Bye Ate!

My bunso is really the cheerful one in the family. Even if she is not feeling well, she almost always has a ready smile for anyone (of course she still has her share of bad days). Today, for example, she had a fitful sleep because of colds and a warm temperature. She still managed to send off her older sister happily. And the grannies told me she is as excited when Ate comes home from school.

We love you a lot, my little sunshine!

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My charming girl

This is my charming, talkative and uber likot baby. I can’t believe that she’s turning two next week! But compared to her Ate, she’s still so much our “baby”. Ate just physically developed exactly as what studies of medicine have predicted. But Maxine is taking her sweet time at every phase, like sprouting first tooth at almost 12 months and started walking at 15. Also, she seems to take after me in terms of height and other physical attributes. Ate is more longish, but Maxine and I are on the petite and chubby side. However, she is the quite the bright star and also the drama queen at home. She always brightens up every minute of our lives with her lively antics.

maxine-kulit

See that mischievous twinkle in her pretty eyes? I bet that she’s the kind of girl that you couldn’t resist because it comes naturally to her to charm people. I hope I would be able to stay made at her long and hard enough if she does something wrong. I hope I won’t cave in to her smile and doe eyes, or even her tears, when I need to discipline her. I tell you that right now, I am having a hard time when she does her cute tantrums. It makes me forget that I am teaching her lesson because I my heart just goes out to her when she cries.

She’s the antithesis of her sister but we both love them to bits. Where Mischa is reserved, Maxine is just so out there. Where Mischa is cautious, Maxine is a risk taker. Where Mischa is temperamental and moody, Maxine is gleeful. How lucky am I to be blessed twice!

Emotional maturity

At five years old, I am starting to see that Mischa is maturing emotionally. Before, I was afraid that she would grow up to be spoiled and a little bratty, owing of course to her being an old child. She is a little difficult at times and even as a baby, has already manifested being temperamental and impatient. Yes, the adults around her are partly to blame because we tend to be a little overindulgent with her, and at times, we feel that it is better to give in than to endure hours of tantrums. I know that it is not the most ideal method of parenting but as I am a working mother with no household help, I admit that I do give in a lot when she was younger. But when she started school, I started reigning it that temper, not because I want to control her, but more to help her manage her own emotions. And I realize of course that now is the best time because I know that she begins to understand that the world does not revolve around her.

And I am happy that it might not seem that she does not listen to me all the time, that in her little ways, she is showing me that my words do affect her.

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For one, she now understands that certain privileges are to be withheld. For instance, there is little resistance anymore when I started letting her use gadgets only on weekends. She knows that weekdays are for studying, resting and a little playing.

ipad

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During one of her visits to the office, she had a playmate who was the daughter of one of my colleagues. They were playing in my office, and after some time, the kid wanted her mama to be with her. I overheard Mischa telling her, “Your mama has to work. If you don’t let her work, you will not have toys, food, books and things.”

My heart skipped a beat. This is what I always tell her when she whines that she doesn’t me to go to the office and begs me to stay with her. I couldn’t believe that she absorbs things when I am at my lecture mode.

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Mama told me that one of the grandmothers of one of her classmates was all praises for her. There were several times at the beginning of the school year when this classmate was crying and begging that he not be left behind by the grandma. Big girl Mischa said, “There, there now, don’t cry. We’re all big kids here. And besides, parents and grandparents are not allowed inside the classroom”.

She also says a lot of funny things without meaning to. If only I could always capture her kids-say-the-darnedest-things moments, I might have been able to write a book!

My daughter is fast becoming a big kid. While there are still remnants of her demanding self, I am one proud momma that outside of the house, she is showing how mature she is growing up to be. She is truly ready to be a big sister.

Now, I just have to instill in her that I am not an ATM machine when it comes to toys and candies. lol

Another flower girl duty

FG

The little girl was not in her element when she walked down the aisle of her Tita Jovie’s wedding (hubby’s cousin). As usual, I am so nanghihinayang because her prettiness was lost on the scowl she was wearing. I just have to be thankful that she walked and agreed to the entourage parade, but we were not lucky in the after-service photo taking. Pag sinumpong talaga tsk tsk. Kanino ba nagmana itong batang ito? She definitely didn’t get this from me as I’m the queen of pretense. Even if I don’t like where I am, it’s easy for me to put up with almost anything, if I have to. I’m patient that way.

On a side note, we forgot our SLR! So I had to take shots from my phone only. The Paco Church inside Paco Park was very pretty and enchanting pa naman that night, what with being lit up with twinkling lights as part of the Christmas season. Oh well, we couldn’t have taken much photos anyway. We were ALMOST late, we got there in the nick of time. And I said, my little star was not in a very good mood.

Terrible Threes?

I thought we are past the stage of tantrums. But with children, I guess you would never know. Both the child and parents just have to adjust. Considering that Mischa has early on developed very good communication skills, I am just a little surprised that at this stage (she just turned three this month), she has to resort to lupasay when she doesn’t get her way. We see a lot of this these days:

I often tell people in the house to ignore her when she’s in this mood, and just keep the floor clean at all times. As psychologists or other veteran parents will tell you, this is a time-tested ploy to get attention. And as a mother, I do not want to cultivate this negative behavior. I have figured out early on that raising one’s voice, giving in to irrational or dangerous demands and threatening are surefire ways that the child will do the behavior again since it elicits a passionate response from adults. Why can’t some understand this?

Spouting fangs

That letting go of some steam and firmly staking my claim felt really good. It was actually so out of character for me but I felt I had to do it, right here, right now. Gotta assert authority now, no more soft spots, more iron clad. We’ve gone long past the adjustment period. I don’t really want to do this but everybody just got my hackles up. I have no sense of doing some power tripping but it is time to bare my teeth.

My little boss

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.