Here are some excerpts of my jottings which serve as part of the journal of my experience as a mother of two teenage daughters when they attended middle school .... the sweet life?
The keys ? Where could they be ?? Frantic is what I felt when my sixteen year old could not find the keys she was holding for the school locker. I also felt helpless when my fourteen year old thought that the pen drive which belonged to her class teacher fell out of her school uniform pocket.
Not only do I feel compulsive about protecting my girls from any harm, I also feel that I have to be of some assistance when they misplace their stuff. Why do I feel the way I feel and often for circumstances beyond my control ? There were times when I actually surprised myself and found all the missing stuff in the unlikely places with a bit of common sense and sixth sense.
Why must Tammy kick up such a fuss when her daughter was not selected to be in the school tennis team? She found out that her beloved daughter had been victimized. The girls in the school tennis team preferred to have another girl on the team even though Tammy’s daughter was a better player than the player they had selected as the reserve. The team girls reckoned that it did not matter who their reserve player would be . They rather had someone they were fond of as their reserve player on their team rather than Tammy’s daughter who they disliked. Tammy kicked up a fuss and reported to the teacher in charge and insisted on a rematch amongst the students. Because of Tammy's interference, my daughter had to go through two additional selection exercises. The girls had to end up playing round robin for another day.
When Soo Ling got into my car, she did not say anything. The silence began to make me feel uncomfortable.
I turned and looked at her. She said, “ Look at the road mom.”
I asked as I drove, “ So how was it?”
“ What do you think?”
“ I don’t know what to think.”
“ So you are not on the team?”
“ Surely you gotta have more confidence in me.”
“ Well you didn’t have your breakfast ….”
“Yea ya ya never forget the importance of breakfast.”
I do not remember if I ever spoke to my late mother in that manner. There were times when I found my daughter rather rude. Maybe these days, as parents we are too aware of our frailties that we have become too indulgent as parents .
Don’t get angry. But do take charge. I told myself.
I had to keep telling myself: “If I lose my cool, my daughter and I will get into this screaming match…..”
On the other hand, I had to ensure that this could not be happening again.
As we arrived at the piano teacher’s house, the gate was locked. I watched Mei Ling sullenly got back into the car. I waited while my daughter checked her book and confirmed that the lesson had been vacated. I had been missing my yoga sessions and I had wanted to go for the yoga class this morning.
After driving out of the housing area, I asked, “ Do you know why the lesson was cancelled?”
“ Dunno… I think there is a replacement class on Sunday.”
“ Why don’t you check your book and see if there is a class on Sunday?”
Mei Ling confirmed that the replacement class was on Sunday. I was upset thinking about the yoga session i had missed and that I would have to taxi my daughter to her piano class apart from her usual tennis clinic on my precious Sunday afternoon.
As I looked out of my office window, it was overcast weather. I had hoped that the weather would hold as I was looking forward to hit some tennis. I planned to leave the office at five thirty for club night tennis.
At 5p.m. I received a phone call from my elder daughter.
" Mom! I have a replacement piano class and can you pick me up from Ms Khoo's place at 6 p.m. ? "
" Oh I have tennis . Let me see if i can ask your dad to pick you up..."
So I rang up the girls' dad. There was still a flicker of hope that he could help out with the ferrying. He picked up the phone on the first ring.
"Oh I can't. I'm having a drink with some clients..." I would have liked to stage a protest about the unfairness of how all this upset my plan too.
( Perhaps I would like to try this :
"Actually i'm also hitting tennis with my clients ?"
Well Sue is a client so is Ellen . ... oh well they are my friends }
Guess I could not have gotten past that so not wanting to give up on having a tennis game, I telephoned my daughter, Soo Ling.
" Can you ask Ms Khoo if you can go an hour earlier or change the date ? She really should not change the time without checking with me ..."
" NO there is no other time and I can't make it tomorrow Mom ...." Soo Ling answered, exasperated.
At five fifteen, I texted both Sue and Ellen that I could not join them for tennis.