“Mom, can you please stop watching movies with people who say those bad words?”
We were walking from our guesthouse toward the Lavender stop on the East West Line of the Singapore MRT when my five-year-old daughter made this suggestion on Wednesday morning, 9 a.m.
“I don’t watch bad movies. Why would you say that?”
“Of course you did. The guy in the movie you watched said (insert word). Please do not punish me. I was just making a point.”
I had to pick up my jaw from the ground because my daughter uttered a really, really bad word to prove that I did watch a bad movie.
It was a four-letter bad word that I myself would not even say. But according to the daughter, she saw me watching a movie (or a Netflix series) with expletive-spewing characters, whose presence in this world is officially in danger because the daughter knows.
The daughter, who goes by the name Antoinette, is five going on fifty years old. She is an old soul stuck in a child’s body. I suspect she knows the answers to the world’s toughest questions.
In that streetside conversation, she made me do a pinky promise of never watching that bad movie. I obliged while making a mental note of calling my husband the moment she’s asleep so we can process this incident.
After several encounters with Antoinette of similar nature, I should not be surprised with her sharpness and wit. But I always end up in awe every time I hear her reason out or explain things with either a dramatic flare or a lawyer-like conviction.
Antoinette is a miracle whip, a ball of sassyness, a problem solver, a best friend, a trustworthy leader, a thoughtful daughter.
Of course, all these are my biased views of her. I am her mother after all who carried her for 36 weeks along with her twin brother; those were 36 long, arduous weeks of avoiding sweets and white rice because of gestational diabetes.
Watching her walk beside me in our recent girls’ trip in Singapore and Malaysia brought back memories of how we managed to raise her and her brothers in three countries. I used to travel in Guangzhou, China’s subway with a baby strapped in front of me while pushing a stroller with another baby in it. I brought along a backpack containing bottles of milk, extra clothes, wet wipes and the entire supermarket. The usual destination was the zoo where we spent several afternoons watching animals, people included, as they went about their businesses.
My twin babies then were eight months old. In two days time, they are going to be six years old. I have since spent time with them fulfilling their birthday requests. Nicholas asked for a day at the Cebu Safari Nature Park while Antoinette requested for a cooking class.
Their birthday is their first day of school. They will be First Graders at six years old. Too young, if you ask me. But I have to let them go. There is a big world out there for them to conquer. It is not my job to stop them from exploring it.
While shopping for toys in a night market in Malacca, I repeatedly asked Antoinette, “What do you want girl? Tell me. What do you want?”
She shook her head every single time I asked her. On our last stop before heading back to our guesthouse, I asked her again, “Toni, what do you want?”
She sighed, looked at me in the eye and said, “To be with you. I don’t need anymore toys Mom. Just you.”
That, my friends, is one of the happiest days of my life.
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