Friday, 30 March 2007

hanyu pinyin delight

Coco is becoming quite an expert in hanyu pinyin. It's a delight to me. She's really quite an intelligent child. Given that hanyu pinyin was rather foreign to her, she's become very good in it within a short span of time and can come up with the correct formation on adhoc bases.

Of course there're times when she doesn't get them right, but I'm more than happy that she's achieved so much. The confusion between the English and Chinese phonics is rather marginalised now.

Money and marriage

Perhaps I'm too naive to assume that couples ought to be transparent about money matters. Within this one year of marriage, we've been quarrelling over money matters, esp. about his debts. I have no idea he was allowing his credit card debts to snowball. Apparently, he's been waiting for me to start working and pay them off for him.

The scariest part of it all is: he can't give me an exact figure of how much he owes. He refuses to show me his invoices. He refuses to sit down with me to plan how he can repay the debts month by month. He knows I know nuts about credit card stuff and he would bluff his way through whenever we are on the subject matter.

I am very disheartened over the way he's handled his finances. I shouldn't have offered to help reduce his debts, bcos it gives him leeway to incur more debts, and it makes me financially destitute. Now he's actually expecting me to settle his debts for him. Like what Chujuan has said, I don't want to end up paying for his gambling debts or other debts I know not of.

I've scrimped and saved very hard in this marriage. Taking a cab is never an option for me while he spends at least $300 on cab-taking every month. I saved the meagre allowance he gave me by skipping meals so that I could buy some things to furnish the house. He retorted my effort with,"If you're able to buy all these things, then it means that $300 is too much an allowance for you." I don't see a doctor unless I can't even walk properly. He sees the doctor at least 16 times a year and refuses to make claims for it. I don't know - he always claims to be good with financial management while I am lousy. But he's the one who chalks up debts while I save up money.

I'm not going to get a divorce, but I'll just hang onto the marriage. I don't know what ground I can claim for such an irresponsible way of handling money. And I don't want to be stigmatised by a second divorce. I don't want to spend my life separating and divorcing. And I've learnt that men only want to take advantages of you the hard way. I think my family members were right about him after all. He was thinking of my money when he wanted to marry me. He's almost the total opposite of what he'd portrayed before marriage. I didn't think $20k would be something a man would be after. Apparently I'm very wrong.

I guess we would be like many couples out there who lead separate lives in marriage. When the day that I'm old enough to not be afraid of the stigma of a second divorce, I'll file for it. I don't know when the day will come. Perhaps it never will.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Dream of a degree

I've always thought it impossible for me to get a Bachelor degree.
I'm actually grateful that I'm going to get one real soon becos NIE allowed me into teaching. It's been a wonderful experience going back to study, and the friends I've made here have been really kind to me.

If as Jufri had said, the GPA system has been accurate although we are not on that system, I should snag a second upper at the end of the program. I'm contented to have a second upper, knowing that I'm not the smartest person around. I've been hardworking tho, bcos I'm grateful I get the chance to study again, in a government-recognised institution at that. A second upper would bring in more money too. I need the money, in case anything happens to my marriage.

To have or not to have

I've always thought that I would stop at one. Actually, I'd never imagined myself to have any children. But in any case, Coco came along and abortion wasn't an option then.

Recently, the thought of pregnancy starts to haunt me. The friend who's trying very hard to conceive, friends and my own sister who are pregnant, friends who have 2 babies ... all these start to make me feel that pregnancy can be a wonderful thing. I didn't get to enjoy it the last time since it was so traumatic for me, the whole process in fact, from before I knew of it, right up to the hospital stay. The details are still vivid and very much alive in my mind.

I actually went to look at ovulation calendars/calculators. I don't know what I want. Last night, I talked to William. He said he would like to have one of his own, but I'd have to wait for a few more years. The problem is, my body can't wait. In another few years' time, I would be 35. The thought of my kid being at 15 and me at 50 freaks me out. The last thing I want is to look like my kid's grandmother.

And frankly speaking, I can't cope with 3 kids. William is still very much a kid. I am his mother most of the time, constantly telling him what to do, how to do, when to do things. It seems to me he does like being nagged at - something I've learnt to hate to do since young.

And I know that if I ever have a baby, I will be the one who wakes up at midnight intervals to feed the kiddo. I don't know how I can do this. I couldn't even do it on my own when I was 25. Coco might have cried herself to death if my mother wasn't there for us.

I'm also worried that my time and love for Coco would have to be further divided. Already, I feel like I don't have enough time for her, and I don't seem to understand her nowadays. There are things she seems to not want me to know.

But if I don't have another one, Coco might need to face her future quite alone. Like what a friend who's the only child at home, there's no one to share her financial and emotional burden with when her parents are old and sickly. I don't want Coco to feel this way.

I told William that I need to hear that he doesn't want another child from the horse's mouth, bcos I need to quit imagining having another child. It's getting a tad too painful to bear - the blissful look on my friend's face, the little bulge that she often soothes. It makes me wish I have a supportive husband like hers.
We had never talked about having another child before marriage actually. We only started talking about it when I asked him, sorta in jest, if he has ever wanted a child of his own. I was a little disappointed when he said he did. I vaguely remember him saying that he probably might not want a child of his own for fear of loving him more than loving Coco, before marriage. That was a reason I married him.
But things have changed. He's no longer as considerate as he was to Coco, nor to me. I'm not sure if the cost-cutting concerns have got in the way and taken priority, but it sure makes me hesitant about having a baby with him.

It also makes me wonder if it was the right decision to marry him. I become really sickly after marriage. I suspect it's becos my body can't cope with the demands of being a wife+mother+maid who provides bed service. My parents used to be my helpers before marriage. I was not even a full-time mother then, and I didn't have to do any housework. Now I need to cope with everything, without his support. I can't bear the idea of having a maid. It's the last thing on my want list. I know how paranoid I am. I don't want to end up always suspecting the maid when my things go missing or misplaced. It's not about the possible relationship William might have with a maid. If he wants it to happen, he will let it happen. And I'm really not comfortable with a stranger in the house. Plus maids do create new problems. I don't want to stress myself out over yet another person.

If only William can just help out with the housework, and do things without having me to nag. I think I would be very happy with this kinda arrangement. The only things he need to do are: wipe the floor once a week, clean the toilets once week, and take out the rubbish every day, put the clothes back to the cupboard. But he does all these once probably a month, and I have to nag at him, and quarrel with him before he procrastinates for another few days, and then do them. These are not things I can't do myself, but I need to feel that he plays a part in the housework.

I feel disillusioned about the marriage. He'd promised to do ALL housework except ironing before marriage, and help to coach Coco in her Maths, but he doesn't do any of these. I don't know how I can trust him in other stuff. I don't see how I can believe that he will help out if we ever have a baby.