Timing Isn’t My Strong Suit

by shz

I was buying pisang goreng yesterday afternoon. I am a regular at this one particular pakcik who sells crunchy, delicious one that some weekends I would miss my lunch and wait until 3pm to be one of his first customers. Normally I would be on my bike with Daisy at my back. And it was only yesterday the pakcik made a conversation with me.

“Suka dia mak dia bawak naik beskal. Anak sulung ke?”

“Ye, sulung. Dia sorang je baru, cik.”

“Laa, satu je? Kenapa satu je? Ramai lah elok. Tiga, empat ke.”

“Satu je la dulu, cik. Tunggu dia besar sikit.”

“Awak ni ikat kot? Makan pil apa-apa ni.”

“Tak lah. Pakcik doakan la saya murah rezeki ye.”

I was quite annoyed that our first conversation was an inappropriate one. Discussing family planning with a strange man is really awkward, especially mentioning its methods. I mean, of course I do something to protect myself, although I have stopped the pills. Otherwise I would’ve ended up with four children by now! Ok, that’s exaggerating but it was such a random choice of subject from a pisang goreng seller.

I oftentimes realize that usually the ones that encourage me to have more children are men. Its quite rarely that I hear women do that. I kept telling Fakhrul that I’m not refusing God’s blessing, that when a blessing comes like when Daisy did, I accepted it. But I’m still not ready for another one. I want to properly plan the next one this time, so that I don’t have to accept the news the way I did with Daisy. I know, to some I might sound like some ungrateful brat, that there are others out there struggling to get one, or more. But for now I feel contented with just one, is that so wrong?

Lets face it, we live in a society that is sooo hard to be happy for other people. Its always a next thing after another, next question after another. When you were still single, they asked you when you were gonna get married. When you got married, they asked you when you were gonna have a child. And when you finally have a child, they’re gonna ask you when is your second child. Its like a never ending thing – you have to be like a cat with 10 kittens to make them satisfied. Well, actually I doubt if they will have any satisfaction at all.

Fakhrul said I find it hard to be ready for the next one because I’m too close with Daisy. What a statement – I’m her mother, what did he expect me to be? I admit, its exhausting to give Daisy my full attention but I do, because I don’t want her to grow up loving anyone else more than she does for me. I don’t want to fight for her love with her paid nanny! I want to know everything about her, so that I won’t have the mother-daughter issues I always fear about. But sometimes the process can be overwhelming and has taken the best of me. And its my job, not anyone else’s. Men might find it harder to understand, why I insist on bringing Daisy everywhere I go. I know I could’ve had more fun with my girls without her in Tokyo, but I couldn’t bear thinking of the possibility that she might not want me when I got back after 6 days not seeing her. Even for a day, or even 10 minutes, I refuse to experience that. Men might find it harder to understand, they don’t carry their children around for 9 months, feeling they move inside of you, bore the pain to push them out, having them suck your breasts with that lovingly eye contacts and more! Its more personal for women, its more natural for us. Honestly, I’m surprised I am this maternal.

Its hard being a girl in this constant-expecting society. A friend of mine is now in dilemma whether to leave his boyfriend or not because after 9 years, he just realized he’s not sure of marrying my friend. But because my friend is already approaching 30 and the society expects her to be married already at her age, she has to be in this dilemma. I told her, eff them. I know I’m in no position to say this, but I’d rather marry late rather than stuck after aqad with a wrong guy. To be frank, with all the men out there, certain men if I may highlight, misunderstanding the Islamic law, presuming they can abuse, leave or being a polygamist for the wrong reasons under the name of religion, hey, I’d rather stay single no matter what the society says. But yeah, then again who am I to say such thing? I’m lucky, so far, with my right man. And I married at the right time, happened to have Daisy at the age people expect me to. But not because I was fulfilling society’s expectation, but because it was the right time for me. And because it was meant to be.

I guess at the end of the day, you just have to turn deaf ears. People will always talk no matter what, especially those miserable, jealous ones who are not happy with their own lives. I know for sure family planning is not wrong, the ustaz said so in the kursus kahwin. There are even people who aborted their babies even when they’re already married, just because they’re not ready – I don’t want to become them. I hope its not wrong for the time being for me to be contented with just one child, I don’t know. But one thing I do know for sure, that pakcik’s pisang goreng won’t be as crunchier and as delicious as before.

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