19 July 2018, by Tan Li Lin
Parenting can drive you up the wall. I’ve never hit my limit as fast with anyone in my life as I have with Lia. With adults, we can tolerate someone for YEARS through finding really suppressed ways to deal with it – secret eye-rolling, running away to the office loo, turning on that “I’m getting annoyed’ voice.
Unfortunately, it ain’t like that with a kid.
Roll your eyes at them? They’ll roll their eyes back, and make you feel stupid at how stupid you actually looked to them.
Run off to the toilet? They’ll follow you, and stand outside the door nagging non-stop about what they want.
Turn on your special warning voice? They’ll crank it up right back at you.
Now at 22 months, Lia has picked up all the tactics WE USE on HER to manage her, to now MANAGE US BACK.
Welcome to TerrorVille, the town you inevitably pass through on your parenting journey.
At this age, Lia is becoming more independent, and learning what she likes and doesn’t, and what she can do, and makes sure we know that as well.
Some parents say “it gets better as they get older”, some say “it gets worse” and some just say “it’s SSDD” (same s*** different day).
My take is, there’s so much insanity going on with kids that you might as well get in on the act. The sanity you seek is in the insanity *cue Cheshire Cat moment*.
In other words: Have fun and have a good laugh at things.
Here’s my tribute to #parenthood.
You know you’re a parent when:
1. You can out-rightly LAUGH at someone in the face at something stupid they did knowing they won’t bear a grudge against you. This someone is your kid.
2. You listen to your kids argue back and realise you can’t blame them because that’s exactly how we sound as adults defending ourselves.
“Why did you fall Lia?” “BECAUSE… Po Po’s shoe made me fall.”
“How did you get water in your nose Lia?” “BECAUSE… mummy sprayed water on my face.”
Because. But. Just a while more. I SAID NO. I SAID YES. BUT YOU SAID. C’mon lah and even “W** Lao…”.
3. You get owned by their comebacks.
(angrily) “COCO! STOP acting like a KID!”
(angrily) “BUT I AM A KID!!!!!!!!”
4. You spend more time getting ready, packing bags, packing kids into the car, making toilet runs and carrying out demands than ACTUAL time spent on whatever activity we all originally went out for.
5. You’ve got tons of batteries of different sizes and odd numbers lying around the house and just lost track of which are dead and which are new.
6. You’ve got tons of half-eaten snacks lying around the kitchen and don’t care anymore if they’ve become lao hong.
7. You have to hide to secretly enjoy your unhealthy snacks.
8. You finish a meal in 5 minutes – regardless of whether it’s one that costs $5 or $50.
9. You wake up in the middle of the night….. and realise you’ve got an earworm (sometimes known as a brainworm, sticky music, stuck song syndrome is a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person’s mind after it is no longer playing ~ Wikpedia) – nursery rhymes, music class songs, and even “Ding Dong The Witch is Dead” from Wizard of Oz.
10. You spend many, many, many hours of your life cleaning up poop, pee, vomit and food spillage off the floor, washing and re-washing cups and bowls and your own hands, and all you can do is sigh as you watch your life go by.
11. You buy unnecessary stuff with the excuse that your kid would like it – like Little Pony “Squishy Pops”, new iPad Pink Fong games (only so I can entertain myself) and substandard Croissants I queued 10 minutes for only because they were on sale for $1 on the recent ‘Breadtalk Day’.
12. 5 minutes feels like an eternity.
13. You’re being called every 5 seconds and the toilet’s the only place you find some peace.
14. You can get someone to do something stupid and laugh at their expense.
15. You realise you have a hidden vocal range and library of accents you suddenly gain access to to lend inanimate objects.
The list goes on, and I’m sure you have your own too.
In all honesty, having fun with parenting has helped me cope with the craziness that kids bring into our lives. It’s no fun being an adult around them really, the gap just brings too many expectations that only cause more frustration, stress and grief.
Be a kid, get into their world, and enjoy the Dr. Suess moments that children introduce.
They are our daily reminder that there is freedom and joy in innocence.
Lin Tan is an Entrepreneur and an Executive Coach who dedicated herself to others and her career, until family changed all that. Follow her blog on www.ilovechildren.sg and journey with her as ‘life after 30′ opened up a completely new chapter.