Tuesday, 13 March 2012

It All Started With The Ball

Bang! Bang bang bang bang! Yes I didn’t hear wrongly. It is Kah Yen’s bowl falling onto the floor. I was stunned by the sharp noises when the bowl hit the floor, made a few turns, rolled forward, and stopped.

Is it an accident? That she accidentally wiped it off from the high chair, or she lost grip because it is too big and heavy for her? No. She threw it off the high chair. I saw it happen right in front of my own eyes.

It all started with the ball.

Before we talk about the ball, let me share with you why I am so shocked. You may think it is pretty normal for a toddle to throw things off the high chair, especially when they are fussy during mealtime. No not for Kah Yen. It has surprised me too to realize that she will never throw things. Like most parents, we often place some small toys or household items on the high chair for her to play while feeding her. She will never throw any of them to the floor even if she is bored with it. She will insist on passing them to Mama. Sometimes I will tell her to put on the table (I often feed her near our dining table) and she understood that instruction pretty fast.

It is the same when she is not on the high chair. If she is holding something and she doesn’t want it anymore, she will bend down slowly and put the thing on the floor, then proceed to play with other things. This is even before she learns to walk. She also constantly picks up tiny things from the floor when she started crawling and walking.

I told my husband about my observations and he said, “Because she is a Singaporean, she knows she cannot litter.” Hmm I never thought of that.

Back to the ball, yesterday after I almost finished feeding her. I saw her almost full and is losing interest in eating, so I introduced the “Playing Ball” game to her. I throw the ball to her high chair, and asked her to throw it back to me. She picked up pretty fast. She actually throws using the strength from her wrists. We played a few rounds and she liked it very much.

Then it happened. She just throws the bowl in front of me, exactly the same way she throws the ball. And she is all giggling and laughing.

"Mama, let's play"

I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. I picked up the bowl, told her firmly “ No Kah Yen. That’s not a ball. You only throw a ball, you don’t throw anything else.” I am hoping she understands it.

What happened to all the “Begin with the end in Mind.” & “Don’t train to un-train” principles? I thought I have stuck them in my mind pretty well but apparently they have gone for a one-way holiday. They are a few of the most important principles shared in the book “Babywise”. Essentially, it says, be mindful of what you introduce or teach your baby, so that you don’t have to correct them in the future. If you don’t want them to have the habit of playing ipad during mealtime, never ever introduce to them. Babies will be confused why last week they can play now they can’t. Don’t introduce TV to your babies during mealtime, if you don’t want yourself nagging for the rest of their growing-up years. Prevention is better than correction when it comes to training a toddler. Correction at this tender age is also difficult because toddlers do not understand the concept of right or wrong yet, and they also do not understand the reason or logic you try to explain to them.

In my case, throwing the ball off the high chair is the beginning of all evil.

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