It’s incredible what parenting does to you. You can feel a host of extreme emotions – like that of guilt and elation, anger and love, and fatigue and enthusiasm – all on the same day, and sometimes, almost at the same time.
That’s what parenting my 5-year-old Ben, 3-turning-4 Becks and 2-year-old Nat is doing to me.
My littlest exasperates every single day. Without fail. With his mischief and antics. Like sticking the Yakult straw in his ear and wailing non stop for ten minutes in shock and pain. Or aiming his p-part at me to do a wee on me like a rain shower while I bathe him. Or picking things up from the garbage and stuffing his mouth silly with whatever he thinks is edible and having me chase him around the house to stop him. I always feel I have a combo Speedy Gonazales, Tazmanian Devil and Bart Simpson on the loose with him.
Some people whom I recently met commented I’ve lost quite a lot of weight. I think I lost them all by sighing a hundred times a day and chasing after Nat who is thinking up mischief every waking minute of his life.
But he is also, at two years of age, the most endearing child of the three. He cries for you, laughs with you, hugs you with no restraints, and tries with all he has to bring a smile across your face. You can ask for a hug or ten kisses and you get them, with no questions asked. His clingy-ness is unbearable on days when I am exhausted but incredibly heartwarming despite that tiredness.
This is my boy at two.
His brother, on the other hand, is growing up a little faster than I had prepared myself for. But who am I kidding? I don’t think any mother is prepared for her child to grow up.
Ben is now often immersed in his own little world, talking and pretend playing with himself, his animal figurines, his Transformers and Lego people. His vocabulary is extensive, often a close imitation and mish mash of what he hears the adults say. He is sensitive and shows his emotions freely, and is now more a person who is eager to please and to be accepted.
It’s all about solving his own problems, working things out by himself and trying his best with him now.
Yea, that’s my eldest. My firstborn. My big darling that’s going through this phase of self-discovery right now.
The little girl. Ah, my princess. The one who is getting more girly as days pass. She now wants long hair. She loves dresses. She adores having hair clips and hair ties on her hair and pesters me to comb her hair every day. She has ‘babies’ and loves to play mommy. She even hides in a corner to nurse them, feed them and talk to them.
Yes, this little girl. I don’t know what happened to that tomboy.
Becks is turning 4 next month and is looking quite the stunner with those pretty big eyes and icy smile. Every day, she’s discovering a whole new world and learning what it means to be her own person in it; complete with learning how to handle – and control – her emotions and tantrums. She’s learning that she’s not two anymore, and we’re not going to be accepting bratty hissy fits like we used to put up with when she was in her Terrible Twos. As she begins to understand what is expected of her as she grows up, my darling girl is also blossoming beautifully – both inside and outside.
We’re not so much done with growing pains and this is very much the beginning. I’m learning too that my life, as a mother and a person, must not and should not stop as I parent these children, and that I too, must grow, learn, unlearn and relearn to always be appropriate – as opposed to being redundant – in their lives.