Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Our Kueh Bolu story

As I packed your clothes into the same suitcase that I unpacked almost two month ago. I realized that you had more clothes now than you had two months ago. Your favorite hello kitty blouse, that angelic and princessy dress and that big sunflower design shirt which you say reminds you of your classroom, Sunflower 1. There were many more and strangely though, I remembered each and every single piece as I neatly folded them into the suitcase. 

How were they bought? Who bought them for you? When was the last time you wore it? Did you enjoy wearing them? 

Surely I had a good laugh filtering through my memory bank and answering all those questions... that was until I finished packing them and the laughter inadvertently stopped too. They just stopped...

I knew the day would come. The day you would leave this island with your parents for newer pastures.

I knew the day would come but I just didn't expect the day to come too soon. Time really flies when you're enjoying every moment especially with you, time really pass extremely fast! Maybe I just didn't know how to embrace the day or simply I just didn't wanna faced that dreadful truth but the truth is as bright as that lamp post on any streets. One day you will leave me for good.

That very day your parents admitted you to my house because they had already made up their mind to venture into the economy of Hong Kong and decided to sell their four-room flat HDB apartment. I knew it was a painful decision for your parents to leave you into my family's care. Even though the distance between my house and your house is just a few bus stops away but to be honest, which tender loving parent could bear to see themselves being separated from their precious little angel?

Rather than puting you at risk of all the hustle and bustle that was happening in your own house, your tender loving mum and dad decided to go ahead with that painful decision instead... How great love really is...

On the brighter note though, you're unlike most children, you were hardly shy and why should you be? After all those interaction we had since the day you were born? It was comforting to your parents when you proofed the you could just walked into my kitchen and grabbed that bar of chocolate after seeking my dad's permission. You knew the floorplan around my house all too well. It's almost as if it's your second house. 

My mum and dad couldn't have been happier for your stay. You see they love children. Very evident since they have three boys themselves. My two brothers though... They are anti-children I guess. A stark contrast to their oldest brother which all the younger generations loved playing with, especially you. Well, with me around, who would dare to bully you? So you need not be afraid of the two of them.

Before your arrival, my house was already vibrant enough but with the addition of you, you could say it's sanctifying grace upon a house of mad and silly people. Everyday was just pure joy and pure bliss. Laughter was always lurking within the household. Just awaiting for that perfect moment to strike...

There were so many occasions and I could seriously pen all of them down but well... I'm a lazy person so I shall list just a few just for memory sake alright?

One particular night I recalled, I came home fairly late with a fresh blood wound on my right foot though till now I still don't know how did I injured myself. It was trickling blood but nothing unbearable. I walked past you and the moment your eyes caught sight of my wound on my foot, you seemed to freaked out. "Kor Kor! Your leg is bleeding!" You jumped off the leather couch despite telling you time and time again not to and rush to the first aid kit in the kitchen, demanding one of my brother who was at the kitchen at that time to bring that tube of antiseptic cream for you or I should say for me... 

My brother cared less for he was focused only on his late night dinner. I walked into the kitchen and assured you that it's nothing serious. Besides, I couldn't apply any cream without washing the wound with water first right?

Once I'm done cleaning that petite wound, I walked back to the living room only to be confronted by your seemingly worried expression and that tube of antiseptic cream in your hands which I suspected of you climbing up the chair and grabbed it yourself?

I sat down on the leather couch with you sitting beside me. You volunteered to apply cream on my wound. Throughout the whole time time, I have to keep assuring you that the pain is long gone after that gracious heap of cream being spreaded on that petite wound.

I always knew you were a kind girl and a rather sweet one as well. But I didn't you could be this concerned. It's just an heartfelt act... 

Do you recall that very day I was supposed to fetch you home from school but I was 45 minutes late?

I was too tired that day and I felt asleep and by the time I woke up from my slumber, I hurried across streets and roads to your classroom but you were no where to be seen. Just then, I peered through the windows of the doors and saw you sitting alone by the table, crying. Your form teacher, Miss Seah which so happen to be my friend was kneeling beside you, trying to bring much comfort to you but it didn't work. You just cry even harder. 

I walked into the room and made my presence known. Almost immediately, you ran towards me and gave me a hug, still crying at the top of your voice. My friend or I should address your form teacher as Miss Seah too, gave me a lashing for my imprudent act and explained to me the potential psychological traumas I might have caused to you, conjuring psychological jargons as if I have never came across them in my course of studying social work.

I couldn't be bothered arguing with my friend at that time. I simply apologized as if I have committed some hideous sin against her and walked off, holding your hand. When we were out of that room, I asked you why were you crying? The reason you gave, in your own words was that you were afraid that I didn't want you already. Hearing such a statement just made me felt even more guilty and I made a oath to myself and to you as well. I can always early but never be late.

Indeed, there was never an second incident.. Even if I'm unable to fetch you personally, I make sure that there's always someone familiar whom you could be assured off. I couldn't really fault you for thinking in such a way because I too, experienced the same feelings when I was younger too. Once again, I assured you that I could never bear to abandon you and wiped off the remaining tears shedded by those pair of still rather puffy eyes. 

I knew just the thing or I should say food to calm your nerves. Your favorite Kueh Bolu or as we often coinned it, Kueh Kueh. I lifted you off the ground and brought you to the nearest bakery shop. I paid for a heap of Kueh Kueh and we went munching all of them till we reached home. 

Of course, I got another lashing from my mother because we couldn't help ourselves to dinner afterwards but for that smile on your face, it was totally worth it!

Now, how did Kueh Bolu came to the story? 

Well, You always love to munch on snacks and being a fussy eater you always have been, I always had a hard time convincing you to try new and healthier snacks. (I consider cakes more healthier than candies.) Then came a particular day when there wasn't any chocolates or candies left in my kitchen and you came to me with a hungry tummy. Being the usual me, I was too lazy to whip out a your favorite food, Omelette Eggs with sliced Ham and diced Tomatoes fillings. I dreaded doing the dishes and how could I bear to ask you wash them even though I know you can. You're my little princess you know?

Instead, I brought you to the nearby coffeeshop to appease your growling stomach. Just then, we passed by a bakery shop which so happen to be baking the petite sponge cake. The buttery smell caught your attention and you asked me if I could buy them for you. I bought a pack of them for you, still pretty fresh but cool enough for instant gratification. 

You were baffled about the odd shape. It looked like an peeled orange but since you were hungry, you just took a bite and much to my amazement, you stuffed the remaining spongy puff into your mouth and demanded more. Since Kueh Bolu was too much of a mouth for you to pronounce and so to make things easier, we call your new found food, Kueh Kueh. 

We have Kueh Kueh for breakfast and we have Kueh Kueh for tea. We have Kueh Kueh when we were happy or even when we were sad. I guess you could say Kueh Kueh plays an important role in your childhood.

But the thought of you leaving... Simply disheartening. I always wanted a little sister but somehow I ended up with two brothers. I'm not saying brothers are bad but having a sister is just different. When you came into my life, everything just changed. For instant, I actually went up to the library to read up on parenting books and asking for tips whenever I could just to better care of you. The things I would do at times, even amazes me at times and you are one of them.

Just like my love for someone, it could be a good thing that you came into my life and taught me so much but it might also be a sad thing that one day you might have to leave. I'm still hoping that one day I could be together with that special one although reality might speak otherwise... 

And likewise, I know that your departure is inevitable. I could only hope that one day I will get to see you.  Maybe the end of the year or maybe a 19 years old version of you. I could only guess. 

I was just telling a confidante that one day when you get married, I must warn your other half about your legendary kicks and punches that you always lash out at me when you slept beside me. They were already deadly when you're young. Can't really imagine your "skills" when you're much older. Come to think of it, by the time you're of an marriageable age, I might have strands of grey hair amidst the black or worst. Balding.

Would you still recognize me? I hope you do...

Maybe one day, you might stumble upon this post, realizing that this is you when you were at four. A cute little girl that never fails to bring a smile to everyone around you and I still hope you do. Maybe you might have forgotten that you have a cousin whom you followed whenever he goes and then this post might just brings you back to those good old memories. 

I don't really know what the future will hold. All I could hope is that you will be well-taken care of by the other kor kor and jie jie just like the way I did. Maybe they might intro you a new type of Kueh Kueh? 

There's still some time before you really have to go so I shall spend the remaining just me and you...

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