I actually quite believe him. Hence, the Husband and I are seriously considering allowing him to move in with his sister for secondary school. For one thing, I've not had to wake Little Boy up for school since Primary 3. Without fail, Little Boy is up every morning at 5.15 am preparing to leave house with The Husband at 6.15 am. At that time, Petunia is still dead to the world.
Kinda worried, I said... "Errrr... if you move out, I do expect you to keep an eye on your grades. I won't be there you know... to monitor them with you." Little Boy arched an eyebrow at me and said "Mom... since when have I neglected my grades?"
I didn't wanna remind him that he was at the bottom of his class in P3... a very short 3 years ago by my reckoning... but a fact that Little Boy has buried in the annals of his own life's prehistory. Politely, I tried to justify my existence "I did check your homework in P5 and P6".
"Mom, you check my homework to see which ones I shouldn't do" said he "I don't even show you all my homework anymore. I just get them all done in school. You only get to see the stuff I myself think I dun wanna do."
"Really?" I blinked at him. Surprised. "But I mark your work, no?"
Little Boy said "No you don't. Half of the Science papers you mark for me are wrongly marked. I google the answers to confirm. You've never once bothered to mark my Math paper. You can't read Chinese. You leave me to mark the English papers. You only mark compo and if I need to, I can always email my compos to you."
"How about food?" I asked.
"Hawker centres and canteen" came the terse reply.
"Who'll do your laundry?" I whined.
"There are machines for that, Mom" he replied kindly.
Well... it does seem that my presence is superfluous in Little Boy's life now. Little Boy is chafing at the bit asking my permission to gallop away and explore the world on his own. I've not had a son before Little Boy, and I wonder if it is sons that pull so strongly at the reins. Even in secondary school, The Daughter loved being pampered. She liked to be cooked for and fetched around, and sometimes, she even asked to be put to bed.
Little Boy, not quite 12, is just calmly telling me that he wants to go it entirely alone with the same determined air as when at 4, he gathered all his milk bottles and squeaked at me "I am too big for these anymore, Mommy. Please throw." I was unsure if he was serious and so I hid the milk bottles instead... lest he regret his decision and wailed for them at night. But he never looked back, my Little Boy. He had decided he didn't need milk bottles anymore and he never looked back from that decision. Not even once. Whether in the privacy of his toddler mind Little Boy yearned to suckle on a milk bottle, I will never know. I do know that he never asked for a milk bottle again.
We've sent Little Boy to his sister's for a week. He left with 2 plastic bags ready to sleep on the floor or couch in a room without aircon. I am half expecting that he'll call after a night or 2 to ask to come home to the comfort of Mom's house. But sigh... if the incident with the milk bottles is anything to go by, I rather doubt he will. But we'll see. If he is really determined to go it alone away from the family home, I will support his decision. If he has moved out by 12, then perhaps by 16, he will be earning his own keep... and I can stop giving him pocket money and I'll save on university fees? The Foster Daughter did meet a young fellow at a overseas conference for talented youths, who at 16, was financially self-sufficient.
And then I comfort myself with the following "If something is yours, let it go. If it comes back to you, it's yours. If not, it never was." I am confident that both Little Boy and The Daughter are mine. They will come back to me.