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Friday, December 08, 2006

punishment & reward

My brother (my next of kin, the person who also shares my parents shared DNA) and I have never got along. Where some siblings are closer than close, even if they are of different genders, the closest my brother Ken and I have even been would be arguing. So it's not surprise when his punishment - is my reward. Some of you might be shocked but it's just life. You can choose your friends but you can't choose your family.

Once when we were little, my dad was looking after us when my mom was out. I must have been about 5 and Ken about 3. We were doing art and craft and somehow, my brother smeared wet glue over an old radio's speaker area - the type that looks like honeycomb. I don't remember details like whether my brother did it when my dad wasn't looking, or whether he did it to test the limits of my dad's "no," but I remember Ken was punished for it.

How can you punish a three year old kid? I know of parents who hit their toddlers to teach them right from wrong. But my dad strongly believed that three was too young to inflict physical pain on and so.... he made Ken stand in a corner, face in!!

Hah! That was my reward. At 5, I was happy when my brother go punished. I remember the feeling of immense glee as he stood face in, in the corner, crying his eyes out.

The relationship between Ken and I never got better. The next time I felt righteously triumphant over him was when he got his O'level and A'level results. At secondary school level, I was in the 4-year "express" stream and he was one up on me by being in the 4-year "special" stream. So he took Chinese as a first language whereas I took Chinese as a second language. I got a C6 for Chinese (the lowest grade to pass) and when he did his - he failed Chinese as a first language and also barely passed Chinese as a second. And we did equally well in our O's and A's. So - what's so "special" about him anyway? Hahaha...

Since coming to London (and I've been here exactly 4 months) Ken's sent me one email. I think he did it under duress - my mom probably pressurized him so much he thought might as well send the stupid thing! I've replied the courtesy email with my own courtesy email. :)

9 comments:

Rethabile said...

Sounds like a sibling squabble very much on fire. Most sibling that close in age will fight, I guess. But you guys more than fought. Maybe the separation will be good for the both o' ya...

Kay said...

Rethabile - honestly, it's beyond "separation being good for us" - he basically doesn't exist for me.

Michelle said...

This really makes me wonder if it was the family dynamics in general, or if it is really possible for that level of antipathy to exist by virtue of random birth...

khambagirl said...

My sisters and I used to fight each other until we found a common enemy to fight -- my brother-in-law's cancer. Makes a big difference!

Funky_Diva23 said...

i KNOW how you feel!!!!!

Kay said...

It's not so much of a "I-hate-your-guts" type relationship as it is a "Brother? What brother?" type relationship. He doesn't mean anything to me.

Michelle - I think it's both family dynamics as well as not having afinity with one another. Sometimes it's a case of 'too little too late'

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

My brother and I had troubled years when younger, but now we have a loving, supportive relationship and as one gets older, you realise that your family (those you're born into & those you create) are part of the tapestry of who you are.
Much peace, JP

Kamsin said...

My brother and I were horrendeous to one another when we were kids (similar age difference, almost 2 years younger than me). Now, we get on fine as long as we only see each other very rarely, but can easily descend into bickering! Most of the time we ignore each other but do manage rare moments of fondness for one another!

Bug said...

THanks for the honest post. Maybe time will change things?

Me

Me and my Toffee Nut Latte from the patron saint of coffee herself - St.Arbucks.