Stefanie Sun made that clear to her son. He was in the bathtub when she and her husband told him the news about her pregnancy. It was her second child.
Sun recalled that he was very excited about the news, and she added: "Don't tell anyone, okay? It's a secret."
Then, on second thought, she said; "When we said that, it was actually with a pinch of salt because he is just five years old. But the next day, the whole school knew about it."
This was how the cat was let out of the bag.
Her son was learning about MRT etiquette in school and Sun told the media what transpired:-
"The teacher was teaching the class about how they have to give up their seat for the elderly, the disabled and the pregnant. And my son shot his hand in the air and said: "My mama is pregnant."
I guess now, Stefanie's son and MRT share something in common...trust issues.
Lesson? Just one.
I recall an incident too with my joy, 6-year-old. It concerns my 15-year-old son who dislikes McDonalds.
He's quite a health freak. He's proud of his six-pack-abs, and at times, quietly paraded his middle kingdom around the living room just before taking a bath.
Since none of us can say we have six-pack or pecs, not even two for good measure, we were a little envious, esp. me.
So, fast food is a big no-no for him as he strive with great discipline to maintain his physique by keeping a wholesome diet and with regular running.
One evening, we decided to play a prank on him.
Unfortunately, Joy was part of the prank squad. And along the way, we knew she was going to "bao toh" us (squeal or tattle on us). It was a Stefanie Sun moment.
Nevertheless, the prank was executed with Mission-Impossible-esque perfection (at least, at the start).
We bought a McDonalds' augus beef burger, but we threw away the box because it would be a dead giveaway.
We then drove around doing due diligence to look for a normal foodcourt box to give the impression that the beef burger was from a western meal stall.
In the end, we decided to just buy those burger-sized boxes from a local shop, all 10 boxes and used just one for the prank. The rest was collateral damage.
Then, we nestled the beef burger in the box and spread the fries around to add to that touch of professionalism.
Before we opened the door, we turned to Joy and told her specifically to keep mum about the whole elaborate scheme. We repeated to her that she plays a big role in the success of the whole prank.
Amidst the uncontrollable giggles, we thought we saw a frantic nodding and trusted her...MRT comes to mind.
When we presented the box to Jezer, he looked at it without any suspicion.
If he had known it was from McDonalds, he would usually grumble and eat it reluctantly. Perhaps thinking that every bite minimises every pack in his middle glory.
But this time, because of the burger masquerade, he hand-wrapped the burger and took big bites without question. It was finger-licking good.
Then, our Bao Toh queen came in - the pissing Joy in our parade. All the while, she was giggling, fidgeting, and we thought it was safe as long as she was cordoned off from where the action was.
But unable to keep mum about it as mum had strongly admonished, Joy approached her brother, swaying from left to right, and said this to him with such tender sincerity:-
"Kor kor, did you enjoy the beef burger (Jezer nodding between mouthfuls)....that is NOT FROM McDONALDS?"
No joke, that little squirrel from the sherwood forest of tattle-ham practically emphasized those words - "NOT FROM McDONALDS".
I recall in psychology that if you tell someone NOT to think about WHITE ELEPHANT or PINK POLAR BEARS, they would NOT be able to NOT think about it!
Joy just did a PINK POLAR BEAR on us, and we were gobsmacked, stultified, speechless. The elaborate family scheme fell to pieces.
But at the same time, we loved Joy for it.
We realised that a major part of the prank was her. And the prank was as if she had designed it all along, quite unwittingly though, and we were all in it (except her).
It was supposed to be fun, and she added the finishing touch to it, without which it would just be a candid-camera moment, and not a "Gotcha!" moment.
I guess this is what family is all about. We all grow up to our own mischiefs. But every laugher shared is like the layered cream or icing between a slice of cake, which adds to the taste, deepens the flavour, and spreads the joy.
Family is the greatest source of relief for an exhausting day at work. It is the balm that soothes the rough edges of our life. It is the soft caressing wind you relish when you stand on the beach alone engulfed by the wonders of nature.
Sure, we have our fights, arguments and cold treatments. Spousal tiff, siblings' tussles and parenting angsts interspersed, but at the end of the day, when the sun sets and the moon rises, the overcoming bonds we share is like a good ointment rub on the spirit of our spine. The feeling is more than just poignant, it is heart warming, soul refreshing and spirit empowering.
Nothing can replace that uncontrollable giggles of our little ones as they grow up. Nothing in this world, that is, the greatest gain or recognition, fills our mind when we are at our deathbed except the touch of loved ones, the memories of the silliest antics we did to each other, the tears we share, and the sublime joy of the unplanned, spontaneous moments we savour.
The mere recollection of them many years down the road is therapeutic enough to carry our weary hearts and jaded souls home for a good rest, fully energised, to meet the challenges of a brand new day.
So, in the end, truly, Stefanie's son and MRT share something in common, and that is, we are all a part of a family. And family as a whole is our greatest source of encouragement, joy and pride.
We will always stand united, strong, resilient, confronting every problem before us as one, when we are standing side by side with family; no matter how long it takes to overcome, eventually. Cheerz.