Because we bring it with us everywhere we go, we sometimes get into trouble. Other babies and toddlers will try to snatch it away from Kah Yen!
The first time, while we were sitting at the parents corner during a church service, Kah Yen was playing on the floor with paper and crayon, baby pooh was sitting inside the stroller. Sitting behind us was another family with a girl a few months older than Kah Yen, she was playing with something else initially but suddenly saw Ah Pooh and came forward to take it. It happened so sudden I did not know how to react. I reckon it was okay to let her hug it for a while since Kah Yen was playing with crayon anyway, and also it seems inappropriate for me to snatch it away from her. So I let her have it and the next I knew, Kah Yen was looking at her and was full of tears! She was a mild girl, not the type that will walk right to the girl and take Ah Pooh back herself, but she was certainly very hurt and very sad that somebody was trying to take her beloved Ah Pooh away. Seeing her cry, I turned to the girl, tried to gentlely talk to her and take Ah Pooh back. She resisted but thanksfully her mum stepped in.
That instance taught me something - that I should stand up for Kah Yen and protect what's important to her now, so that she knows her rights and she will stand firm for herself when she grows up. Baby Pooh is important to her, and nobody has the right to take it away from her. It is one thing to always encourage her to share with others, it is entirely another matter to force her to give up her things or her own rights. Daddy made the same mistake too. Daddy was carrying Kah Yen around in a company family day, while he was talking to his colleague, her one year old son was trying to grab Ah Pooh from Kah Yen's hands. Trying to be friendly, Daddy told Kah Yen to share Ah Pooh with the baby "Kah Yen, give it to baby, give it to him", of course Kah Yen didn't want to. So it was an embarrassing moment, luckily the mum managed to distract the baby with something else.
Both of us now learnt to stand by Kah Yen side when it comes to Ah Pooh. Similar incidents happened again at playground, when we were shopping in Ikea or just walking around the neighborhood, toddlers will come forward and try to snatch Ah Pooh and I now learnt to hold it before they can reach, and calmly and firmly I will tell them "Oh Sorry but you can't have that. It is Kah Yen's Ah Pooh". In Ikea the boy threw himself onto the floor and screamed and kicked right in the middle of the walkway, but too bad I will have to leave the tantrum to his mum to manage.
By learning to say "No, it is Kah Yen's Ah Pooh." now, we are also preparing ourselves to teach Kah Yen to stand up for herself later when she goes to school, to be able to say "No, you can't have that, it is my toy." or "No, I am playing with this right now, you will have to wait till I finish" to other kids, to be honest about her feelings and direct in expessing them, when she is not comfortable with a certain situation. But of course, while teaching her to be assertive, we should also remind her it is not the same as aggressiveness and being sensitive to others is also equally important.
I was not taught to be assertive myself when I grew up. I felt awfully guilty whenever I have to say no to other people, and I often found myself given in to others. It is yet another thing for me to learn as a mother, to "grow up with Kah Yen".