The Thing About Life

Family Squabbles

My son’s first ever advice to me.
Daddy: “Mummy is angry with Daddy, you know.”
Xander: “Because Daddy never listen to Mummy.”

Later the next day, my son’s first ever advice to his mother.
Mummy: “Mummy is still angry with Daddy, you know.”
Xander: “Because Daddy is a naughty boy.”
Xander: “Mummy, don’t be the angry with Daddy okay?”
Mummy: “Why? Mummy wants to be angry with Daddy.”
Xander: “Because I want Mummy to be happy.”

Go on, cry. We did.

Dear Xander,

There will be times when people who love each other disagree on some things, and you might witness what people call “family squabbles”.

I’d like to say (as I have heard others say to me when i was a child) that these are adult issues and that children have no place in them, but I will tell you honestly,as true as you are our son and we are your parents, you will be involved whether we intend it or not, and whether we like it or not. Also, a big fat chunk of the time, such quarrels are quite childish. Your mum and I have had big arguments over things as serious as money, to things as small as why Daddy’s toys are still on the floor (yes, Daddy’s toys, not yours), to something as strange as pork belly stewed in soya sauce.

Like I said, it gets strange.

The only reason why I am telling you all this is because as part of the same household, it is inevitable that you may witness some of these quarrels between me and your mother, and as much as we try to avoid it, sometimes, emotion will get the better of us. Your parents are only human, after all.

You need to know that we never mean to argue in front of you; for that matter, we never mean to argue. I would also like to assure you that no matter what your mother and I are arguing about, it is not your fault. Your mother and I have very strong characters; it is a big part of why I married your mother in the first place, and it continues to be why I love her.

I also have no doubt that you will grow up to have strong traits of your own; you, too, conduct your own little scuffles with your cousins when you are playing with them, much to your aunties’ and grandparents’ shock, and my awe. We have no intention of bringing you up as a fighter or a bully, but lessons in patience and understanding are learned over a long process, and sometimes over very hard trials and tribulations. Your mother and I are still trying to learn these lessons to this day.

In the meantime, we do seek your patience and understanding whenever the loud stuff happens, and I assure you that your mother and I continue to love each other as we always do, both despite and because of our differences. As your mother would always say to me whenever I ask her why she married me, “There’s never a dull moment.”




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