Earlier this week, we brought the entire family, nephew and MIL to Gardens by the Bay. Now, I’m always a little weary whenever the nephew is around because it seems like all 3 boys will just go berserk wherever we are – be it a shopping mall, or just taking the lift somewhere. And that day, as we were about to go home, the nephew fell hard, hit his head, and from then on was a totally different boy from his usual hyper shrieky self – much more subdued and calm, and of course finally stopped running around.
It is an all too-familiar scenario – boys creating a ruckus, so “in the moment” in whatever they’re doing (be it playing or fighting) that they can never hear requests/instructions/orders. Many times I find that telling the boys to STOP just doesn’t work. Neither is physically pulling them apart, or physically grabbing onto Mittens’ arm, bending down to his level to say STOP. Similar my nephew’s fall, only after something happens – someone hurting themselves, or pushing me over the edge until they get a real big scolding, will they finally “listen”.
On top of not listening (or wanting to listen?), it’s also been a challenge trying to get Mittens to work with me on some activities – be it a project, learning activities, school homework, or just clearing up his toys. It always seems like too much effort to even engage him. I’ve had such little patience with him recently, and been feeling so exasperated and at such a loss as to what to do.
Thankfully, I had a lovely short chat with a friend (thanks, Z!) who didn’t say very much but it did start me thinking. And Mummy Angeline of Princess Dana Diaries shared a short article by Focus on the Family Singapore, about the 10Things Every Child Needs. It was a timely reminder.
Often, with all the whining and fighting it’s easy to forget what they need, instead of what I need (mainly, no whining and some peace!), and with all the busyness in the family, I really need to give him more attention. But I’m glad to report I’m making an effort to show my exasperation less and be less cranky and we’re slowly having more laughs together, although pushing his younger brother for no reason and other shenanigans are still definitely cause for some good ol’ old school punishment!
Parenting can be so overwhelming, and has got to be THE toughest job to figure out, with no manual included and the rules changing all the time. I wonder if one day I’ll look back at my younger self and think, “Aw, piece of cake!”. In the meantime, I’m trying my best to enjoy each day with this amazing person, even if he does get under my skin from time to time! Wish me luck! Or better still, pass me a stiff drink, I think I need it 😀