26 October 2007

Memory Snapshots of Early Childhood

I better get started about my life story before Ras starts throwing Char Kway Teow or Chai Tau Kuay at me...whatever that means :p

Have you ever wondered how much do you remember about your early childhood? And how early or what is the first memory? At 4 years old? At 3 or 2 or even 1? I can only remember vividly of events in kindergarten 1, i.e. 5 years old onwards. I can also recall quite a number of events that happened when I was 4. Anything before that? I can only think of 3 "snapshots". I had no idea what they meant until my family and relatives filled me in when I'm older.

What are these 3 snapshots? The first is me looking over my shoulder at the corridor of my grandma's flat. My older brother was standing there, waving, pointing and shouting at me.

The second snapshot is one where I see the door of the private clinic below my grandma's flat opened and it seemed that someone was carrying me into the clinic.

The third is more like a 2 part short video clip. Part 1 - Grandma told me to stay and wait while she entered a bank. I turned around immediately to examine the fishes swimming in the water-landscape pond. Part 2 - I observed that the water line is right in front of me...and one of my slippers is floating right in front of me at eye level. A man was reaching out to grab my hand.

So what really happened? It's not difficult to guess the third scenario. Grandma and I went to the bank. Bank was crowded with a long queue (so are banks now) so I was told to wait outside. Right outside this bank was a small, simple, artificial landscape with a small little waterfall and a small little pond with small little fishes. And this small little ape was very excited about the small little fishes, inched out to took a closer look and fell into the pond :p

I remembered the bank was UOB because I visited that place many times after that as I grow older. And everytime I passed that place since that incident, I kept wondering why they have filled up the pond with cement? I missed those small little fishes.

What about the 2nd snapshot - clinic door? One of my uncles carried me into the clinic. Why? I fainted. Why? He caned me. Why? I wasn't paying attention when he was trying to coach me on some simple word recognition. I was to learn later that the doctor and my mum wanted to report him to the police but didn't do so eventually. FYI, that uncle of mine is not a child abuser. He was young then. I must have pissed him off terribly. I do not harbour any bad feelings about him, even after I came to be aware of what happened. I know he is truly sorry for what he did because all these years since then, I can sense that he is particularly nice to me amongst all his nieces and nephews. Maybe it was that particular incident that made me smarter (academically only) among my siblings and cousins :p

The first snapshot. Even without anyone telling me as I reflected on the first snapshot when I was older, I could tell that I was either in the carpark infront of my grandma's flat, at the bus stop or on the road. How old was I? What was I doing there? What was my brother shouting about?

Here's what my brother told me. He came out of my grandma's flat on the 3rd storey and stood at the corridor, looking across the road and into the school and the market opposite the flat. He saw a toddler, barely able to walk, making his way across the road! Hmmm...this child looks familiar, in fact, he looks like :O ?!?!?!?! So you know why he was shouting, pointing and waving. No one knew how I managed to sneak out of the house, walk down the stairs from the 3rd storey, past the coffeeshop directly below grandma's flat, cross the single lane carpark, crossed the bus stop (I must cross the bus stop because there was a drain between the carpark and the road and the bus stop was the only access to the road) and arrived in the middle of the road...undetected by anyone! Singaporeans really bochap?

Here goes the exciting part. At that moment, a public bus was coming my way (service 240 or 246?) The driver saw me, jammed on his brakes and brought the bus to a nasty stop. At about the same time, my brother managed to alert some of the adults (my uncles and grandma?) and they dashed towards the road only to find me...of course not dead la! Died how to write story here? They found me under the bus, safe and sound.

Many years after that, my father told me the road used to be served by Service 246. Because of that incident, SBS pantang (superstitious) and shifted 246 to run on another road. Service 240 replaced the route taken by 246. In anycase, if the uncle who drove that bus is reading this, please accept my sincere apologies...I was young and rash and have never intended to cause you any distress.


ras said...

The ape is so adventurous (or is it mischievious??) even as a toddler. :P

The Frog Prince said...

Froggy can still remember some incidents when he is very young that time. Don't know if want to share or not leh... quite embarassing one leh :P

Little gecko said...

Let little gecko hazard a guess... da froggy was quite a flasher since back den rite? Showing off his family jewels to da market aunties and uncles, rite?? kekekeke.. :)

Little gecko remembers wen he was 5yo... he was very thirty dat afternoon... went to da kitchen and drank from a bottle.. den asked mama gecko why da water tasted like da insecticide spray... Next moment, little gecko rushed to da nearby clinic... fortunately, doctor iguana said to just flush out da kerosene by drinking lots of water... ;p

khirsah said...

Da lizard want aspire to be fire breather? :p

Froggy? Wats ya story? run around nakkid?

The Frog Prince said...

Aiyoyo! You guys are soooo dirty! Only want to see froggy naked lah... eeeeaaaarrr! No good lah you all :P

1st incident is when still in kindergarten leh.. peep under table to see girls panties. Hahaha. Last time young do normal things. Mum scolded froggy and say something like.. hor jiam mai jiam, jiam ler ah ba.. gosh!.. now grow up already still go undertable but do other things.. hahahaha.

2nd incident power. Remembered also still very very young. I woke up from a nap. Then cousin and my sister showed me something. They put peanuts in their nose and hard hard blow out. Pish! Like shooting bullets like that. So froggy also act clever lah. Follow them. But who knows, other than blowing out, froggy sniffed in. Hahaha. So they rushed me to the hospital loh. And i think grandma scolded me asking why i do such things have to make people go hospital.. hospital this kind of place nice to go meh. Froggy was so young and metal teeth. So talked back saying in teochew lah 'haven't come here before mah, come here see see a while cannot ah'

Thats it loh :P

khirsah said...

Eeeee.... the peanuts in nose thing is probably some kids will try...even Mr Bean, also do that with pop corns

But I didn't know Froggy so cheekopek... did any girls say "nehmine la...i never wear panties anyway?!?!"

ras said...

Froggy's story gets a triple X :P

khirsah said...

Should I delete his 3X story?:P

Niece B,tis is one of those cases where I begin to be a bit silly with my friends... don't mind us and don't mimic us...until you're as old as us, like 3000 yrs old :p

The Frog Prince said...

Oh my gosh niece B mei mei. Ai yo. You know hor.. a person cannot be so serious one. Sometimes must joke joke then have fun mah. If everything right means right, wrong means wrong... then where got fun. Mei mei still young lah.. when you grow older, you will know and understand what we mean, ok :) Cheers. :)

april1 said...

oi, auntie oni 2995 year old hoh, dun anyhow add another 5 yrs to my age *angry*

eiii, froggie!!
tell us more leh, kekeke

Gecko said...

OMG, OMG!! Was da peeping incident DA ONE dat changed froggy into a 'happy' frog??? Warning to mamas... dun let your kids peep up others' skirts; it may have life changing consequences.... kekekeke...

The Frog Prince said...

Kekekek.. of course not lah. Hey froggy want to tell more but mei mei they all may be reading leh. Kekeke. Auntie wants to know.. froggy next time tell you loh.

Little gecko... kindergarten how to know all these adults thing..? kekeke. Froggy becomes a 'happy' frog during primary to secondary school that time leh.. lol another crossroad! hahahaha

khirsah said...

Ahem... while I made a commitment to be careful about wat I write in my blog... did Froggy do the same to for your blog? ;)

The Frog Prince said...

Erm i don't care lah. See.. Kin Jio Leaf so difficult words also can let mei mei search out. Not hard to just type 'frog' to search for my blog right? :P

If kena found like that loh. Its my freedom mah. :)

But what Mr K write is ok mah. What froggy may write is not ok to some people already loh.

Anyway froggy also remember one incident. That was when froggy still need to take school bus to school, around pr 2 i think. Waiting alone and suddenly a stranger came up. Froggy just scream and that person got scared off. But got traumatised whole day.

And how froggy becomes 'happy' i think is during pr 6 that time.. those guys....