No no nooooo!

January 8, 2008 at 12:52 am | Posted in All about little boy, Rantings and ravings | 4 Comments

This is what i most often hear from little boy these days. Yup, he has officially gone into the infamous terrible twos phase, and using no to its max. Do you want to bathe? No… Do you want your milk? Nooooo… Take your porridge. NO!

However, i must admit that he hasn’t resorted to screaming his nos yet. So far, he still gives very mild nos, though sometimes he would accompany it with a somewhat scornful look, at other times, with a look of defiance, where he blinks and turns his eyes away from you. Then again, that’s where his real power lies. I am ashamed to say that there are times when he’s the cool one, and i’m the one who just totally loses control. :/

Despite my promises to myself to be respectful to little boy and allow him his right to say no to me, the power struggles have been increasing, with both of us pitting our wills against each other. It’s of utmost frustration to hear a nonchalant no from a little child, who doesn’t seem to care about the shoulds and needs and oughts, whose sole purpose seems to be that of asserting his own independence and that means going against the adult no matter how unreasonable it seems, regardless of the adult’s best intentions for his well-being. Of cos, i’m the adult so i wld say that… hah!

Well, it seems like no matter how many parenting books i read, there is no guarantee that when it comes to the crux, i wld be able to apply all the tips and advice given. Hmm, guess that was prob an understatement. Unfortunately, the more parenting books i have read (which i think comes up to almost 20 by now), the more i feel like a failure during the times when i react to little boy’s nos in ways that supposed to be what uneducated mothers of the past do. I borrowed Chicken Soup for Mothers of Preschoolers, hoping to get some consolation and inspiration. In the end, i feel even more discouraged from stories of mummies who have so much more workload and less support than i do, and yet seem to do much more, and with more patience and love than me. This is when beautiful endings don’t do anything for me. On the contrary, i need to hear about mothers who think abt strangling their kids and other things that would render their kids needing therapy as adults in future, so that i know that i’m not the only crazy mother out there…

Today, i did the one thing that i never hoped i would ever do. I got so angry at little boy for not drinking his milk, esp when i made it cos he pointed to the milk tin, that i hit his arm. Not very hard, but it was a gesture meant to let him know how angry i was. I have given him little spanks on the hand in the past for touching things not meant to be touched, but i stopped doing that a long time as i decided that it doesn’t teach him anything at all, and spanking is just humiliating. In any case, those little spanks were controlled ones, and hardly hurt. The spank i gave him today didn’t hurt too, but i did want to make him cry. He did cry, but more from outrage than real sadness. I didn’t regret my action at once cos i knew i was doing it on purpose and not out of mindlessness, but after a few moments, i caved in and gave him a hug, and he stopped crying very soon after that. However, i was feeling real down as a result of the whole incident. Fortunately, Mr Gua Gua took little boy to have a ride in his parents’ car, and i got over an hour of peace which i spent meditating. I think that prevented me from going into depression which i was close to slipping into cos i felt like such a lousy mum.

Well, there is a mean streak in me, and it’s not a part of me that i like. Nevertheless, i feel that i am already reining in this part of me, and it could be a lot worse. I feel like the girl with a curl in the nursery rhyme. When she is good, she is very very good. When she is bad, she is horrid (or something like that)!

Hopefully this is just one of those days that happen only once in a blue moon. I was in a foul mood this morn, and little boy’s no became an inevitable trigger. Next time, when i find myself in a similar state, better remind myself to take a timeout!

On a brighter note, little boy’s antics are just as cute as ever, and when i’m in a lighter mood, his humourous gestures make me laugh and laugh! Thanks to my mum, he has learnt to brush his cheek with an index finger and say, shame shame, which he now does on a regular basis whenever we are nursing. However he does it with such a cheeky grin that the words does not have their intended effect on him, and we end up laughing over this “shame shame”.

This evening, i was trying to trick him to come back on the bed by hiding behind the bolster and trying to grab at him from underneath the bolster. (I’m beginning to learn why the shortest distance between 2 points needn’t be a straight line!). It worked, and we ended up in giggles. In the end, he had so much fun with this game that my plan kinda backfired cos he would go back down on the floor and try to reenact the game. However, he was getting good at ducking away from my arm, and to my surprise, before i knew it, he was clambering up the bed on the other side of my body where my arm couldn’t reach him – Mummy got outsmarted! I must say, he’s really very quick! He’s definitely not one to be fooled for long.

I’m not into flashcards but my aunt gave him a set of Thomas the Train number flashcards for X’mas and it was one of the few toys at my mum’s house when we stayed over during the mani retreat, so i spent some time playing the flashcards with him. We haven’t consistently been teaching him numbers before that, so i was surprised that he could quickly remember the numbers 1 – 10, with the exception of 7 and 10, and sometimes 9. His 6 is the best, with every sound properly enunciated, and i guess it’s because we live on floor 6 so he sees this number most often. Cos little boy is so smart, i’m in no hurry to teach him his ABCs and other stuff in a disciplined manner, as i believe he will pick it up on his own without any effort when the time is right. I’m now reading this book You’re Your Child’s First Teacher which says that young children need to have opportunities to develop their physical skills, cos only then will their mental capacities develop. There is some science behind it, which i cannot remember, but this makes me doubly sure that right now, it’s enough to just let little boy run, climb, jump, and fiddle around with his toys and even adult stuff. With his quick mind, i wld prefer him to have the space and freedom to explore his world in a way he wants to, and the picking up of knowledge will happen on its own, naturally and holistically.

Right now i’m kinda mixed about whether to send him to childcare. The most convenient option we have now is a Montessori childcare, which is not 100% Montessori cos they give worksheets so that children will be more prepared for primary school. I like the Montessori way of teaching children lifeskills, and i believe little boy would learn to be more disciplined in such an environment. My concern is that there is too much focus on cognitive development cos it’s a mostly indoor environment (their playground is just a single structure on a concrete floor), and also as Montessori emphasies on teaching children to play in their own space and not infringe into those of their classmates, i’m also concerned that little boy might not get enough opportunities to play and have fun with his classmates. I have no doubt that little boy would learn a lot, expand his vocab, etc. But the question is, will his potential be nurtured and encouraged to bloom, or will it be restricted and confined within a set of norms and expectations? I think it’s really very hard to say. It’s just a pity that Carpe Diem which seems to be more holistic and definitely has facilities for physical play is too far away.

Now i’m wondering if i shld even send little boy to childcare at all, at his present age. Is he too young to go to childcare? I worry that he is getting too pampered by his grandparents, and also watching too much TV at home, yet i’m not sure if he’s ready for childcare. There’s a book called, Should Under 3’s go to Childcare, which i’m considering looking for in the library, and i know if i read it, i might decide against childcare in the end. Ah well, it’s always better to make an informed decision than one that is easy but ill-informed – guess i’ll just go the extra mile, as i have been all the while for little boy, and check out the book before we decide what to do next.

Sigh, a parent’s worries and tasks are never-ending. Thank goodness for the laughter and joy brought to us by little boy that makes it all worthwhile!


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  1. Hello.

    I read your blog. I would like to suggest you visit the American Montessori Society website for wonderful information about Montessori Education. The AMS website will also suggest schools that are accredited or affiliated with the society. Montessori is not a childcare. Montessori schools do not operate like daycare centers. Generally, they have a structured programs in place with routine schedules. Authentic Montessori programs offer programs to develop the child as a “whole”. We don’t believe in just focusing on academics. Children should have experiences in social, physical, emotional and spiritual development. Proper Montessori programs offer children to develop at their own pace and own time and develop a natural love of learning. Worksheets and busy work is not part of the Montessori Philosophy. The beautiful materials in all five subject areas is the child’s “work”.. And my I add very meaningful work. Each classroom should be equipped with all the materials and headed by a certified MACTE accredited teacher. Nature and outdoor time is HUGE in Montessori. Gardening, playing and nature walks are all part of the philosophy. In fact, teachers typically love being outdoors to have extended class sessions. I would please suggest you look further into proper Montessori programs that will give the best foundation for your child and his future. It is the right time to send your child to school. Discover what real Montessori can do for your child! You will be amazed.

    Munir Shivji
    AMS Montessori Teacher and Director

  2. Hi Munir, thanks for leaving a comment and i hope you drop by again to read this. I understand that authentic Montessori is pretty well-rounded, however the culture here is more focused on academics, hence i understand that some childcare centres that use Montessori principles incorporate elements like worksheets so that children can still adapt to mainstream school when they start school. The centre i have been to doesn’t seem to have much nature elements, being situated in an office building, but i have to check if they do bring children out for nature walks. Thanks for providing the resource – I’m from Singapore so i prob won’t find a local listing, however i’m sure i will still find it helpful to read up more on Montessori from there. Thanks again!

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  4. Munir Shivji is just learning about Dr. Montessori’s philosophy. He can go back and forth about explaining what is true to about a Montessori environment.
    He and Charles Terranova have different view about how a Montessori teacher and the Montessori environment works for the child.
    When an experienced Montessori educator or a parent is able to listen to theory on how Montessori works for children to become normalized is all vague and not practical in this century!

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