#ak: 18 months

Another almost 2 months have come and gone and our little AK is now almost 18 months old already!

Again, I am wondering why this is all happening so fast. Before I know it, she will be 2 and I would probably be the one hugging her teddy bear and thinking of how one day she will leave me.

(For the record, you are never leaving me AK. *Cough cough)

It has been great watching her development at kindie. From sitting quietly in a corner, she has learned how to slide down slides and climb up stools. The latter is more amusing to me, since she went through a stage of knowing how to get on the stool, but not off!

13619917_221399844922541_3023402191158686119_n

For the record, I did not feel bad taking these pictures since it was the third time she did it in the same day! Now that she knows how to get off, she still sometimes pretends not to know how but you can tell she is faking, because there are no tears!

We got into our first proper fight recently. In the car on the way home, AK was frustrated at having to sit for so long (almost 3 hours!) during the traffic jam and I had brought her to the front to sit next to me for a bit.

I was asking her to sit down and in her frustration, she flung a container at my face. She has been in the habit of flinging anything within reach at you and while my poor face has had some hard hits with the iPad or her chunky toys, I decided she would not make this a habit.

And… I smacked her hand. Not with my two fingers and it was not with all of my strength, but you could hear the smack. Boy, was she upset. Her face scrunched up and she cried as tears went rolling down her face. But it wasn’t anger, it was sadness and I softened instantly. Cooing to her, I explained how she should not do it again and while she probably did not understand so much of the words I was telling her, my action sure showed her since she is a bit more aware when I give her warnings now.

I never want to be the sort of parent who beats their kid(s) up because he/she cannot control his/her anger yet I know there is only so much good words can do when your kids don’t understand since they are young. It’s times like these you really have an inner battle and as a mother, I want that balance of her being well-behaved and also free-spirited, independent. Yet there is still that guilt you feel when you have to tell them no or what they are doing is wrong.

The thing about kids is they love you so unconditionally. They forgive you even during times they do not understand and still want to play with you even when you may not show as much attention and affection. We were friends again once we got out of the car, but you would be surprised how this can be a slippery slope where parents think “Hey, it’s okay to beat him/her, they won’t remember.” or “Hey, it’s okay to say terrible words because one day, they will see that I don’t mean it.”

No, kids will remember and they will see through the fuel and haze of your anger, that there is even at least the smallest part of you who knew and meant what you did. It will come out when they feel insecure or inadequate and you never know how long lasting the effects would be. And you would not be with your kids every second of the day throughout their whole lives.

Your words and actions now are the legacy you leave for them. There will be imprints of you in their own personalities and actions; I’m sure you may not want parts to your kids that may be irreversible or worse, for them to hate you one day. But the possibility is real and it could very well happen.

During our stressful days, Mr Grumpy and I make it a point to not take it out on each other or on her simply because the aftermath is just not worth it. Sure, we are not perfect but those times we slip up are not justifications we bank on to repeat the same mistakes again.

My best friend’s mother said the same thing: Love your kids not for what you are hoping to gain from them, not because they are investments for your old age but because it was a joy bringing them into this world. It was a joy to raise them, even with some hard times. Your kids are not your outlet for venting stress out.

For all the gifts I have been blessed with, Mr Grumpy and AK are among the greatest. It has been and will always be truly a joy to be with them at any time of the day, any day.

13631434_213462095716316_2212525589874906134_n (1)