Thursday, March 6, 2014

My 4 year old has been naughty lately.

Today, when I came back from work, I heard from my husband and maid that Adam had been rude and disrespectful this morning while waiting for his school bus.
For the past few mornings since last week, I worked the 8.30am shift at my centre, and Adam's school bus pick-up is at 8am daily, so I brought him to wait for his bus every morning.
It happens that there is a patch of mimosa on the grass near the pick-up point (which is at the side of the road) so under my supervision I let him touch the mimosa during our wait.
My rule is - never go to the road-side, and always come back when I tell him to.
This morning, I had to reach work at 8am so I let my helper send Adam down.
As usual, he was playing with the mimosa and one aunty happened to pass by and commented that there could be "gao sai" (dog shit in Hokkien) on the grass.
My helper then asked Adam to come back to her side, which he disobeyed.
He replied that dogs will shit at the side near the pavement, not near the road (what is he? 10?!)
As it was a time with morning traffic, I had always warned him to be careful and listen to whichever adult was with him. And he broke my rule this morning.
When I came home from work and heard about this incident, I was mad at Adam.
I reprimanded him and removed his iPad privilege for the evening and nagged at him over and over about the importance of safety and the consequences of not listening to his caregiver.
Thing is, he is only like this when he is with my helper as he knows that she is not the "boss" nor his Mommy.
I've tried time and time again to make him obey the maid - I talk/ reason/ spank/ threaten.... until I have no more saliva, and it is driving me crazy.
I know it is unreasonable to, and I never expect a domestic helper to be a disciplinarian and mother to my children, but these are some of the issues faced by working Moms on a day-to-day basis.
And these issues are very real. Issues of your children's safety resting on a non-family member's shoulders, issues of caregiver substituting lifegiver.
It's impossible for me to be there to police his behaviour all the time, and by the time I reach home to do that, it would easily have been 10 hours later.
My maid is not worry-free, either.
Not too long ago, slightly before Chinese New Year, we found out (through Adam, horror of horrors!) a photo of her with a Bangladeshi man hugging her from behind.
** I will share about this issue in another post.

It is a known fact to our friends and relatives that Adam and Ashton are polar opposites in terms of their character and behaviours.
In all due fairness, Adam is a darling who will plant kisses on you, says he loves you, and he is a happy pill who is hardly angry or unhappy. 
He is a very kinetic child, who thrives on being on the move. He is also witty and vocal.
Both my kids are different from each other, and I love them differently.
For Ashton, I love him tenderly and affectionately. He is a sweet, quiet little child who is happy by my existence alone. He's the easy baby who makes parenthood a joy.
For Adam, I love him intensively and impulsively. When he hugs, he hugs with all his might. When he laughs, his laughter is etched on my mind for a long time. He is intense and does things never in half-measures.
 As I always say, I love my children differently, but I love them all the same.
I just wish parenting could be a wee bit easier. 

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