Thursday, August 7, 2008

Respect

What's with the one-word title anyway? I don't know. Since I started it yesterday, I thought, might as well make it a double..:-)

Where I come from, most households have a maid (some have more!! No, I am not joking). We cannot afford big-luxurious-with-to-die-for garden type houses but a maid?..a piece of cake. This is what I term as “benefits” of living in this country : extra pair of helping hands are extremely affordable. No haggling over the issue of being a SAHM or WAHM or FTWM. Women in Malaysia can have it all. Technically.

But, believe it or not, this post isn't about having to choose or decide which hat to wear if you are a mom. I was over at my aunt's place 2 days ago for the usual impromptu play-date for Ash. And yes, they have a maid. I don't know the maid well (obviously) but from my observation, she seems polite, obedient and very helpful. She comes from Indonesia and has been with my cousin's family for close to a year.

Ash and I were there in the afternoon and the maid was feeding the older of the 2 nieces. She's about 3. At one point, my niece refused to have anymore food but the maid kept feeding her. Not forcing her but just trying her best to coax my niece into having one more bite. I suppose the maid will not stop unless told otherwise, right? I mean, she's basically acting on instructions.

My niece spat out her food, proving that she'd had enough. Not the “spit onto the floor or the bowl or the plate” kind but the “spitting at the maid” kind. I was a little taken aback. How rude is that? The best part was, nobody said anything. My niece wasn't told off or summoned to the naughty corner or made to apologise to the maid. Nothing. She just continued with her spitting until my aunt realised that she REALLY didn't want anymore food and instructed the maid to stop feeding her.

Here is the thing. No matter what, my niece is the child and the maid is the adult. Nevermind her status but the fact remains..child...vs...adult. Furthermore, maids are not slaves. The only reason they are even here is to seek employment and so, deserve to be treated as how you and I would like to be treated. If you do not like your child to be disrespectful to you, there is certainly no room for double standards.

A tough call, I reckon. On one hand, there's this need to reinforce the fact that the family is still ultimately “boss” and at the same time, the need to also discipline the child. In the end, I did not utter a word. I know them well enough to know how they would take it so better to keep me mouth shut. Difficult, ain't it? How would you balance the whole “we are your boss” and “child needs discipline” act?

P.S : There was another reason why I was there - to watch B&B on their brand new 40" HDTV! LOL..A good deal apparently, a best buy item in the store..O_O

P.S.S : The photo above? Nothing to do with this post, whatsoever. I just thought it looked cool with the clear sky and all. Especially, after the horrible rain we had all day today...ALL DAY!!!

5 comments:

Tammy said...

I try to teach my kids to respect all of their elders, but it's a hard thing to so sometimes.

mott said...

oh man..that's plain rude. I always tell my boys to say "hello" to the kakaks, whenever I visit friends/relos with maids. No matter what. Always respect another person, no matter who or what they look like. Unless of course, they are con-men la... heheheheheheh

Mommy to Chumsy said...

i hear you :D

Shireen Loh said...

Tammy : I can imagine. I am dreading when my time comes..

Mott : Good on ya, matie!! :-D..and yes, no to con-men (and women). Those can spit..LOL..oppss..O_O

Barb : Thanks bud! :-)

Tina said...

you make me laugh shireen saying the pic is not to do with the post!

you crazy woman rofl!

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