Today’s Family Gathering was a roller coaster ride, with the kids of course, I’m their Sunday nanny remember?

When I reached there, Zeng Yee and her younger sis Mun Yee were in the Study Room playing with PC games, completely ignoring the mess on the floor. You see, my 1st BIL is in the cards-printing business, so the study room is like a storeroom cum office. Millions of cards, be it in boxes or loose pieces, are on the shelves, the tables and the floors stacked up real high…

Me: “What Happened?! Why are all the cards (loose pieces) scattered all over the place? I could hardly step in…”

Both girls: “It was Weidong (their 1year old brother)! He pushed the whole stack of cards on the floor.”

Then I went for my lunch, right after which, my MIL demanded that the 2 girls switched off the PC by shouting from the kitchen, her usual practice, which is right at the other end of the house, so she wasn’t aware of the mess.

Then my eldest niece, Cheng Han arrived with his dad alone (my SIL didn’t come today), around the time when lunch was almost over.

We were playing ‘school’, I’m the student of cos, Cheng Han and Zeng Yee took turns to be the teacher. Just when everyone was happy, my MIL SAW the mess in the room and went mad!

MIL: “Zeng Yee! Mun Yee! Go and clear up the mess right NOW!”

My helpful eldest niece, Cheng Han went into the room and in less than 2 seconds, the complain queen, Man Yee came out crying. Went straight to my MIL and said, “Jiejie (sister) don’t let me keep…boo hoo hooo…”

Next moment, the 7year old and 8year old came out and shouted, “Mama (granny) its done!”

MIL: “So fast?! I don’t believe. I’ll go check later.”

Mun Yee was completely upset with my MIL’s response (the little 4year old wanted my MIL to scold her sis), ran into the bedroom and cried even louder. As seconds passed, the sound of the crying increased in volume, it went louder and louder and louder, its her usual style of getting attention.

We couldn’t be bothered, so we went back to our little pretend game. While we were pretending to go for a school trip, everyone was getting in line with all our bags on our back,  my MIL semi-ran-walk out of the kitchen to the living room, grabbed Zeng Yee’s hair, pulled her (backwards) by the hair as she reached for the cane and the moment she got hold of that long stick made from bamboo, she whacked Zeng Yee hard on the butt.

Without saying anything, MIL brisk-walked into the bedroom and all we heard were several whipping sound and the yelling Mun Yee.

MIL: “You wan to cry is it? I will let you cry even louder!” as she caned the 4 year old Mun Yee.

I knew my MIL is in the unstable emotional state AGAIN. Actually it happens ALMOST every sunday. So I signalled my boys and my eldest niece, Cheng Han to the sofa and we squeezed together as we see the angry old lady came out from the room, shouting at Zeng Yee, who is already crying loudly as she stroke her painful butt.

MIL: “I told the 2 of you to clear the mess, why didn’t you allow meimei (younger sis) to clear the mess?!”

Zeng Yee: “Its NOT ME!!! Its Jiejie (pointing at my eldest niece). Meimei told you that “Jiejie don’t allow her to keep”, there are 2 jiejie(s), why did you insist that it is ME!? You didn’t even ASK AND YOU HIT ME!”

(MIL is someone who REFUSE to lose in any argument and will never ADMIT that she is the wrong in front of others, but when it comes to 1-to-1, sometimes she does say things like, “I didn’t know…so you can’t blame me…”)

MIL (though knowing she hit Zeng Yee for the wrong reason, she finds other excuses for beating her): “You messed up the whole room, of cos’ I’ve got to beat you! 7year old already and yet still not sensible!”

Zeng Yee: “Its NOT ME!!!! It was WEIDONG!”

You can see the sorry look on my MIL’s face but being a proud person, she just refused to say she is in the wrong.

MIL: “But you and Mun Yee were in the room the whole morning playing computer. Of cos’ the mess is done by the 2 of you…..Errr…I didn’t even see Weidong go into the room…”

Zeng Yee: “Of cos’ you didn’t see!!!! You are in the KItchen all morning! How would you know!!!?”

MIL: “How dare you talk back?! No respect for me! So rude! How can you talk to me in this manner?! Where’s your manners? You want me to beat you more, is that it?”

Zeng Yee: “You are always like that. Never ask and always assume that its me!”

MIL: “Damn You! Still have no regards for me as your elderly is it?! Need more canning to wake you up right?”

See? That’s my MIL…when she got nothing else to say, she will say ridiculous stuff like these…

I used to speak up for my little Zeng Yee, I’ve mentioned before that she is more like a daughter to me than a niece. ‘Cos we are just sooooo close! Zeng Yee dislike her parents and the granny (my MIL) who brought her up is like ‘that‘, so she turns to me for almost all ‘inside‘ problems.

But I no longer step into such situations anymore, because my MIL will scold me for nothing. Remember NO ONE is allowed to bring her pride down and tell her that she is in the wrong….

So I asked Cheng Han, “Is it true that you didn’t allow Mun Yee to keep the cards on the floor?”

Cheng Han: “No. I went in and help to keep the cards. But Mun Yee was unhappy that I kept that section of the mess WHICH SHE INTENDED to keep. Then she just ran out and cry.”

Somehow I expected this. Mun Yee is someone who always put the blame on others and she is always the first one to complain about anything under the sun, yet most of the daily troubles in the family were started by her.

Anyway, hours later, when Allan arrived after his appointment with his client, we were all back to the happy mood again.

I told Allan what happened. He said, “Cheng Han and Mun Yee were at fault.”

He turned his face to the ‘helpful one’ and the ‘complain queen’, “You (Cheng Han), why must you be a busybody? Being helpful is good when your help is needed. But when you aren’t needed, this is what happens….. And YOU (Mun Yee), you think by crying, Zeng Yee Jiejie will be beaten, but in the end what happened? You get beaten too! So what’s the point of crying. Crying only cause yourself pain. And every time you cry, Jiejie is always the one taking the pain from the cane. You are very happy is it?”

Mun Yee: Jiejie is not a good girl. She always make me cry….”

Zeng Yee: “I don’t like you. I hate you. Go away….don’t take my colour pencils and my stickers and…”

Mun Yee: “Then you don’t play with my small piano and my blah blah blah…..”

That’s how my MIL manages the 3 kids Zeng Yee (7), Mun Yee (4) and Wei Dong (1) EVERY SINGLE DAY in that 4 walls…..though her 3 sons often tell her that her ‘grand-parenting’ style is wrong, she would reply, “That’s how I brought up the 3 of you and did the 3 of you ‘turned bad’? No! So, there is NOTHING wrong with what I’m doing now….”

Tough nut, yes?