AK has finally become more like herself, teasing us as she runs along the empty spaces at home and eating everything like she used to. We thought of taking her to the park so that she could blow those big bubbles she likes but it has been raining lately and we decided to take her to this kids’ gym.
From the moment we were walking in, it was like stepping into a different world. It’s funny to see the fathers who plonked their kids into the “sand pit”, alternating between twiddling with their phones in boredom and watching their kids play. Mothers would be running and squealing caution at their kids running amok and you will hear the cries of kids who fall, wanting a comforting hug before they run amok again.
It. was. MAYHEM.
And there was little AK, ever so cautious like a makcik (old lady), opting to crawl instead of walk in this different world. I felt a sense of accomplishment after persuading her to climb up onto the gym but she would hesitate going down the slide like “Mama, you be cray! No way am I going down this!”. Hands-on Mr Grumpy decided to jump up there with her and I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of admiration of his love for her, not caring about how silly he looked. He would be there for her. With her buddy, she explored more bravely in the midst of the running, screaming kids.
I get it, the kids were excited but some kids, wow. Bigger in size, they would fling balls with such force because they were angry with their playmates and I kid you not, shove the little ones aside. You better get out of their way if you did not want to be trampled on. There were some who were really sweet and would be more careful; I started to wonder if it’s upbringing or if the “monkey kids” were having some sort of issues at home. I felt sorry for some of the smaller kids and AK, thinking maybe this is why some mothers go ape-shit on other kids; the tiger in them speak up to protect their babies.
Be calm, Lia, be calm.
Suddenly, these two bigger girls snatched a ball from AK’s hands and ran off. She pointed at them accusingly and squealed at Mr Grumpy and I. In that moment, I think Mr Grumpy was probably thinking of all the different ways he wanted to dangle the girls by their legs from the jungle gym but we went on with our business.
Boy, did AK surprise us!
The determined little tot climbed her way up the jungle gym again and towards the “snatched balls”. She then threw one down! The bigger kid ran towards her screaming “Nooo! Mine!!” to which my little daughter grabbed the other one, looked at her and threw it down too. She then decided to walk off, smiling to herself. Probably was thinking to herself “Justice has prevailed!”
Girl can hold her own!!!
There was no need for us as parents to fight her battles for her. All she needed was our comfort and acceptance and to know we “have her back”, that we would be there for her. The little makcik would coax us to play with her wherever she went and kept checking on us as she played. She would want to include us in the fun, would mind her own business but turns out has also decided for herself that she would not be bullied.
As her teacher would say, she wants what she knows and knows what she wants. Sometimes, I can’t believe this makcik garang is only 2.
After the nightmare that was Rotavirus, we make sure that we wash her hands religiously and pop her straight into the shower when she gets home. She also had her hands disinfected the moment we decided to exit the kids’ gym. We also make sure we put Vicks on her hands and feet (then followed by socks) after she showers. I’m also disinfecting the house and washing clothes every week with Dettol. Even the car has its sanitisation with Dettol spray. No matter what I have or want to do, there are no excuses made.