The Neighbours


Two days ago after sending Aaron off to school at the bus stop, a neighbour who had also sent her son off approached me and told me that his son came home from school and showed her a ‘mark’ on his chest. He had claimed that Aaron pinched him. I was shocked. Aaron has a temper and he has fought with his brothers at home, but to do it in the school bus? To her credit, my neighbour admitted that her son was often bullied in school and had to be counselled in school last year. It could be that he is mischeivious and often disturbs others. She told another neighbour that last year, that neighbour’s granddaughter had actually fought with her son as well.
 
In  his defense, Aaron said he did not touch him, except only to ‘brush’ past him in the bus as the boy had refused to let anyone pass unless they gave a password. It was Ryan, another neighbour, who had fought with him and pinched him. However, the boy who was pinched was adament that it was Aaron. Other than asking Ryan and involving him, the mother and I decided to close the chapter, but reminded the boys that they should never fight in the bus.
 
The mother had wondered sadly why her son was so disliked in school. Personally, I found him to be socially polite and friendly. I asked Aaron if he knows why. Aaron said that that everyone finds the boy irritating. He would continue to talk and would not be shooed off, and he would go around poking people as a joke.
 
This reminded me of another boy called ZY in my mother’s neighbourhood, Faberhills. A few years ago, ZY invited the neighbours to his 11th birthday party and to my surprise, the boys said they were not going, neither was the group in the park as no one likes him or his family.
 
Recently, his mother had gotten into an arguement with another boy CP. I was shocked. CP was polite and well liked by all the adults as he was the only boy that greeted the parents whenever he saw us. What happened? The story is that ZY mother confronted CP (18 years old) for shoving her son (14 years old) and CP then told her that’s because ZY had insulted his mother. You wouldn’t like it if I insult you, would you, Auntie? He had asked her, and she had nothing to say.
 
Yesterday, Aaron came home from the park and reminded Ivan to pay up the money. I immediately sat up and demanded to know what it was all about. Apparently two months ago, Ivan had picked up a phone belonging to ZY at the park, walked to the shop while checking the phone, and finding nothing in there, placed it at the bench outside the shop and left. ZY father is now demanding that Ivan pays for the lost phone, or he would report to the police. I told Ivan that by removing a lost item from the scene is not only thoughtless, but to also ignore ZY’s father’s warning was plainly irresponsible. Like it or not, he was the cause of the lost phone. Does he not know what to do with a lost property? Ivan said he’d pay up.
 
I asked Aaron what’s his impression of ZY’s father. He had once came home from a neighbours’ house and told me that Zak’s mother looks very kind and nice. I had never heard him praise anyone before, much less an adult. This time, he told me ZY’s father is very what lah.
 
What is what lah? Unreasonable? I asked.
He thought for a moment, ZY’s father looks very bad temper and angry all the time.
 
Yes, I remembered once ZY was chased out of the house.
 
How would a family feel if they know that they are disliked by the neighbourhood kids? I know I would be very sad if not only are my kids ostracized, but as parents, we are also disliked.
 
If anything, I’ve learned from these episodes that as parents, perhaps we should never interfere in the kids’ affair in public. That may be the one reason a kid get ostracized.
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About vickychong

Just an ordinary woman.
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