Things I said when I was puny:
3-6 months: Being an ever-smiley baby has its disadvantages. One of my earliest memories was getting tossed in the air by my uncle (he verified the story). As I choked and gasped for air, thinking I was dying, I heard him say, “Look, he’s laughing!” I knew what was coming next. I tried to say, “Oh sh**, STOP!” but instead uttered, “Ehe!” Convinced that I was enjoying it, he tossed me again.
Lesson: Babies (at least one) understand English. Also, if you communicate effectively, you get tossed.
1 year: On my first birthday, my family threw me a little party. When I was ushered to the cake, I tried to compose myself by remembering what to do in my moment of glory. I burst out crying, because that was my only prior experience of glory. Lesson: Don’t cry inappropriately.
2 years: The only Cantonese phrase I can remember from my childhood was from a caretaker who used to bathe me as I sat on a red stool. I stood up when she said, “*Sai see futt!” Lesson: Show respect to those who clean our ass.
3 years: I got really dirty after playing outside. My caretaker said, “I’ll throw you in the dustbin!” Being a very considerate boy, I said, “But I’ll get even dirtier, and you have to spend more time washing me.” Mum said I should be a lawyer. But lawyers aren’t paid to be considerate, are they? Lesson: Should have been a lawyer.
4 years: Trying to describe to my brother how I could use my imagination, “I can see an elephant anytime I want.” “Now?” “Yes.” “Where?” “There.” (Pointing into space) “Crazy.” Lesson: Don’t talk about your imagination to those who don’t have one.
5 years: “I wish I could always be 5 years old!” And why not? Running, climbing, drawing cartoons, making stuff with discarded material. Lesson: Always be 5 years old.
* “Sai see futt” = wash backside