nights when there are just the 2 of us…
Posted June 21, 2011on:
After tonight’s dinner, I set May loose to do her own things while I poured over the health insurance application for May. Because we are moving to California, obtaining medical insurance for a minor outside of the open enrolment period requires paper submission and proof of CA residence.
May was doing ok for a bit, and then the neighbor’s dog loud barking got her scared so she climbed up to me. After a while, she asked if I could play with her. But with megablocks strewn all over the floor, there was no space for us to play puzzles as requested, so I sent her to clean up the megablocks in order for us to play puzzles. It was quite frustrating, as May kept on running over there for a few minutes, came back with a bunch of lego pieces in hand, then asked me to do something with her or for her, ignoring my previous request.
1 hour later, and we still made no progress at all. By this time May was growing frustrated and cried tearfully “I can’t do it, I can’t, I can’t.” I said “yes you can, I know you can, just pick up the pieces one by one and put them in, otherwise I’ll be upset that you don’t listen to me.”
May:I listen to you mommy, I should not make mommy upset… (sobbing)
I was preoccupied with the application and did not give her my full attention, so I just thought “what’s with this child? is she running low on battery already??” Anyhow, I was getting impatient myself, so I rushed her by saying,
“Then hurry up and put those lego pieces away right now!”
May was a sobbing mess, putting the lego pieces into the bag disconsolately while saying to herself between hiccups and sobs,
“Pocoyo is here with me, Pocoyo will watch over me and make things OK so that I’m not afraid of anything…”
That got my full attention, finally. I went over to her and asked,
“are you afraid of sitting here alone?”
“is that why you were not able to clean up?”
“would you like me to sit here next to you while you clean up?”
“OK I’ll sit here with you. Next time if you are afraid, come to me and say ‘mommy I’m afraid of doing this alone, can you come with me?’ instead of saying ‘i can’t do it’ OK?
“because if you just say you can’t, then I don’t know that you are afraid, you need to tell me when you are afraid…”
Then I suddenly remember May saying to me “mommy I’m afraid of this teddy bear! Mommy I’m afraid of falling off the slide, come help me please! mommy I’m afraid of lego!” And I was saying “May, I know you want my attention so I can play with you, but I won’t come until all the lego pieces are put away!” She did tell me she was afraid.
“May, next time if you want me to come with you because you are afraid, say ‘mommy come with me, I’m afraid of being by myself’ ok?
And so I sat next to her, and she happily cleaned up, while chirping:
“mommy is with May now, May has nothing to be afraid of, there is nothing that can scare May now…”
Poor kid. Our house is pretty sad and lonely at night when there are only 2 of us. When Son is around, May is much more comfortable. The lighting set up doesn’t help, though I have been adding more and more lights to make things brighter and warmer. I think the original owner put up one crap piece of a chandelier wannabe, which is a health hazard for us if we run into it (my forehead had met it more than 4 times) and provides really crappy lighting all around.
After May cleaned up, I took her upstairs for her bath and she continued to cheerfully chirped about random things. I told her,
“When we get to our new house, there will be Auntie Thien who stays with us, so that our house will be livelier on nights like this.”
May likes that idea a lot.