Puny Words

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