One of my earliest childhood memories is of my Mother threatening me that she wouldn’t take me anywhere if I didn’t talk to people. I don’t remember promising her anything but she would take me out anyway and I would just keep mum. I didn’t care who spoke to me, if I didn’t want to reply, I wouldn’t. I realize now how frustrating and embarrassing it must had been for my Mother. I don’t have children of my own but I have experienced this with my nieces and nephews and it sure is nicer when they reply to people when spoken to.
My Mother though, most likely laughed while narrating to my Father the stubbornness I would show while attending functions or visiting people. I was and never am a chattering, shouting, shrieking kind of a person and I am positive that sometimes my Mother wished I was. I was simply a very tight-lipped child with an immovable head. I guess some elders found my nature amusing and enjoyed annoying me to the point when I couldn’t take it anymore but to let out a muffled ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. I used to hate meeting them but as I grew older, those very people became some of my most favorite ones. How I wish I would run into them again!
At that age, I couldn’t possibly have known how to judge and discriminate and I never meant to disrespect anybody. I was just a very stubborn kid and I would like to think that those people understood that. I guess they knew that I would have to give in to the norms of the society very soon.
As an adult, I don’t have the luxury to keep mum when I want to. I wish I could not reply to somebody without that person getting hurt or without any damaging consequences. My Mother probably realized that it was just one of those things that I would have to eventually give up and therefore apart from the empty threats, there were no punishments, not even a scolding. She never coerced me so that she would look and feel better in front of other people.