Yet Another Epiphany

I had another Ah-HA! experience this morning while “attempting” to explain to MLM why something is desirable and why something isn’t. People (parenting experts, those whose kids are no longer a pain-in-the-ass and those who are blissfully childless) usually say that it sets a bad example to communicate with a growing child using largely negatives viz “NO”, “NOT”. “DONT” et al. However, given that the vocabulary of most children who aren’t prodigies or savants of some kind are largely rudimentary till the middle school years, it becomes a tough job navigating the world of communicating what you want with what your child can comprehend.

But I have finally realized the biggest challenge I face day in and day out while trying to bring this boy up- I have to be an adult in the face of his childishness. And therein lies the rub. I no longer know how to be a child and he’s not reached that stage where he knows anything else but how to be a child.

Just a few minutes back, I had another locking-horns session with my offspring. Reason? He’s been using a turtle stencil to draw outlines on an otherwise pristine ivory colored wall. Again.

The first time this was noticed and commented upon, he apologized. In a flash. And went off to do whatever it is he does when one road to mischief has been shut down. Today when I noticed the second drawing I called him to ask why he had drawn on the walls again when he knew it wasn’t appreciated at all. He simply replied that he wanted to. No defiance. No attitude. Just a simple statement of fact.

And that in nutshell is how children usually are. While some are more compliant, for reasons known only to them, others are more willful in the sense that they are guided largely by their whims. A state that many older people fall back into in their advanced years.

But try as I might, I couldn’t explain to MLM why I was upset. He finally came up with a solution of wiping it off with water. But the crux of the problem escaped him and it entirely escaped me how to clue him in.

As adults we live with and in cliches. We stay in the lines. It starts by learning to color in them, writing within in, standing in them and also driving in them. We don’t always turn into lab rats or hamsters in their wheels but we become regulated. And can also see the benefits of such a life for its opposite is chaos in some form or the other.

But a child, especially one right out of early childhood is all about seeing his or her environment as a giant canvas, playground or anything without boundaries. They want to color furiously all over the paper. Never mind that the dam fruit they were to color got buried under the strokes. They want to scribble on walls because that’s the largest unending surface that surrounds them everyday. They want to climb higher, use the bed as a trampoline because everything that gives them a sense of freedom, even briefly, is exhilarating. Never mind that you’ll be replacing the mattress or the bed springs will poke through before long. It’s just so much more fun than just calmly lying down somewhere and sleeping.

And this is why I blogged this. Right here and now. So when I’m about to have an aneurysm tomorrow or day after from whatever my son wasn’t supposed to have done but did so anyhow; I can take a quick peek at this post before my head blows up. Hell! I’ll have to clean up that mess too so I might as well read these pearls of wisdom and count to a 1000 and keep telling myself there’s always school and the next summer holidays are a year away.

Amen!

Zero. Dark. 2:37 AM

I wanted my first post in the new year to be witty, funny, tongue-in-cheek but I guess I’ll be falling back on my old form of ranting about my kid. My forte in life et al.

This morning my darling ray of sunshine switched on all the lights in my room at 2:37 am and tapped me on my face till I woke up; to tell me he could feel the germs in his stomach moving around. Yikes.

I thought it was time for a visit to the loo and suggested as much, while scrambling from the bed and trying not to fall over the Batman figurine that mysteriously ended up underfoot or getting tangled in the bed sheets. But no. Apparently it wasn’t about going to the loo at all. My brat couldn’t sleep and had been thinking about the rumblings in his tummy and decided that a middle of the night bout of calisthenics would ease his mind and body.

So there I was, puffy eyed and puffier-faced with a severe case of bed hair, trying to focus myopic eyes on a 5-year old who was exercising in front of me and who wanted to discuss his tummy germs at length.

After pondering about tossing him out of the window and eventually nixing the idea, I managed to get him back into bed so we could discuss the way ahead. It seems he knew the course of treatment- no doctors but quite a bit of medicine, the yummy kind. And of course, no school. NATURALLY.

Kids are funny creatures. Their minds work in mysterious ways. They process information, look at things in a manner which is unique to their ages and bent of mind. Those were the things I was trying to tell myself as the hands of the clock crept closer to 3:00 am and the verbosity of my kid kept increasing.

Finally, I did the only thing that made any sense. The only thing that was a viable and legal resolution to the entire situation- I woke up his father, passed the buck and went off to sleep in another room.

I think that’s what I’ll try to do in 2015 more and more- react less. Not fight against the inevitable or the inexplicable. I’ll figure out how to tackle things and if I don’t succeed I’ll pull in an unsuspecting person and pull an escape routine on them 🙂

But seriously. Happy New Year blosgosphere peeps. Have an excellent year. May your thoughts and words never fail you and may you end up on more and more people’s’ reading lists as time goes by.

Salut!

The Universe Strikes Back

If you believe in karma that is. Else you can just believe in bad luck or stoically soldier through life’s tough spots. A specific group of people across the world, who are strangers to each other but actually united in their erm…”difficulties” are the parents to preschoolers. I believe they cease to be group members when the child turns 6 and then come together again during the teenage years.

Anyhow, during one of my imploding moments (a have a few throughout the week) I was trying to understand, WHY ME? And I realized that the only answer that made sense was that the universe was screwing with me. Why else would I be doubly blessed with a hybrid of a monkey and a parrot for a child?

From the spilt chocolate milk to the clothes he dumped into the washing machine (without separating the colored from the whites) just to help me out or the bodywash he emptied by putting it in his tub to make MORE BUBBLES (in his words)…it all seems like the cosmos conspiring against me time and again.

But I have news for you universe…he’ll eventually move out and I’ll retire from active parenting and become gaga (with happiness or old age is yet to be determined) and then he’ll be your problem!

What goes around. Comes around.

Author’s Note: This blog post was written as a means of blowing of tension which normally would have been accomplished with an alcoholic beverage and vocabulary normally frowned upon by childhood experts and shrinks (and my husband). But I still do blame the universe.

Black Friday

I’m thinking of carrying out research on why supermarkets cause or trigger tantrums in children.
Rolling in aisles, causing a traffic jam for other shoppers, causing everyone to stop in their tracks to see WHO or WHAT is making that kind of sound.

I’ve often thought it was INCREDIBLE the amount of anguish a child can inject in their voice while crying over the silliest of things.

Initially I used to be appalled at such a sight thinking MLM’s rolling on aisles which have been tread upon by God knows who et al; but now I know it washes off. If not today then tomorrow. It took me a week to get his subway line-like scribbles with permanent marker off his leg. BOTH his legs actually. So am good with washing. It’s just a pity I can’t put him in the washing machine for the Extra Soak cycle. The tub’s too damn small…he’d need his bath toys for one thing and they all wouldn’t fit well.

So unless I have to do anything very urgently I usually let him cry it off and kind of cordon off the area around him so his flailing legs don’t knock over things from shelves or end up hitting some non-child loving person.

I no longer try to pick him up during tantrums…nothing more dangerous and nerve wracking. Far from perceiving it as comfort, the child thinks you’re putting an end to their civil disobedience and scream and kick with renewed efforts. Also that’s their outlet…better let them have their carpe diem.moment rather than having them seize anything else later on.

So there I was..experiencing my very own Black Friday in between the cereal and toy aisles and there were the usual suspects walking by- horrified looking young married couples- (yup! just look at me as the Ghost of Thanksgiving Future!) no doubt adding more boxes of contraceptives to their purchases; the young’uns out for a nice Friday night after work who just breezed past-nothing on their horizons except after-work drinks and hooking up; sympathetic or smug mothers ( depending on the frequency of their child doing thing); and finally the salespeople of the supermarket who were giving me looks that clearly said, ” BUY THE KID THE DAMN THING AND GO ALREADY! YOU LOOK LIKE YOU DON’T MISS ANY MEALS SO STOP BEING STINGY ABOUT THE KID’S TOY LADY!!”

And so I gave in…because urging from a far more critical source had registered and I simply couldn’t ignore that! Yup…your bladder makes a very convincing argument 😦

So we got home, went managed to go out for a rare dinner with the Lord&Master and came back with minimal fuss.

So yeah…I’ll be researching away on my dissertation titled- Supermarkets: The Bermuda Triangle of Parenting ( The disappearance of normalcy and obedience in a formally fairly ok child and mysterious appearance of behavioral aspects that instigates paddling the Gluteus Maximus).

Once this one has won be the Nobel Prize for Science I intend to begin work on my 2nd dissertation titled: The Direct Correlation Between Tear Ducts and Toys.

Ole!