Ahh… we’ve all been there. You know, that uncomfortable moment when your Singaporean Mom decides to share an embarrassing childhood anecdote with your friends/relatives/frenemies, much to your chagrin. And I’m not referring to cutesy stories like writing a note to the tooth fairy (because you thought she was real) either. I’m talking about the downright embarrassing incidents that you want to bury deep down in the recesses of your mind (along with memories of getting your wisdom teeth extracted or getting your BCG injection), such as getting your head stuck in a chair and bawling your eyes out because you thought you’d have to walk around like that forever (I was just trying to see if the grooves were big enough to fit my head okay. Don’t judge.) Or worse, when your Singaporean Mom whips out a baby photo of you in the buff before passing it around nonchalantly like a bag of prawn crackers, as you sit there feeling extremely affronted at her complete disregard for your privacy (Not cool, Mom. Not cool at all.)
Until this day, my Singaporean Mom hasn’t forgotten about the time I refused to go on stage during my ballet recital because the announcer called me “Geena”. Or the time my sister and I got on a major sugar high at my cousin’s house, and insisted on wearing her bra as a helmet while bouncing on the bed and shouting “We want SUGAR! MOAR sugar!” (A word of advice to parents: Never give your kids sugar before bedtime. Ever.) Or the time I ate a plate of chicken rice, blacked out from food poisoning and had to be saved by the Chicken Rice uncle (Okay okay, this actually happened quite recently and not during my childhood days. What can I say? I have a sensitive stomach.). Anyway my point is, Singaporean Moms derive great pleasure from sharing embarrassing stories with everyone, as long as it’s not about themselves.
Although come to think of it, it’s not just Singaporean Moms who love to do this. I mean, how many times have you brought up that story about your classmate who peed in her uniform and told the teacher that her water bottle was leaking? Or the one about how so and so crapped in her PE shorts and pretended it was a mud stain? Childhood stories like those will haunt you forever. Trust me, even when you become a high-flying banker or executive at some multi-national firm, your schoolmates will probably always remember you as (insert name here), The Girl Who Peed in Her Shorts in Primary One. So kiddos, the moral of the story is to always keep your bladder and bowels under control. And never lie. Because if the stench doesn’t give you away, your guilty face and shifty eyes will.
And now, because I have run out of things to write about for this post, I shall attempt to distract you with a few (non-embarrassing) childhood photos that I dug up.
At first I didn’t recognise myself because I thought this was just a photo of a fat boy. Then I looked closer and saw the cross-eyed grin, and realised it was myself. Boy am I glad that my hair grew out.