24 April 2011, by Dannie Cho
People who know me tend to say the same few things about me. I speak my mind. I am one of those people who tend to give too much information. I am humorous. That humor tends to be either very punny, or from the gutter.
In fact, when I was moving from our flat in Bishan after selling it, I came across an autograph book where my Primary school classmates wrote their impressions of me. You know what? EVERY SINGLE PERSON either said I had a funny, dirty mind, or alluded to some romance between me and some other classmate. Man… I didn’t get a taste of romance till I was 15, so that part was a lie. And if one set of testimonials are lies, then the other set must be lies too, right?
No? Okay, fine. No, then. Whatever… my wife loves my sense of humor. My best friends tolerate it with a stunned smile as their eyes glaze over from trying to process the ‘too much information’ that I give them. And the good people at Maybebaby.sg haven’t asked me to please stop writing too, so I guess I haven’t crossed the line to utter crassness yet.
But as the wife’s belly grows, the fathering instinct is sputtering to life. I’ve started putting my mouth to her belly to speak to my darling baby, to sing to her. And then my mind starts screaming that I’m talking and singing about all the wrong things.
I’ve already said c*** and s***, both of which means feces. I’ve also said f***, which is a rather fun pastime that I really enjoy. And then there’s the general insults about traffic, other people, etc, etc.
Which brings me to this realisation. So much of what we say and do is already ingrained in our lives. We become inured to it. But when a fresh young pair of ears listen to us, and baby’s eyes see what we do, we become examples of normal behaviour for our children.
And this goes way beyond swear words. Do you refer to people of other races in derogatory terms? Your children are going to learn that attitude from you. Do you jaywalk even when the traffic light is less than ten metres away? Well, your children are going to learn that behaviour from you. Do you litter or do you dispose of your trash in the dustbins that are available everywhere (except MRT stations)? Well, your children are going to learn civic-consciousness from you. Do you then litter only in MRT stations? Well, your children are going to learn a great deal about the conflict between self and others from you. Do you pick your nose in public? Do you turn up late for appointments all the time? Do you sit in front of the laptop or TV all day? Do you spend above your means? Do you drive safely? Do you think I’m asking too many questions?
Well… introspection is a wonderful thing. And having “introspected” myself, I have come to a very important conclusion. If there’s nothing about me that the wife would change, then it stands to reason that her daughter can be like me too. After all, I would want her to love our daughter as much as she loves me!