In our household, it's a no-brainer which kid is the one with the flair for language. Lesley-Anne loves Literature and end of last year, we were terribly pleased to find out that she had topped Literature in the secondary 4 level in her school. It was a bonus in the crown to having the Danger Dan series published.
In contrast, Literature baffles left-brained Andre. When he was in sec 1, he had this exercise which required him to describe a cream bun. It was a 10-mark question. Andre ignored the many lines provided (which clearly indicated the teacher was expecting a substantial description) and wrote: "The bun is soft and creamy."
After I'd admonished him for this less than adequate answer, he replied, rather puzzled, "What else do you want me to say? It's a cream bun!"
After his mid-year Literature exam last year, Andre was asked by Lesley-Anne, "So how was the paper?"
Andre: "There was one passage I didn't know what it was talking about."
Lesley-Anne: "How many passages were there?"
Groan. Apparently it was something about whispering clouds and five-fingered ferns. Totally went over his head.
However, that's not to say he's not creative. In January this year, his class was tasked with thinking up a class slogan. Each student had to come up with something and Andre's contribution was: "Nutella is smooth but life is not. So work hard!"
He said the class laughed but nobody voted for his suggestion. Instead, the class went with something safe like "Work smart, work hard." Oh come on, I would have totally voted for his line! It made me laugh so hard, especially when he suggested an accompanying picture of a giant jar of Nutella. Product placement as well! What's there not to love?
And then on my birthday, Lesley-Anne presented me with this: a stuffed hedgehog she made herself, using felt, cotton and cloth. It's beautiful and I was touched by the amount of work and thought that went into it.
There was no way Andre could top that - he just doesn't have that sort of patience or ability. However, what Andre lacks in skill, he makes up for in charm. He gave me a pack of chocolate chip cookies:
And on a scrap of paper, he wrote: "Cookies crumble but my love for you does not." As my friend Lilian said, "win liao lor".
Looks like there's hope yet. Another friend of mine says Andre possibly has a future career in Hallmark Cards. Yes, maybe in the Corny Card section!