Every other day or so Maryam comes home from school with some homework to do. One day it could be English, another day Malay and yet another day Jawi. I don’t quite agree in principle of kindergarten students having homework, but it’s not that much so I guess I won’t make a noise about it. Normally the homework entails some drawing and colouring of something that they have described during the day at the school.
And at each page of this homework there would be a stamp on which the teacher and the parent would have to put their initials. I suppose the intention is so that the parents would see the work their children are doing. Fair.
So once Maryam finishes her drawings, she would show them to me, I would comment her work and give her some encouraging words, put my signature on it, and off she would go to tuck away the homework in her cute pink plastic folder. Ready for the next day.
Last night, as I scribbled down the usual signature, an unexpected question came from Maryam.
“Ayah, bila Ayah nak ajar Maryam sign?” (“Ayah, when will you teach me to do my own signature?”)
Puzzled, I looked at her. “Maryam nak sign buat apa?” (“What do you need your own signature for?”)
With a serious face she said, “Ala Ayah ni, nanti besok bila Maryam ada anak, Maryam nak sign homework anak Maryam, macammana?” (“When one day I’ll have my own kids, and I have to sign their homework, how?”
And my 6-year old daughter left her father totally dumbstruck and speechless.