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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Why, He Asked.

A'dnin right before he was wheeled to the operating theater at the University Hospital

"Ma, Anin nak tanya sesuatu ni."

I was smothering talcum powder on his front and back before cupping his face to smooth the baby face area with powder next. He has just taken his bath and was still wrapped in his favourite green towel when he worded me with the one line request.

"Jap k", I delayed his question, and proceeded to combing his just cut hair and putting his uniform on. It was 11.30am and I was getting him ready to go to school. It has become a powder ritual for him now, everytime after his bath. He knows mama would dip his still damp body with fragrant corn flour right after applying a coat of baby mosturiser.

After I was finished and he looking like kuih tepung gomak, I cupped his face one more time and said, "...ok apa anin nak tanya mama ni, what is it that you wanted to ask me?"

"Tak, Anin nak tanya,..." he was looking and feeling his hand before gazing up to me with "Kenapa kakak tu kaler dia lain, anin kaler lain?. Kakak tu warna dia putih sikit, anin pulak macam coklat je" He shrugged. He didn't look sad when these words came out from his mouth neither did he look angry, instead he had that perplexed expression on. "Why did you ask this wahati mama? Ada orang ejek anin kat sekolah ke? He failed to answer me. I was examining his once broken wrist to ensure it wasn't swollen before sliding his wrist band on, when I cheered him up with, "...because Anin ialah mama's chocolate fudge!" "... and kakak? He wrinkled his forehead for an answer. "...Kakak is mama's vanilla cream". "Both pun sedap" I smiled. I ironed his baju with the palms of my hands and swiped the powder dust from his midnight blue pants whilst thinking of a simple explaination for him to understand.

"They are just colours Anin, and everything has its own colour.
The tree is green, the sky is blue." I continued with apples being red, clouds being white and suddenly he said "...Pause!" Oh it is so common of him to say Pause as he thinks everything works like a DVD or CD player where he is able to pause, unpause, play, stop, rewind, and forward anytime he fancies. He dashed downstairs and a few seconds later appeared with this Nursery Rhyme book I always read to them. "Ma, macam dalam buku ni ma. Inside ada story like this." He was flipping the pages to match the words I had said to him earlier. "Aaaa! ini dia" he jigged.

What is Pink? by Christina Rossetti

What is pink? a rose is pink
By the fountain's brink.
What is red? a poppy's red
In its barley bed.
What is blue?
the sky is blue
Where the clouds float thru'.
What is white? a swan is white
Sailing in the light.
What is yellow?
pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow.
What is green?
the grass is green,
With small flowers between.
What is violet? clouds are violet
In the summer twilight.
What is orange? why, an orange,Just an orange!

"Yes, exactly just like this poem Anin" I said in relief. He started to read the words on the page over and over again but soon stopped to ask, "Tapi tak der colour brown pun kat sini Ma?" and I quickly huffed an answer. "...that's because brown is the most delicious colour of all. You want to know why?" He had a blank look on his face by this time, as if he knew my question was a rhetorical one. "...it's because chocolate is brown, chocolate cake is brown, roast chicken is brown and char kuey tiaw is brown!" His eye brows were rasied after I cited all his favourite food in a row and a delighted face was followed by "...a'ha la Ma. Brown sumer sedap2 kan?"

We went to school after that enlightening conversation and along the way he listed all the other brown things, food and people he knew, amongst them were Mama, Aki, handbag Mama, tudung Opah, smelly socks baba and everything else. Brown sure is an important colour in his life and it is alright to be brown, it is just a colour on the outside. I try to inculcate in him that the inside is more important which has to be white and pure, not green, not blue, not black.

As I was about to leave him with his friends, I managed to squeeze in a question, "...Anin, do you like to be brown?" He just smiled, nodded and asked me to leave him there as he was afraid I would smother him in front of his friends. Saphire, faded jeans and a flying kiss would just have to do for now.


My vanilla cream crept behind my back as I was about to publish this and warned "...hope you are not writing about me Ma" And I retorted " I know I know, your friends read my blog!" and she went "...he he he tau tak per"
Kids!!


I have vanilla cream and choc fudge every single day!


Dont Know Why - Norah Jones

21 treats:

Ms Red Hat said...

Your wisdom always prevails. Very beautifully explained and never am i so proud to be deliciously brown.

Love
Salina

Wiz said...

Well Ms Red Hat, thank you so much! Only you feel that my writing is anywhere near beautiful. And that makes you a beautiful person to me. He he he.

Juliana Mohd Daud said...

ya la wiz, i just so love reading your stories...

tell your boy, aunty julie pun choco fudge jugak, deep dark choco fudge, memang best! and, aunty julie's sister is vanilla cream, low fat and trans fat free vanilla cream...very healthy! but, both are good in their own way...

frankly speaking, i had a not so easy time growing up coz when i was a child, it did affect me, when people were always comparing me to my sister. it's always the other people yang sibuk. i hope adnin will be okay, not just coz he's a boy, and people always say that it's okay if a boy is darker; but because he knows that his very wise mama is indeed very right... :)

Princess Azi said...

apsal this posting macam cute eh?
hehe
family teacher ni memang cuteeeeee sesangat lah!

wiz said...

Julie - Hey, I went thru the same thing too la Julie. It was a difficult phase but got through it nevertheless. We constantly say orang puteh are racist but in truth we are too. Beauty in our society is judged by how we fair in our skin colour. It's sad.

Azie - ala Azie, teacher tau Azie nak ckp teacher ni cute, ckp la teacher tak marah ha ha ha ha. Teacher terima yang seadanya.

Anis Zainal-Pacleb said...

wiz dear, thanks for the enlightening post ..... and my.. oh...my ... i just love the way you explain things and life mysteries to your kids ... mcm kacang outih je... if i were u mesti dah tergagap-gagap trying to give the best and most rational explanation to areya .....

Wiz said...

Anis- Ni belum yang susah2 lagi. Ni baru bab kaler, nanti yang susah2 I akan pretend to fall asleep ke ha ha ha and hope they would forget to ask me again.

Anis, you are not bad yourself la. But make sure you must say spell clearly and not smell k, he he he.

uya ahmad said...

chumel2 la ur child miss....wahhhhh...seronoknye...
kikikiki....chocolate fudge..wahhh!!!!
sedap nye.....hak3....this is kind of funny..color doesnt mean anything...hahaahahahaha..hepi chinese new year even though u didnt celebrate it..kikiiikikki....

Mimi said...

wah very sweeT story la wiz..

so cute! I hope i'll manage to compose some answer like urs when awisy is big enuff to ask question ;D

DaNaSh said...

wiz, my kids selalu tarik muka bila orang kata they look like chinese..aina pulak selalu digelar budak jepun by my collegues. so i'm actually preparing myself nak jawab apa if they ask why they look different from the other Malays..it's going to be tough.

Wiz said...

Naza - Because you look like a non malay yourself la Naza. At least they look like you and the father, all of them are fair kan? So you can just tell them how their looks come about, it's father + mother = children he he he

Wiz said...

Mimi - Awish is just the cutest! Enjoy every second of his baby life before he grows up and pose you the questions you sometimes don't have answers for.

Sapura - You can say Happy Holidays Sapura, we will have a long one next week. But teacher tak gi mana2 la. Duk umah je. Kalau free2 jemput la, he he

ms hart said...

Wizzy!! A smart question from a smart son to a smart mom!

Missy asked me the same question when she was little - why mummy so white, adik so white and I am so black!!! ha ha direct translation!

uya ahmad said...

owh..hihi..cuti eyk..sye tak cuti till march,,huhuk...anyway, hepi holoday..hihihik....nak dtg umah teacher??it'll cost thousands of money...huhuhuk...maybe 2012..hihihi...

Lisajoehari said...

sebaknya baca this posting. :) yea.. i am a bit emotionally driven sikit kekadang tu hehe...

Imeirda said...

salaam, hi wiz, lama tak masuk blog u.

sweet story, Anin is cute! dah mamanyer byk buat cuppies varies in flavours, I punya pun byk flavours gak, kena tunggu sampai Ilham or Irdina pop me with the Qs... for sure u hv prepared me with the answers. thanks.ahaks

mº¿ºsh, brecht and nora said...

This entry of yours made my day Wiz! First i love Norah Jones to death, so the song was welcoming to my heavy head! Then i just love how u wittily answered Adnin.... i wish u were my mum babe!!!! So cool to hv a mum like u! U do good Wiz, i am so proud that u r my friend.... Big hugs for now, i got to dash to study for exams....

Wiz said...

Lisa - but you are a paintball fighter, you can't be easily teary eyed like this. Have some cakes to cheer you up, he he he. Ooooo ada blog eh? Tak invite kiter pun.

Jeda - A'ah kan dah memang byk flavour, mesti la byk rupanya. How are you? Any good news to share?

Mush - I am happy you love the song Mush, so easy on the ears and soul kan. I didnt answer Adnin with wit, but with what I wanted to hear myself whan I was younger. All the best in your exams Mush, ala, hang tak yah study, otak hang otak geliga. Apa2 pun cheq doakan hang dapat the best in class k.

Wiz said...

Hart - So the sunyi the sepi la from you Hart. You have been under the radar lately, morning sickness kut ha ha ha. Kidding la jgn marah k. Budak2 ni kalau fair mcm mana pun bila masuk je sklh mesti tanned kan Hart?

huraz said...

You should see my kids. 1st and 3rd vanilla. 2nd and 4th chocolate. None have popped me the question yet but if anyone does, i'll use your story, boleh kan? Nanti i bayar copyright when we meet...

Wiz said...

Doll - The children will never ask questions like this unless they heard people talking or asking or commenting about it. Adala orang tanya dia or dia terdengar orang cakap tu. I have been the subject of colour myself throughout my life so I undertsand.