12 September 2014, Friday
Who cares what message is sent by what is said, how it’s said? As long as it produces the same desired result, the goal is achieved!
How more male can one get than this? A3 is definitely male!
A need quite easily solved
10/11pm. A3 emerges from watching “How to Train Your Dragon” in our bedroom. He comes to me in the kitchen where I am baking belated Teachers’ Day cookies for the kids to take to their various teachers in the coming week. He says, “Mom, remember to wake me up for badminton tomorrow morning.”
I agree, but that doesn’t reassure him as we have been late before, due to my staying up late to get things done and not being able to wake up in the morning.
A complication almost overlooked
Then I remember: A4 has make-up Chinese enrichment class tomorrow. I’d be cutting timing too fine if I took both kids along to drop A3 at school for badminton, and then hop straight onto a bus – perhaps with a transfer – to get A4 to Chinese class.
A (kinda) quick fix
I further recall: Dad has his off-day tomorrow I think.
“A3, go ask Kong Kong (ie Granddad) if he can take you to badminton tomorrow,” says I.
“Why must I? … You ask!” A3 whines.
“Just go ask! You have to learn to open your mouth and ask,” I goad (threatened), hinting at an ultimatum.
A few more exchanges and I hear A3 reluctantly (I sense Mr Mature-&-Independent is shy about asking for help) saying something to his Kong Kong.
The quick-fix takes a small detour
Fortunately, Dad is a little hard of hearing and A3 has to repeat his request a couple more times, so I get to hear what he is actually saying.
A3: Kong Kong, you have to take me to badminton tomorrow morning.
Kong Kong: What?
A3, a bit louder: You have to take me to badminton tomorrow.
Kong Kong: (He says something)
A3 is exasperated, so now more audible: Mommy says you have to take me to badminton tomorrow.
Fixing the distorted quick-fix in a flash
I fly out from the kitchen to explain things from the kitchen doorway.
I to Dad: What A3 mean is can you take him to badminton tomorrow morning? Cos I will be taking A4 to her make-up Berries class in town.
Dad, as usual, is more than happy to help where I am shorthanded.
I had asked A3 to ask Kong Kong if he could send him to class. A3 told Kong Kong I said he had to.
Both approaches would have produced the same result, that is Kong Kong taking A3 to class next morning. Only the meanings behind both messages were poles apart!
A cold, demanding and ungrateful monster! That was what A3 almost made me out to be.