Last night Nuggie was hungry… she stood beside me in the kitchen… Mummy is the food done, are you still burning(her own lingo for cooking) the food, are you putting it in my plate, won’t you put it in my plate? I answer and she goes back and returns after few seconds and she repeats the questions again.
Finally it was ready; I dished out the food, waited for it to cool down a little before I gave them, then I left them to tidy up the kitchen. They finished and she came back for extra helping “It’s hot, be careful” I warned. She nodded distractedly as she took the plate from me.I turned and the next thing I heard was a loud sound behind me… I turned only to discover the plate had slipped from her hand and the food was on the floor.
I had a very exhausting day and I was standing on the last bit of energy I could summon to finish up for the night and crash hopefully on the bed (at least for some hours before I handle water and pee duties at night) so anything extra was not welcomed.
In the few seconds it took my eyes to travel down to the plate and then to her face I thought of the extra energy it will require; parking the food off the floor, mopping, and washing the mop, what if she had burned herself? The postponed sleep and the precious minutes snatched from my jealously guarded sleep/rest time.
Why was she careless in the first place? Her punishment, no more food, that should teach her to be careful with whatever she is doing, I thought and then raised my hand to deliver my verdict while she stood there waiting for me to react.
Just as I lifted my hand, pointing towards the sitting room to yell “be gone Minion!” (Just kidding, not exactly like that but more of a harried looking woman’s glare) I heard… do you make mistakes? My hand paused in mid-air, I turned, dished a new plate of food for her without uttering a whimper and she went her merry way.
While I tidied up, I reflected on the incident again… I realized I have to be careful in my bid to bring up ‘perfect’ children that I do not sabotage (them) myself… what was I trying to teach by stopping her from eating because she made a mistake and spilled her food… be perfect always, there is no room for error (fat chance of that even happening in fairy tale land)?
That can even foster a stagnated adult (never taking a step forward because you want to make sure you have polished all real and perceived blemish)
Parents (especially fathers) are the first God a child experiences and our relationship with them colors how they see God… it requires the grace of God for me to believe God has really forgiven and forgotten my sins,(it’s a wrong thought, but it started somewhere and I am growing out of it)…shouldn’t the struggle with that wrong mindset end with me, rather than teach them to my children by hanging mistakes over their heads?
Yes, there are mistakes and repercussions but that is not the end of life either.
I thank God I am learning everyday…
You can only give what you have… what traits do you have that you do not want to see an extension in your children? It’s never too early or too late…
What are you doing about it before they arrive?
What are you doing about it now they are here?