Thursday, July 29, 2010

Don't Scold Me Mamma I Love You Na.......

It was an especially difficult day for me yesterday as there was too much stuff on my hands to handle, plus my health not up for the past few days, making me irritable and uncomfortable, plus the fact that any time I am cranky or upset, my daughter picks it up in an instant and wants to be only with me. Of course it’s a really sweet thing come to think of it. She feels if mommy is upset or not happy, she should be with her mommy all the time to cheer her up. And the fact that she only always wants me around her for whatever she is doing is also super-sweet and I am thankful for it, barring those times when things really get to me and I am looking for some ‘me’ time….of course getting that ‘me’ time is a luxury, something I cant even cherish well when I have the rare opportunity of getting it…you see, my mind will invariably drift to what my daughter is doing and if she needs me or not right then.

So I was trying to manage things as best as I could, but somehow, it was just not enough. And the more I knew I was not doing my best, the more grumpy and irritable I was getting, thus making my daughter pine more for me.

I wanted her to finish her food, but she wanted to play. I wanted her to clean up the toys but she wanted to leave them on the floor. I wanted her to get changed for bed but she only wanted to sit and colour. I wanted her to sit and watch a movie while I cooked but then she wanted me to sit with her the whole time. I was trying and could see myself steadily heading towards that inevitable burst.

I put down my things and told her I was really angry and did she want me to scold her?

“No mamma, don’t scold me.”

But she still wanted to have her own way.

So then I kind of lost it, to be very honest, and ended up scolding her. She first reacted by puckering up her lips and staring at me. I could see her eyes were already beginning to fill with tears and I knew she wanted me to see and comfort her then. But I was being the bad angry mother that moment so took no notice. Then she burst out crying.

“Why are you scolding me mamma? Baby is sad.”

I told her I was not scolding her and that I was only telling her to not be naughty.

“Don’t scold me mamma. I love you na.”

My heart broke right then with those words but I still had many things to finish and thought it would be okay to let her sort it out for a while. I knew if I picked her up right then she would get back to her previous self within moment. So I bent down near her and told her that if she behaved like a good girl and listened to mamma then I would not scold her again. She stopped crying and wiped away her tears and I gave her a hug.

After some time I finished my work and put her in bed. As she was settling in under her comforter I ran my fingers through her short hair and stroked those cotton cheeks.

“Who loves Naya?” I asked.

“Papa” she replied. I wasn’t looking for this answer. She almost always says ‘mamma’ first, so I knew something was making her upset. “And mamma?” I asked, waiting to hear what she would say.
“Mamma scolds Navya” she said, looking at me, but smiling still.

I felt as if I had done the worst possible thing to a child. Scolding her and showing her I was angry, when maybe all she wanted was a little more time and attention and a little more pampering. I remembered how I had stopped myself from picking her up when she had cried, how I had let her handle herself on her own. I felt like I was the worst mom on the planet.

She went off to sleep while I told her a story and stroked her head. I told myself I would never get angry at her again, that I would only always try and talk it out rationally with her. I put my head next to hers and hugged her and went off to sleep too, loaded with guilt and sadness.

Next morning, the clock was furiously ticking away, the glass of milk was still untouched, the bath water was turning cold, her uniform was still waiting to be put on and it was almost time for the school bus to arrive any moment.

She was still sitting on the couch watching the cartoon while I made myself go mad trying to get her ready, scolding and shouting and threatening, then coming back to rational talking and moving on to scolding again……..

What? You thought I would never again scold her is it? Of course not…. I am a parent, remember?

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