Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Over toilet rolls(?!)

It was very apt that in the past few Kindermusik sessions, we’ve been learning to clean/dust the house along to one of Rosabelle’s favourite songs in the CD – I got her a set of kids’ household cleaning items some time back in the series of toys from my online splurge. I know, teaching her to aspire to be a 小时工 isn’t the loftiest of aspirations, but I say get them started on housework young – before they become older and realize it’s a chore to help out around the house!

So these days, she likes to grab a brush, a broom, a mop, or all items at once, and go around the house pretending to ‘dust, dust, dust’ as she sings the song.
I also got her a concrete mixer set with nuts and bolts, as well as screws, that she can work on with the toy screwdrivers that came with it, as she seems to like the concrete mixer amongst all construction vehicles, pointing them out to me as we go along the road. So she’s been using the screwdriver a lot as well, pretending to poke it into door hinges, her high chair, her stool…

I love it, and really gush, when she does such pretend-play, but of late, at least for two days in a row, she was making me really angry, till I shouted at her to the point when my voice threatened to break. I was a parade commander in secondary school days, so I have a booming voice that can scare, but I really take my hat off her for not being scared (or maybe I use this tactic too much, sigh!).

The other night, she refused to cooperate when we were brushing teeth, grabbing at things around the sink area, using her toothbrush to place on the floor/against the sink, and basically doing anything and everything except putting the toothbrush into her mouth to brush. So I sent her out of the bathroom and slammed the door shut until she knocked on it. As I proceeded to brush her teeth, I was telling her off and still feeling quite irritated.

Maybe she was pushing the limits, but when she was done, she was supposed to go off to get her diaper/pyjamas changed, and instead ran to the room to open her cupboard and pull out her clothes onto the floor. I literally screamed at her (till Wayne had to come out from using his computer to ask me to stop the screaming) – Nainai stood behind me and told me gently that I must really tell her off as it wasn’t the first time she was doing this. I made her put the clothes back herself (of course it was messy) but made her realize how troublesome it was to place things back nicely. It seemed to work as she has not repeated this naughty act since.

Yesterday, she again made me go into a mad woman’s rage. Firstly, she again went into her bad habit of putting a honeydew in her mouth and then refusing to chew on it. We left the house for her evening walk with one soft piece of honeydew in her mouth, and when we walked downstairs and out the lobby, she still had that in her mouth, so I asked her to chew before we continued walking, but she simply refused to. So I walked into the lobby again, and she followed slowly behind. We kept up with this walking in and out for about two more rounds before I lost my patience and decided to send her up back to Nainai, with the piece of fruit still in her mouth. Nainai was washing her hair, so I was banging angrily at the door for awhile before she finally opened it. I just left the box of fruit and water bottle at the shoe sofa and told Nainai to make sure she eats it before she can play with anything.

After that, I left to go out for a walk alone to let off steam. It might not seem like a big issue, but I guess it’s all cumulative and I needed that alone time where I got myself a yam-flavored bubble tea and enjoyed some spicy dried cuttlefish snack as I walked around the small little shops within our yard area. When I got home half an hour later, she was playing and still in her going-out clothes – Nainai had made juice for her instead and probably thought I would go back to fetch her out for a walk.

As I was going to change her into her eating clothes, I was considerably less angry already and prepared her to pee on the toilet bowl when she started pulling at the toilet paper. We always tell her not to, and there were a few occasions when I would ask her to try and roll it back herself, letting her know how troublesome it is. However, maybe she was really trying to test my patience and as I dared her to, she went on to unroll almost the whole roll. I really lost it, and told her not to get off the toilet bowl until she rolled everything back.

With that, I slammed the toilet door shut and went about doing my own thing for the next two minutes. All was calm until she started crying for me, and when Nainai wanted to go in, I stopped her and let her cry for another half a minute before I went in, to see her cowering on all fours on the toilet seat. She had probably tried to get down herself, and like we always teach her to, to always get down from high levels with her buttocks facing out and legs down first. She was a good girl in that sense, remembering such safety rules even under such conditions, but obviously she got stuck as the toilet bowl had a huge gap in the middle where she could not lay her leg/foot, so she cried as she told me’玥玥下不去了...'. I screamed at her and made her promise to not unroll the toilet paper again before helping her down. I then made her stand barefooted, with no pants on, beside me as I went on to roll the whole roll of paper back.

When I was done, I sent her out for Nainai to get her changed, and she immediately went to get a piece of tissue paper first to wipe her tears/snot. I saw that the floor was wet, so figured she must have stepped into the toilet bowl, so angrily went out to pull at her foot and wipe under it, causing her to lose her balance and sit hard on the floor, crying again.

I was seriously teeming with anger at that time, over yes, silly toilet paper, and as Nainai said, it was really quite dangerous to just leave her alone in the toilet as she could have fallen from the toilet bowl whilst climbing. In retrospect, yes, but at that point, I probably wanted as much alone time as she did, to make sure I did not hit her or say anything hurtful.

After that, I went into the room and did my own thing as Nainai played with and prepared her dinner. When she came and knocked on the door much later, wanting to give me a piece torn off from her craft, I refused to take it and ignored her, making her cry again.

When she was eating dinner well later, I decided it was enough punishment/ignoring, and I was taking way too long to let off steam, and after explaining to her why I was angry, gave big hugs and kisses to make up for it. Sigh… I really hope that I don’t have to always scream at her to make her do/not do things. She does not seem scared (crying only when she was really stuck on the toilet bowl – thank goodness she did not try to tumble down herself or I will have that on my conscience forever!) and like when I was walking home angrily over the unchewed fruit, she just hung on behind – even when she saw me in the lift and was unable to open the heavy access door to come in, she did not falter/cry and just kept trying to open it, looking at me from afar but not calling out to me, for help.

I’ve got a super-resilient girl on my hand – thick-skinned, not sure if that’s a good, or a bad, thing…

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