Friday, August 24, 2012

On being happy and nail polish

I have zero expectation on what I want my kids to be when they grow up. Well, I may have some expectations, but definitely not the what-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up kind. Parents all have this dream for their kids when they are all grown-up. "You will be a doctor". "You will be a football player". That is sooooo 1970s. Even the Ah Pek in me will disagree.

But, having said all that, I do have my set of wants. Like, for instance, I would like them to be moving out of the house and be free. I'm not joking. They can visit but I'd rather not have to share my shoe cabinet with them. 

They will need to study and earn their basic university degree. Here's where the Ah Pek in me re-surfaces. No dropping out nonsense like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs and all. No no. Never. 

After that, they can then pursue whatever the hell they want. As long as they don't come to ask for money because I will have none left by the time this tide blows over. That they stay out of trouble. You can do what you want, just stay out of trouble. 

Underneath all of that, deep down in me, my only wish is to see my kids being happy. Not just when they are young so they can be better learners but, be happy all through their adult lives, their grand-adult lives. I want nothing more than to watch my kids be the person that they are meant to be. 

So, when my 5 year old came to ask me if she could have nail polish on her nails, I was a little lost for words. I know, what's the big deal about them nail polish. What surprised me was she knew what the polishes were called..nail polish. She pleaded. I knew one day it will come. Just didn't think that day will come so soon. It would've been easier to answer her if she wanted a pony; not get her nail polish.

Anyway, I told her she can have it...when she turns 21. Then, she started to huff and grumbled - "kids can have too...not when old". Poor girl doesn't know that everyone wants to be 21 and being 21 is certainly NOT old. I stood my ground. SHe continued to huff and argued her case - "Isabelle is a kid and she has...". I explained that "you're not Isabelle and your nails look great! They do not need to be polished. Of course, she huffed and puffed some more and let out a oooohhhhh...before she got distracted by her sister doing the monkey on the couch and joined her sister on the couch and forgot about the whole nail polish thingy. Or so I think it is forgotten. She hasn't asked for it since. 

I realised then that my wish (of wanting them to be eternally happy) may not necessarily come true because I will be denying them of plenty more things to come. Ice-cream being one of them. I mean, I don't deny them ice-cream completely, but we kind of limit their intake. Now, it's nail polish. What's next? Tattoo..performing in the circus...become a Bursleque dancer....and 1 million other taboos.

Oh! For crying out loud, it's just nail polish!

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