Your presence at our home couldn’t come at a better time. There are so many things I want to talk to you about, and looking at you face to face just makes it all the more easier. I know that you listen, even at a distance. But believe me, now that we are facing many obstacles in our work, the health of our family, and other worldly concerns, seeing you watching over us definitely lifts our low spirits. Thank you for being here, and for serenely looking over us as we triumph or struggle with our day to day life.
My toddler is well on her way to being a big kid. It makes me both so proud and sad. A parent will always tell anybody who would listen about his or her kid’s milestones, which I happily do anytime I have the chance. But there is also that nostalgic feeling of seeing your child unfold from a tiny thing to that independent and capable being–almost as if in a flash. They do grow up sooo awfully fast sometimes you feel like you’ve hardly caught your breath before they begin to exhibit yet another milestone. I wrote a few days ago about how my own Mischa has been showing signs of being firm, and well, a bit ornery. While we look over, eagle-eyed, over her developing personality, for the most part, we let her be.
But apart from being very “decisive”, we have noticed how she can do many, many things on her own. It proves to be messy at times, or it takes much more time to finish, such as when eating on her own, drinking from a cup on her own (half of it usually spills), removing or putting on her jammies, washing her hands in the lavatory, and other simple, day-to-day activities, but it definitely makes our hearts swell (and my eyes well hehehe) with pride. My practical sense sometimes wages a war with my desire to let her learn, never mind we have to clean up afterwards, or do things all over again.
I guess these are times that I begin to “let go” of my kid so that she learns on her own. I know I cannot be there for her all the time, but of course, letting go is easier than done. Mothers like me have natural instincts to do things so that there will be no need for the child to have any difficulties. But this is impossible. I know, and it hurts even thinking about it, that she is bound to get hurt in the future. She’s bound to stumble and fall, and no matter how I try to cushion it, she has to learn on her own. I can only teach her how to stand back up again. I once read somewhere that one of the things a parent can do to make sure that their children have a hard time in the future, is to make things easy for them now.
The lyrics of this jingle from the latest McDonald’s commercial is so inspiring! As a follow up to my previous post, this also energizes my mornings, and makes me want to hop and skip as I go along the day. The melody is light and bubbly, and you can almost feel an infectious smile spreading through your lips. You would want to hug somebody after hearing the song.
Hooray for mornings and things that make them good
Hooray for beaming smiles that make my day
Hooray for stops and gos
Hooray for colors and quick hellos
Hooray for surprises that walk my way
Hooray for friends I’ll make, oh hey…hey!
Hooray for treats that make me smile,
Like magic stripes that fill the sky
Hooray for days that make me say,
Oh Hooray for today!
Call it defiance, or bullheadedness. Whichever way you see it, my daughter has really long shown that she has her own mind, which she will follow, probably to the ends of the Earth. As her mother, I saw it clearly before she turned six months that she is not one to be “bossed” around (not that we do).
While she physically takes after me, this personality trait definitely did not come from mom. lol. I could say that I was a lot more docile as a kid but I came from a very different generation. I don’t know about kids today but in my time, we almost have an fearful respect for our elders, very unlike youngsters today. There must be something in the water. But seriously, it may also be because we are a completely different breed of parents today, very unlike our parents and grandparents before. I would like to think that I am more loving, more emotionally bonded with my own kid, and I do not believe in corporal punishment or even verbal pananakot. I want Mischa, and even future kids, to look up to me with respect and love, rather than fear. I want them to listen to my advice, and make them understand why I want them to follow, not because they just need to. I would have to trust them to make their own judgments soundly someday, and believe that I have raised them well. They might stumble and fall along the way, but that’s another reason we parents are here for-so stretch our hands and pull them up again.
But I digress. I was talking about, now that Mischa is almost halfway through toddlerhood, she has exercised a lot of her own judgment. While she has made known her wants and needs when she was a teeny, weeny thing, she is now well and able to articulate her choices perfectly. Sometimes we struggle for the shoes she would wear, for the food she will take, the specific kind of Barney or Dora we will put on the player, etc. It’s good we never have to second guess what she wants, even as a baby. What she lacks in other things (she’s still not toilet trained at 32 months, and she still has to have the binky so she can fall asleep), she super makes up for her uber wonderful speech development and sharp memory. She tells us exactly what she wants. Oftentimes, too, she sort of bosses us around with her “get this”, “come here”, “open this”, etc. While we find it cute, we are never remiss in reminding her to say please and thank you after getting the favors. We applaud her every triumphs, no matter how little, for the development of her self-worth. But there are the gentle but firm reminders for her not to grow up arrogant and full of herself. We are also careful to expose (or not expose) her to the kinds of people who could potentially influence her way of thinking, her speech, and the way she views the world. She is at that very impressionable age.
It’s very hard, at the same time, very fulfilling to be a parent. You have to strike a balance between reigning them in, and letting them grow and go. It brings both smiles and tears to a parent like me. It’s a test both for the child(ren) and the parent.
I mentioned that we hit our third year mark as partners for life. My work load that week didn’t give me much room to prepare for a nice celebration. I was dog tired after being hunched all day over my computer preparing our division work plan for the whole agency’s strategic planning and I wasn’t expecting it at all. I thought I was done for the day, and ready to hit the sack. So imagine my surprise when the hubby actually surprised me with a nice dinner at the Le Bar in Sofitel! Yay! I was grinning all throughout. All along, I thought the romantic streak in him had died the day we walked down the aisle. lol.
We were late for his reservation but thank God it was a quiet Wednesday so there weren’t that many people around. The ground floor where the infamous Spiral used to be looked a little forlorn. In its heyday, every inch of the place used to be occupied as the restaurant’s buffet offerings were legendary. Tureens upon tureens of international cuisines stretched as far as the eye could see. People flock to the place for special occasions, or if they simply want to enjoy the gustatory experience. The unfortunate lashing of typhoon Pedring last September washed the place down, though. Although the hotel has restored the area, it wasn’t as alive and vibrant as only a smattering of couches grace the place.
Anyways, off we went to Le Bar on the next floor. It was a more subdued but nonetheless elegant dining arena. There was a little library in an alcove, while another side has shelves of wines. It likewise offers a buffet set-up but it didn’t so much live up to the hype of Spiral. Still, we were happy to be there to quietly spend our milestone. A few others were celebrating birthdays, and I saw some couples deep in conversations, or their dinners.
While the food was superb, the selection is not as extensive as Spiral. I was especially looking for a pasta bar! On hindsight, it had been a good thing as I was not able to stuff myself silly with unnecessary carbs. But the Japanese selection was great, as well as the selection of hams and cheeses. These were just divine! Also didn’t get to try the Chinese side. There was just no more room in this tummy anymore. Lugi talaga ako sa buffet. There were a lot I didn’t get to try. The dinner also came with a nice cup of brewed coffee. Perfect period to all the sinful food.
All in all, the experience, more than the food, made the evening really special. It was also good to dine without fussing over a little one (sorry kid).
We are almost there. I’ve noticed that, for the past couple of months now, she can go sleep the whole night without it dangling from her mouth. It has taken us an awfully long time, I know. Many would have said that we shouldn’t even have begun with it. But as it was, we didn’t have the heart to let her cry it out for hours when she was a newborn so we took the easy way out and gave her the binky. In defense, she only used it at sleep times. I was glad she didn’t have the need for it when she was just plain lying down, or when she started walking, then playing, then running around. I didn’t want her to be like those kids waving around the pacifier in the playground, the malls, and everywhere else. Thank goodness she didn’t!
But it’s time to move on now. We couldn’t do it cold turkey. Maybe it is us, the caregivers, who aren’t ready yet. I noticed that when she was dead tired from a day out, she would conk out really fast. But when she had a nap, she couldn’t be put down when night time rolls around! Putting her to sleep becomes a struggle as she still has those energy to spend yet. And when we ourselves need to lay our bodies to rest, we always take the easy way out and bring out the precious “chuchu”, as the binky is fondly called, again. So much for teaching her to learn without it. We really need a good spanking! And when she teared up some of it when she began teething, I told myself that I wouldn’t buy her a new one so we could all move on without it. But my mind might be willing, but my sanity is not. Yet. I gave in, again and again. She might have have six or seven of those her whole babyhood, and her in early toddlerhood.
Well, a few more weeks, and I feel that, we’re really getting there. I have to have more willpower to rouse myself at night when she wakes up, and looks for the chuchu. Just a few minutes of rubbing her back or tapping her thighs, and she’s good to go. It is, I, who needs to adjust to all this. For her.