When AK was a baby, she was polite and well-behaved. She would sleep through the night and would only get really cranky whenever she was hungry. Nothing would appease her like her milk and she would smile and laugh ever so often.
Now that her baby days are almost gone, the rise of the toddler encompasses a different journey altogether. There has always been a curiosity about her and she often likes to observe people doing what they do. If Mr Grumpy or I leave her sight, she is quite likely to try and find us afterwards and see what we are up to.
We tend to do everything together. When I potter about in the kitchen, she would be waving her toys about, trying to peek at what I am doing or would sit near where I am with her toys and get mad when I try opening the cabinet doors near her.
“Excuuuse me AK, but mummy’s not play cooking; she’s really cooking…”
We have always known she is strong-willed and we are at that stage where she is quite cheeky and we have to slowly start disciplining her. I have this “two fingers approach” that I decided to put to the test when she kept hovering about the hot water dispenser.
Me: “AK, let go. Mummy’s holding up her two fingers”
AK looks at me dismissively, probably thinking “Yeah mummy, hold up all your fingers and see if I care”
Me: “Mummy’s going to hit you with these fingers!”
She straightened up and cheekily decided to squeeze her tiny fingers harder around the tap, so I smacked her with my two fingers. She looked at me confused and I asked her again to let go. Now, her stubborn expression comes on and she decides to still cling on to the tap. So, I smack her slightly harder (trust me, it was not painful) and her bottom lip starts quivering and then she starts bawling.
I end up having to pick her up and soothe her as she screams at me, angry at my “betrayal”. That was when I realised that sometimes when little children cry during punishment, it is more because of emotional hurt than physical hurt (provided you are not seriously whacking them of course.) She is too young to understand reason, but I would never never never want to really spank or hit her hard simply because I do not want her to think that it’s okay/normal to be beaten.
Even in Islam, it has been clearly stated how you go about disciplining your children. Read it up. You should never hit them on the face or cause bruises and yes, you should reason with them whenever you can. Some people try to justify their “bordering on brutal” beatings but it’s not the greatest idea to inspire fear in your children, when there can be logic and understanding.
Of course, that is one of the notsohappy sides of parenting: having to discipline children for their own betterment. It actually makes me ache to have to do it and when Mr Grumpy and her squeak at each other or if she ends up crying, I have to resist holding her in my arms when she looks to me for help. Now, whenever we see her walking to plug points, wires or again hot water dispensers, I hold the two fingers up and she pretends not to see me but walks past those “danger zones”. I know I will have to think of something different later on though…
When we drive home and she screams in her baby seat, the biscuits, water and toys do not work anymore. Heck, even the “Mummy/Daddy is upset with you” expressions are not working anymore; no no mummy has to sing nursery rhymes to her for her to giggle and sit quietly. =.=” (and I have the voice of a croaking toad, have you noticed the increase in rainy days recently?).
There’s parenthood for you, taking you beyond your limits. There is no emotional roller coaster quite like it but I have to admit, when I see her smile or sleep peacefully, every iota of what we do for her seems worth it.
What a glamorous pose, AK!