When I was a kid, I was a lot like my almost 4-year-old daughter
l. Very chatty
2. Very busy
3. Very strong-willed.
We are a complete package of the whole shebang.
It was predestined — growing up, many adults would sing-song at me, and “someday you’ll have a child exactly like you!”
You’d think that because I’m raising a mini-me, I’d be full of patience and understanding for Zonia because I know how her mind works. Sometimes we’re a good match, but other times I feel like I am the
worst possible person to be her mother.
We have the same battles all the time. Washing hands, getting ready for school, finishing her meals, pooping these become epic standoffs. The déjà vu causes me to lose my temper faster and faster, to the point where I’m ready to pounce before she’s done anything wrong.
A few nights ago, I volunteered to watch after her while pooping, though her yaya was still around. She was already on the ‘seat’ for more than 10 minutes
(Lord, just 10 minutes), when I told her to hurry up, and she started cat-crying. Cat-crying, you know, when she sobs without tears with matching shrugging of the shoulders and super paawa eyes. Instead of countdowns and warnings, I lost my temper completely, slapped the bathroom door and shouted.
She cried to her dad, “I’m scared! Ayoko kay mommy! Si mama and daddy lang gusto ko! Shou-shout ka kasi! Ayoko sa’yo!” There were tears.
I remember getting yelled at (deservedly), and spanked and being scared. I had lots of things taken away, lots of groundings, but when I was alone in my room I’d whisper promises to myself that I’d never yell at my kids. And there I was, yelling.
I could tell myself that I’m doing my best, but I’m not. If I was, I’d take that extra moment and hold back that yell. I could tell myself that someday she’ll thank me for being strict, but that doesn’t seem to matter when she’s looking at me through tears. I don’t want her to be afraid of me. She’s just a little girl.
I want to be more patient. I have to be more understanding. I’ve lost so much, but I’m flipping out over the littlest things. I don’t have to scare her to get the job done.
She’s precocious and stubborn and smart and she’s only 3 and I need to remind myself constantly that she might talk like a 9-year-old but she’s only 3. This was not the mom I wanted to be, but I’m not locked into being “that mom” forever. This is only the beginning… I want to make a change, and that’s half the battle, right?