We hardly use the word "sensible" on a two-year old child. The two are just not linked. How can a two-year old in any sense be sensible when they stand and dance on high chair during meal, run around the house naked when it is bedtime, spill water onto your carpet, draw pictures on your newly painted walls, and throw into a fist when you are leaving the shopping mall without him/her taking a kiddy ride? ... Well, you know what I mean and you know the list can go longer and longer.
But, there are times when your two-year old is behaving almost like a grown-up, and it is usually right after you have lost control of yourself and let go on him/her, and it almost instantly make you feel like you are the WORST mum ever ... Well, I just had such a moment.
It was Sunday, after church and lunch, we were finally back home at 2pm. I managed to put her to bed 30 minutes later after a quick shower and a bottle. She was expected to take a nap. However, half an hour later, I peeked into her room, she was playing with her soft toys. One hour later, I peeked again and she was still playing.
This has been happening quite often during weekends. The battle to get her to nap has been both frustrating and exhausting.
Hence, when I peeked in the third time and found she was still playing, I dashed into the room. I was angry on my face and in my tone. "Kah Yen, you are supposed to sleep, not play!' I shouted. And I removed all her soft toys from her bed to the carpet. She was stunned initially, and then started to cry when she saw her soft toys been thrown onto the floor. I stared at her with a stern face for a good two minutes. I then gave her only one soft toy - her Baby Pooh, and ordered her to lie down and sleep.
Part of me wants her to sleep because I care for her, the other part of me wishes her to sleep so that I can have my peaceful afternoon, so that I can even take a nap myself. That part of me was selfish. I know.
Five minutes later, I opened her room again just to check she was alright after my outburst. I saw she was lying down quietly on her bed, her eyes are still wide open though, she didn't look lie she was sleepy at all.
She saw me in. She turned her head and said:
"No more playing with soft toys, Okay?"
"Yes, that's right, it's your nap time." My voice was much softer.
"Must lie down and sleep, Okay?" She said again.
"Yes." I stroked her hair, and smiled gently.
"Mummy is happy!" She exclaimed and smiled at me.
I wanted to say something but my throat was blocked. My 2.5-year old, after I have just yelled at her, was lying down quietly so that mummy will not be angry anymore, but be happy. That seems to concern her more than anything.
I remembered all the times when I have yelled at her and been impatient with her, I wonder how much I must have frightened her, how disturbed her little soul must be seeing her causing me to be angry. And how shamefully I am for showing her the ugly side of her mummy - when to her pure and innocent mind, the word "mummy" means "love", and nothing else.
I left the room with a mixed feeling of guilt and warmth.
I will do better next time. I know.