard her words spoken over noisy running water. I asked her to repeat and she did. She didn’t want me to work so hard.
At that moment, I wished I had disregarded the washing and scooped her up for a hug. This is my gal! I wanted to shout to the world. My sweet, sensitive gal! The only family member who looked into my eyes and watched my body language and deduced stuff!
But I stayed true to my cold personality. I missed the opportunity to show my affection. To the one who cared. I didn’t know how; I am still learning.
I did thank her though, and she smiled her shy smile. Then just as quickly, she bounded away while talking loudly to herself, her naturally loud voice trailing behind her intermixing with the noise of the running water, assulting my sensitive auditory sense again.
But this time, I had a small smile on my face…