LOL Mondays: I’ve Found The Perfect Gift For Mum

What do mothers really want from us?

By Alywin Chew        1 May 2023

This month, we celebrate mothers (because 14 May is Mother’s Day, duh).

Did you know that this occasion always falls on the second Sunday in May? 

I never knew. I thought it would be like birthdays, which have specific dates. Speaking of birthdays, I recently asked my mum why I don’t receive birthday gifts from her anymore. 

“I’ve thought about it, and I think I should be the one receiving presents instead,” she replied.

“But it’s my birthday. Why should you receive gifts?” 

“Because it’s not fair that I was the one who spent 24 hours in labour but you’re the one getting the presents!”

Okay, mum. Fair point. 

I think most of you would agree with me that mothers are awesome. The sacrifices they have had to make to raise and care for their children is simply astounding. I still remember how my mum would drive me to camp every morning before heading to work.

Here is why I consider this to be quite a feat — my camp is located in the middle of nowhere. Its name? Sungei Gedong. 

Legend has it that this camp is so ulu that even the pontianaks can’t be bothered to operate there.

I must say that I’m lucky my mother isn’t the typical Asian tiger mum. She never forced me to take tuition lessons. She never demanded that I pick up the violin or piano. 

I’d like to think she was like that because she simply wanted me to enjoy my childhood. But another part of me also thinks it’s largely because she’s thrifty to a fault. 

I remember there was a period when she would insist on cutting my hair at home instead of letting the barber do the job. For the longest time, I looked like a sheep that had escaped halfway through the shearing process.

To this day, she is still nagging me on the importance of saving money, albeit not as frequently as before because her priority has shifted. She now nags me more about having kids. 

It’s also hilarious how she still thinks I’m a kid when talking about having kids. This was how our last conversation went:

“Son, you need to decide soon if you want to have kids. This will impact the rest of your life,” she said.

“Okay, okay. We will decide soon.”

“You, erm, do know how to have kids right?”

“Mum,” I replied with a straight face. “Do you remember nagging about me blasting the stereo whenever I brought a girl home?”

“Of course. You’re just like your dad. Semi-deaf.”

“Well. Do you honestly think we were just sitting there in the room listening to music?”


The funny thing about life is that as much as I detested mum’s nagging about money, her thriftiness eventually rubbed off on me. In fact, I’m so frugal I once decided to run behind a bus all the way home.

I thought it was a praiseworthy feat. After all, besides getting to save a little over a dollar, I also got a good workout.

But my mum was far from impressed.

“Son, you should’ve run behind a cab instead.”

“Huh. Why?”

“Because you would’ve saved $10 instead.”

If you’re reading this mum, happy Mother’s Day in advance! I also would like you to know that the gift I have planned for you this year will make you utterly proud.

I’m not getting you anything.

LOL Mondays is an ongoing series of slice-of-life stories from freelance writer and NSman Alywin Chew. Look out for the humorous tales which will be posted every first Monday of the month, to help you drive away your Monday blues!

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