This morning, within a space of fifteen minutes my daughter managed to lose each of her gloves. The first one somehow slipped from her hands before we got on the bus after which I expressly told her to always put things in her pockets or bag. Needless to say, I was reiterating the same message when she realised she had left the last remaining glove on the bus.
At this point I was beyond miffed ( my explicit advice having been ignored). I asked her some rather redundant questions like why she had taken the gloves off in the first place and how she managed to just drop her gloves. Then a little memory popped in my head; my mother going in on me when I’d left a brand new satchel in an ET (emergency taxi for non Zimbabweans).
The biggest lesson so far for me as a parent has been on hypocrisy. We get these little people in our lives and its amazing how we gradually turn into our parents and ignore all our experiences as children in an effort to instil our authority. Im challenged so much now, I can only imagine what the teenage years will be like. I don’t want to pretend to be someone I am not and certainly not give off the impression that I was some goody-two-shoes: But I also want to give good counsel.
The teenage years are creeping on me and this may as well be my trial run. If I mess up this stage I’ll pay heavily for it. Im learning to listen more, hypocrites don’t. Im learning to say “I don’t now”, hypocrites know everything. And Im learning to trust her judgement, knowing that when it fails her, Im right there with her, not to scold or say I told you so but to help her understand that I still go through that too and its ok to get it wrong sometimes. It wont be the last. Sometimes I do wish parenting was easier but there is so much of myself that I know and understand thanks to the process. Besides, children provide the greatest material for tweets and status updates.
Often, when we say “I don’t understand how you could…” what we are really saying is ” I refuse to empathise” and in that moment we lose our right to give advise. If you don’t understand the situation, then you don’t really know what you’re talking about.
Note to self: Try a little tenderness!
My joy courses through my veins till it reaches my lips. Hers bubbles over in very single cell and she can’t keep still. We have a lot to learn from our children.
I’ve become aware that i am maybe a little too helpful with Chloe at times. This is usually brought on by a need a to get things done but appears to be restricting her development.
Yesterday evening she asked me to help her do her one button on her cardigan. Granted its huge and heart shaped but having had these thoughts of over extending myself, I insisted she do it herself. I got the ” I can’t ” protest which got me thinking that she probably uses those two words way too often. She did try and she got it done and was grinning from ear to ear. So now I’m thinking how many little things am I doing for her and inadvertently restricting her progression?
From pregnancy you scour every website and literature lnown to man, devouring all the information and trying to connect it with your little bump. This goes on for the next three years but at some point you stop checking on what they should now be doing and life seems to go on.
You rely on the experience of other mothers within your circle and your daily experiences with your child . You have the nursery too to advise you on her progress and what they expect her to be doing. After the age of three the changes are less physical and this is where what I like to call “parenting by intuition” kicks in.
At this stage my daughter pretty much has her own person. But there is so much going on in her mind that i wish to understand and know. Her sphere of influence continues to grow and on the whole this is good but I don’t want any of that to affect her emotional and mental development
And there i thought all I’d be worried about would be the school she goes to next year and how I’m ever going to get her to eat broccoli!
The journey continues…
Just been going through my phone and found this from January 15 2011. No better way to immortalise it, than on the World Wide Web!
I love you Chloë!
I see now how children can become the center of their parents lives. I love you with a passion that knows no end . With a definite that knows no doubt.
I love the way you are so beautiful and unassuming. How you are so alive and vivacious . You light up a room with your infectious energy. You are energy personified . I love our conversations where you babble on and I pretend that I know what you are talking about. I hope one day to have a real conversation with you and laugh and cry(now we do!) .
I’m going through a lot right now but I know that I need to fix myself so I can be the mum you need, the mum you deserve . That means the next few days, weeks, and months are going to be filled with so much pain, fear, tears and regrets but I know that through all this I will find my purpose and direction. I will prevail. I will be your mother and I will be with you for many years to come. I am not going anywhere . I want to be there for you but I realize that I will have to let you go one day. When the time comes I know my love for you will guide me and comfort me.
You are my sunshine
My only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are grey .
You’ll never know dear how much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away!
Be sure to tell the loved ones in your life how you feel about them. Life has no warranty and certainly isn’t guaranteed!