Saturday, April 28, 2007

Ah, and the next generation is here ...

We know that the neighbourhood has somewhat settled when we see that the next generation's offsprings have been sent to grandpa and grandma. It is the children that gel the neighbourhood. In my first 12 years in the neighbourhood, there were only cursory smiles and nod of the head at the lift landing or inside the lift. But when the first kid arrived, it was not just smile but questions about the kid, how big he has grown .. and suddenly, the vertical (as in a flat) kampung (village) became like a horizontal kampung.

When my kids were young, my neighbour's house became the playground. The kids knew that they would have something nicer there. After all the field afar is always greener. (^^) My young daughter learnt quickly that if she said something smells nice, she would be rewarded with something to eat.

Pretty soon, my kids grew up and somewhat became shy of budging into the next door. Meanwhile the "korkor" and "jiejie" next door started getting married. For a moment of time, the noises were from our house.

And then, with the arrival of "spring", the kids next door started to bring back their offsprings for grandpa and grandma to take care. Wow, and the number grew from one to two to three. It was and still is a happy extended family again. It was time for us to comment how the kids grow so fast. We see the babies grew day by day, as how they saw our kids grow. Suddenly, the "korkor" and "jiejie" on this side became shy from the attention showered on them by the little kids next door.

Ah, these days, it would be quite difficult to see bamboo loads of tiny clothes. With the use-and-throw diapers, one no longer sees the cloth diapers that every mother-to-be has to learn to fold before the baby arrives. So, were the folding of absorbable paper (one has to rub the paper with two hands to make them soft for the soft bottoms of the baby) diapers before the cloth ones are tied over.

Replacement levels have not been met, but at least there is progress. (^^)

Hopefully, if the flat still stays, we might get to see yet another load of offsprings. (^^)


PinangNyonya said...

Hi Chinatownboy
I love the way even the seemingly ordinary and mundane - such as the ubiquitous image of baby clothes hanging outside the flat - can become such an enchanting and heartwarming story in the hands of a master storyteller (^^). Take a bow (^^) Keep up the good work of narrating and documenting these bits of our heritage which people like me appreciate but may not have made much effort to do anything about.

chinatownboy said...

Ha, ha,
Paiseh la .. no story to tell ma. (^^)

PinangNyonya said...

Ah, the best stories are those that come from the heart, spontaneously ... like this one here(^^) So, carry on the good work, Mr Storyteller on the Bullockcart (^^)