i know what you mean!

2nd year molars

Posted on: February 15, 2012

May’s ready for them. The gums are swollen and she complains more often during teeth brushing. She’s also sporting 2nd year emo right now, I’m not sure if it has anything to do with the irritated gum. Maybe the drama will end when the 4 molars cut through? Who knows. All I know is, on a good day like today, she would cry twice. On bad days, I might lose count. Even May seems to be surprised by this new surge of emotion in her – sometimes she would begin the high pitched cry, and then she would stop, take a commercial break, and then resume crying. Sometimes the combination of crying/screaming makes her cough, so she gives up the former in search of a cure for the later. I hate the sound of a toddler crying. I know what the good books say and all that, but I’m OK with just telling her how things will go down in this household: you cry, I take a time out; you finish up crying, we resume peace talk. That’s my way of coping with her tantrum cries – if she cries for other reasons, I’ll soothe and comfort her.

Lately she expresses her fear of displeasing me and causing me to scold her, so I need to note that and chill out more. Most of the scolding from me comes when she keeps on doing things that I tell her I do not appreciate and have already repeatedly requested for her to stop. Like touching my face. I really hate being touched/rubbed/tugged/pulled etc. etc.. May has been rubbing my arm and hand for ~6 months now, occasionally scratching me if she finds a scab. I try to tolerate it, but after ~5, I’m out. Sometimes she rubs my face, which irritates me to no end, and I have told her so. In general, she listens, but sometimes, she persists. I know EXACTLY what YOU are going through!

Last week we went up Kensington Hills to see a 3rd preschool. Out of the 3 I have toured, this one has the best location. It’s on top of a hill, behind a beautiful church, surrounded by trees and little hiking trails, and 2 other schools. Their play yards are just lovely. On that breezy chilly day, while May and I were in puff coats, the toddlers were out in the water play area – almost all of them, and most were dressed in just 1-2 layers, soaking wet anyway. Some were just in their diaper/diaper cover. Water play is year round.
I have been thinking lately, having dragged May through endless hours at the Children’s Museum. The theme around here for children is this: messy play is crucial in cognitive development of a child. They need to make messes in order to explore and learn for themselves. At first I thought yeah, that’s about right. But these days I’m thinking, maybe not. What I’ve seen happening at the museum was a controlled mess, rather than a chaotic mess. At Habitot, the arts & crafts station get frequently wiped, tidied up, and re organized by the staff, it’s not left up to the kids to completely destroy. There are also rules that the kids must follow when they join in these activities, they don’t really get to do just anything their impulses lead them to. So while all the messages at Habitot tell their visitors that messes are welcomed, messes are natural, kids should have fun making messes and follow their impulses, that’s not really the case. So while it’s idyllic to see preschoolers playing in the dirt and rolling in the water at Kensington preschool, the thoughts that ran through my head were the echos of “Intro to Romomantic Period Literature” – the notion of childhood did not come to the west until fairly recently, during the romantic period. Before that children were thought of as miniture adults and were trained/expected to behave as such. So while experts can expound to us until they turn blue these days of what childhood is all about, what child development is consisted of, how important is “play” etc. etc. – most of which I don’t refute – I’m still thinking in the back of my mind: it’s just as natural as we make it out to be. 1000 years ago experts swore the exact opposite of what we believe now as natural, 1000 more years, another set of belief/knowledge will come into place. So while I’m reading, learning, hearing info that claims to know my child, I just walk on by. I guess I just need to live through my day with her, and then I should be OK.

I’m not against messy play. I’m just tired of hearing about its virtue during the school tour. The head teacher was saying it as if she really believed I have never considered that before and must henceforth revere my enlightenment.


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happenings right now


February 2012
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