I spoil my child —seriously, I do. Now, sue me.
Now I do not advocate that you go against the law; rather, I’d like to think I am doing my best to work with what little resources I already have just so I can peaceably raise a child who is already wonderful to start with (aren’t all kids angels, to start with?), without sacrificing happiness and good intentions.
Rule #1: If it doesn’t work, don’t push it.
It’s nearing 11:00 PM and Gabby is far from feeling sleepy. I tried luring her to bed with nursery rhymes but instead she’s shrieking and swaying to Psy’s Oppa Gangnam Style. She didn’t ingest anything carbonated, caffeinated or drug-laced; it’s boundless energy that hasn’t dipped since 5:00 AM of the same day. With dishes waiting in the sink, an unfinished web mock-up waiting to be integrated into an e-commerce site and a continuous lack of sleep in a span of three or five days, I closed my eyes and counted to ten. Instead of scolding her, I bit my tongue, handed her her stuffed little Teddy to hug while dancing and offered her about three warm spoonfuls of easily digestible cereal. At the end of the chorus she said, “Enough” then plopped herself on her side of the bed, still giggling. When I handed her her Dinosaur toothbrush, she was already between sleepiness and wakefulness.
LESSON LEARNED: I was no longer concerned about going beyond her scheduled bedtime; what’s important is being sensitive to and respectful of what she wants (as long as it’s not harmful to her) as much as being aware of her needs.
Rule #2: Sweet doesn’t always spell H-A-R-M-F-U-L
My daughter doesn’t like chocolates overmuch; but she loves gummy worms and Skittles. I don’t deprive her of sweets in a way that when other parents may have shouted “Stop it!”, I proceed to offer her one more tiny handful. Most times, she indulges but sometimes, she just doesn’t want to touch the stuff —although she picks up a small packet from a grocery aisle and hugs it till we reach the cashier section.
LESSON LEARNED: As long as she brushes and gargles her teeth after every sweet treat, I see no harm in offering her a tiny portion. But when I want to indulge myself, I hide behind my work table and nibble on jelly beans and Skittles.
Rule #3: Stop complaining, it’s Barney Country
There are days when Barney really gets to me…but some kids can’t seem to get enough of the purple dinosaur! Respectful of my daughter’s TV choices, the TV is eternally stuck on Barney channel that I wouldn’t be very worried in case the remote disappears (I would console myself into thinking it’s lost somewhere in the tree house amongst Baby Bop’s toys).
LESSON LEARNED: Buy another set, or do something else while the Boss is entranced by the moppet.
What are the top three things your child has done (or hasn’t done!) to change your life forever?