I scream, “No..don’t drink that” as my only born slurps the water from her bathtub. “BabyA, that water is not for drinking. Yuck! Look at that! There’s a dead spider in it.”
She is unphased by my drama. She takes a bored look at the mangled spider floating, and bends down to start slurping the soapy water making its way down the drain; licking it like the kitty cats she so admires. She doesn’t even hear me shouting any more.
As an expectant mom, you assume that the time when you start losing control will be around the teenage years, or maybe the Tweens for this generation, but somewhere you believe that you will have a say till then. The truth is that every day I feel powerless in front of my tiny toddler.
Now don’t go mommy-judging me: of course she gets time out when she tries hitting me or does something completely unacceptable, but for all the things that hang in between the segregated realms of wrong and right; for the behavioral patterns that lurk in limbo land, I find myself not-in-control in front of my three year old.
I have never been overly fond of children, except the home-grown variety, and that’s why I had a thousand and one opinions on other people’s upbringing and their progeny. That was until I had BabyA, and since then, God has made me eat my words over and over again.
I used to find some kids extremely rude, like the kind who didn’t greet uncles and aunties “hello” and “ta-ta” or the variety who had nervous breakdowns if someone so much as smiled (at their cuteness), crying, “Why is she laughing at me?” I was sure my kid was going to be nothing like that! I would set her straight if she even tried!
But my kid is exactly like that. She never greets anyone that she doesn’t meet more than once-a-week and when she was younger, would flip out when people smiled in her presence as she would suspiciously shriek, “Why are you/they laughing?”
These are extremely uncomfortable situations for me as I was brought up by a dad who wasn’t fascist about anything but the “5 golden words” of politeness (and doing “chap chap” while eating but that’s a whole other story). So I grew up to be an extremely polite person. I thought that I could discipline my child into being polite, or doing things that I viewed as important (albeit not integral) to one’s character. Short answer: not possible! It’s a classic case of no longer being able to control the (little) monster you created.
And as a parent, you start realizing that you don’t have the fight in you to battle everything. Most of the time, you’re just too damn tired to disagree:
“Mamma, can I jump hard on your tummy and booboos alternatively and pretend you’re a horsie?”
“Mamma, can I blow germ-infested spit bubbles into your milkshake?”
“Mamma, can I walk all over you wearing Mami’s 9 inch heels?”
“Be my guest!”
I’m going down! After all, I got no fight!