Why do children always think they can fool their parents and get away with it? My eldest daughter seems to find that a hard habit to break. Yes Nabila, if you’re reading this (which I know you will), please bear in mind that I‘m still mad at you.
My eldest daughter has a penchant for going out with her friends whenever she’s at home and she expects us allow her to go even though most of the times, she’d abuse the privilege that we had given her. Whenever she’s back, she’ll have all sorts of plan lined up for her ~ nak tengok wayang dengan Atikah lah, nak keluar dengan Mimi lah, nak pegi dim sum dengan Dhath lah, birthday party lah, ini lah, itulah, macam macam.
Most times, we’d allow her to go but not without a long line of questioning from the father. If he’s satisfied with her answers, we’ll let her go. Fair enough, right? We need to know our children’s whereabouts when they are out of our sight.
This girl has been at home since last Thursday for the long CNY break. Immediately the next day, the texted me at the office and told me she wanted to go for a movie with her friend Atika at KLCC. Ok, fine. I was not very happy with this because the plan was made too soon after she got home, but I allowed her to go anyway because Atikah is her best friend. Nadira tagged along.
She asked me to pick her up after the movie, but I told her to ask her Baba to get her because I was not in the vicinity. So, off they went to KLCC but they didn’t catch the movie becoz it was too late by the time they arrived. They spent the afternoon browsing the shops at KLCC instead from 4.30 – 8.30 pm.
Then on Wednesday, she wanted to go out again. This time, to have dim sum with her friends from the old school at Mandarin Oriental. Four kids aged 19, wanted to have dim sum at a posh Chinese restaurant in Mandarin. That’s the kind of friends my eldest daughter mixes with. Again, her father allowed her to go because he thought, the boy who had asked them out for dim sum tu were going to “belanja’ all of them. Unfortunately, his guess was wrong.
She had asked me for RM50 because she said she tak cukup duit (MrN was already in JB that time). I told her, “Kalau tak ada duit, buat apa pegi tempat mahal2? Even I pun tak pernah pegi dim sum at Mandarin ok, because it’s expensive. You all ni macam bagus2 saja!” But then she said, usually the others would pay more and she only need to pay a small amount of the total bill. Malas nak argue dengan budak ni because this girl has no backbone when it comes to her friends. So, I gave her the money anyhow and let her go.
On Wednesday, this boy Dhath picked her up from home at 1pm to go to Mandarin Oriental. There were 4 of them ~ 3 girls, one boy. At 3.30pm, I texted her asking if she was still outside. She said she was at Ampang Point buying ice-cream at that time, and was wondering if I would allow her to go to her girlfriend’s house pulak. Eh, ini dah lain plan ni! Kata pegi dim sum je, now dah nak pegi rumah kawan pulak. Tapi sebab kesiankan budak ni and I didn't want to spoil her day, I told her ok, but be back before 6pm (but I had a strong suspicion that would not be the case).
True enough, at 6.15pm she texted me saying that she was still stuck at her friend’s house because the gate could not open. I dah mula marah dah. Budak ni, orang suruh balik before 6, why was she still there at 6.15pm? Ding dong ding dong SMS, in the end, they managed to open the gate (so it seemed) and she reached home at 7.15pm. I was not at home at that time coz I had dinner outside. But when I got home later that night, I didn’t speak to her. Neither did she speak to me for I suspected she takut kena marah sebab balik lambat.
So, Friday dah keluar, Wednesday pun dah keluar kan? And both times she busted her time limit which is so uncalled for had the father been around. I was thinking, “That's it lah. She is so not going anywhere again after this until the next time she comes home!” And I thought she knew better than to try and go out again. But how wrong I was!
Yesterday (Thursday), when I was at work, I kept on thinking about her and her various antics to get out of the house. The other two kids, Nadira & Nadim, bila kat rumah, tak de pulak panjang akal nak keluar. Kalau keluar pun, setakat on weekends for 1 or 2 hours makan2 with their friends at KFC or somewhere standard budak2 sekolah. Tak de pulak lah nak pegi birthday party kawan kat “bungalow” in Bangsar ke, or dim sum at some fancy restaurants ke, unlike their eldest sister. Mengalahkan adults! Hello... as long as you still ask for pocket money from your parents, you are still a kid, ok?
Anyway, things were very quiet in the home front yesterday becoz I didn’t receive any call or SMS from the kids. So, I thought I nak balik cepat lah semalam and take the other two kids out because they’ve been staying at home mostly. Nabila tak payah ikutlah because she has had her time out kan?. That was my plan. And so I left office at 4.30pm. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Nabila had gone out again yesterday without my knowledge!
This is how I found out. As I was coming down the elevated highway at about 4.45pm, I saw our Naza passing by. “Eh, the Naza? Dari mana ni?” It was driven by Pakcik Mat, my MIL’s driver, and it was heading towards our house. “Dari mana Pakcik Mat ni? Tak kan hantar Nadim pegi tuition kut because tuition tak ada this week...”
My mind kept on wondering where Pakcik Mat had taken the car as I followed it closely. I was right behind the Naza and I was very sure whoever that was in the car at that time would have seen me. “Takkan Nabila keluar lagi, she didn’t tell me anything…”, I wondered again. Hati I dah berdebar2. I was praying hard that my assumption was incorrect.
Sampai rumah, it was raining heavily. Pakcik Mat dropped off “someone” first at the porch before he reversed again to allow me to park my car. I didn’t know who “that” was but I was so hoping it was someone else other than Nabila. I really had no mood to scream at her yesterday. But when I got out of the car, I saw Nabila ~ clad in her baju kurung, sitting on a chair infront of the door ~ her face as pale as a corpse....
“You went out just now? Where did you go?”, I began the line of interrogation.
“I went out to Bank Islam for my appointment.”
“What appointment? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I did tell you! I did tell you last week!”
Last week? I remember vividly she told me about her Bank Islam visit when I picked her up from KL Sentral last Thursday…
“Why can’t you remind me? You told me last week and you expect me to remember everything? Why can’t you just tell me before you went out just now?”
“I thought since I’d told you last week it was ok for me to go.”
I could feel my face flushed with anger.
“What time did you go just now?”
”12 o’clock. Then I met my friend and after that I went to Wan’s house for a while.”
Oh, so Wan knew about this outing but you failed to tell me?
“Nabila, semalam you dah keluar balik lambat. Baba bising when he found out about that. And today you went out again without EVEN TELLING ME! Who do you think I am?”
She kept quiet.
“Whenever Baba is not around, I’m IN-CHARGED, ok? You must tell me WHEREVER YOU GO! Tengok, Tuhan tu nak tunjukkan? I balik cepat and I found out you went out without my knowledge. Had I not come home early, I wouldn’t have known, right?”
I was screaming on top of my voice. I had never been that angry before.
“I would have told you..”, she said.
“Yeah, after the fact nak buat apa?!” I screamed back at her.
“Nabila, you always do this, you know!” Bla, bla, bla… entah apa2lah I membebel lagi semalam.
Pakcik Mat, who was still outside at that time, must have heard the commotion. I didn’t give a damn.
My body was trembling as I walked up the staircase to go to my room. I slammed the bedroom door and locked myself in the bathroom. I’ve never felt so angry before! I dialled my husband’s number and let out my frustrations over that girl’s chronic attitude problem. He told me to calm down.
Actually, I know why she didn’t tell me and I’m sure you all know too. She was afraid I would make a big fuss about her going out again after her over-extended outing the day before. And she also failed to remind me about the Bank Islam appointment because she was afraid that would spoil her chance of going out with her dim sum friends...
So, she “conveniently forgot to tell me” and just told her Wan that she wanted to go to Bank Islam coz she needed to use Pakcik Mat. And that old lady must be thinking, “Bagus nya cucu aku ni….” Had she known that her granddaughter had been gallivanting in town with her friends the day before until after Maghrib, she would’ve straight away called me or Nordin and gave us a proper shelling!
So this girl thought she had been clever and played her cards right. She kept mum about her outing yesterday and made sure she came home early so that I wouldn’t know about it. But little did she know (and neither had I planned for it), that I would be home slightly early yesterday, just in time to watch her step out of the car….
It’s amazing, kan? Now I firmly believe that if there’s anything yang anak2 buat tak betul, memang Tuhan tu akan tunjukkan, especially to us mothers. No doubt I’m not her real mum, but I think the motherly instinct is the same. I was surprised as well. I kept on thinking what was God trying to tell me by letting me see my daughter’s misconduct? Hari tu Nadim kantoi, sekarang Nabila pulak. Will Nadira be caught in the same shoes? I don’t know.
She tried to talk to me last night after I had my shower, but I refused to talk to her becoz I was still very angry. I couldn’t even look at her! Then she left me a note in my bedroom ~ itu pun I malas nak baca becoz I know what she’s going to say: Sorry.. will not do it again…” bla, bla, bla.. The storyline is the same.
Then just now, I received an e-mail from her ~ Can We Talk?, apologizing and explaining her side of the story. She said she admitted she was wrong for not telling me, but truthfully, she said her real reason was, she FORGOT.
Somehow I find that very amusing...