My "Inhumane" Eagle Dad and Tiger Mom

来源:有人杂志   作者:叶小猫(笔名)   2015.04.29 17:08  浏览2557
摘要:“Because of your poor eyesight, you must work harder. You have to remember that we can only support you temporarily, not for your entire life. Therefore, you must learn to be independent. We are tough because we love you.”

My name is Ye Xiaomao (pseudonym), a 26 year old woman with a vision disability living in Beijing. I am optimistic and easily satisfied. People from my hometown call people like me “simpletons” or “idiots”. Here, I cannot help but think of my lovely parents since their “inhumane” parenting is what has made me who I am today. To this day, they are no less the domineering "eagle" Dad and "tiger" Mom from several years ago!

I was born in a very remote town in northeast China. When I was three months old, I was diagnosed with congenital hypoplasia of the fundus oculi, a condition which has severely limited my vision. In my hometown, a girl born with a disability is considered a disaster for a family, especially ones who know nothing about disabilities. Fortunately for me, my parents did not discard me at an orphanage doorway the way many other parents would have done, but instead chose to raise me in a caring and supportive way!

Admittedly, when I was little, I was a very misbehaved girl. I would do everything from climbing rooftops to teasing cats and dogs. This behavior puzzled our neighbors who sometimes patronizingly asked my parents why they did not take better care of me and whether my parents were concerned that I might hurt myself. My parents would respond that the best way to learn is to learn through personal experience. They would say, “It's somewhat better if she falls down. Then she would learn after the fall.”

My parents' teaching style was very atypical. One winter when I was four years old, my mom fried melon seeds. Back then, I was initially reluctant to learn how to peel and eat melon seeds myself. However, when I changed my mind, I begged my dad to peel the seeds for me instead of doing so myself. My dad said nothing, but with a smile started peeling the seeds for me. My dad peeled quickly, so I ate nonstop. That night I vomited heavily due to indigestion. My dad patted my back and with a smile said, “See? This is the result of gaining but taking no efforts!”

Then in my primary school, like the majority of students, I didn't like to complete my homework. What's more, I even shamelessly tried to push my responsibilities onto my dad. “Dad, I especially love learning, but the words on the exercise book are too small for me to see clearly.” My dad looked at me with a smile, which I feel guilty about today, and said, “Dad will solve this piece of cake for you.” From then on, my exercise books were all copied and enlarged by my dad.

When children reach the age of eleven or twelve, most parents start to ask their children to help with household chores. My parents did too, but I was so lazy that I often found all kinds of excuses to avoid work. Once when my mom asked me to sweep the floor, I said to her, “Mom, you know I have poor eyesight and I certainly cannot sweep the floor clean. Then you would have to sweep the floor again!” My mom quickly handed me the broom, smiled, and said, “All right, Mom doesn't have to work this afternoon, and I will sit on the sofa watching. I will tell you where you don't sweep clean, if it's not clean once, then you sweep for the second time, if not, a third time...”

This is how I grew up. A lot of my memories have been gradually blurred, but I still remember growing up complaining why, unlike other parents, they never picked me up after school despite wind, snow, night or day. My dad would look at me and say, “Because of your weaker vision, you need to develop your skills and abilities sooner than other children. You have to remember that we can only support you temporarily, not your entire life. Therefore, you must learn to be independent. All our toughness is because we love you.”

To be honest, this “tough love” has made me cry in the past. Once I cried angrily when my dad told me not to care about what others say. Once I couldn’t get out of bed when I fell trying to learn how to ride a bike, and once I injured my hands trying to learn how to cook. However, my parents did not stop, and neither did I. Mom and Dad, as I write down these words, I deeply understand and sincerely appreciate the “tough love” you give me.

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