Monday, 9 May 2005

The worries of parenting

Sixth day into the potting training business and I have to say the 7-day programme didn't work. Perhaps Zak is too young or just too stubborn to run to the potty to do a wee-wee. I must say though that he poohs in the potty although I have to watch the signs of him that he's about to do it. In a way, he's learned to sit in the potty for over 30 minutes without complaint (but with loads of stories and games).

This morning, he wanted to sit on it with daddy only. But daddy is away! Despite what the book advised, I gave up and put on him a nappy before we went to K's parents for dinner. Honestly I'm not really bothered if he still uses nappies. He's 2 and a half and wees every hour! Weeing in his pants from time to time is not just 'accident' to me, it's total irritation. I know because I always go to the toilet myself because I drink liters of water everyday. And even to me, if only It's not unhealthy to refrain myself from going to the toilet when the need arises, I would only go when i'm really really bursting. How much more with Zak? He loves his books and his cars and i'm sure there are times that he doesn't want to be disturbed even by his own bladder.

But I can't just give up. I'm sure K won't mind if I do but somehow, his parents' praises about how Zak is doing well with the potty unnerve me. I have told them several times this week that I haven't heard of the concept of potty training a 2-year-old in Surigao and that children there just ask for it when they want to. They appeared to be understanding but K's mum would always say that well, we don't want Zak to be different from other children. It would be better if he's potty trained when he goes to nursery so he won't be picked on. I mean, are there already 2-year-old bullies here?

This is something like an unspoken and undeclared pressure on my part. Added to this is because Zak sleeps in our bedroom. We attached his bed to ours because I just can't bear the thought of him sleeping alone in his room. When he was a baby, my parents-in-law bought a cot for him and because I was breastfeeding him, he would just end up sleeping in our bed--which was really frowned upon by my mum-in-law. Although she's very nice and encouraging about it, I just couldn't let my baby sleep in his own room!

After nine months in my womb, i just can't bear the thought of him being away from my sight and touch for long. And why should I be in a hurry to detach myself from him? My idea of parenting is different from western parents but it doesn't mean that I'm raising a dependent child. Making a child sleep on his own outside the parent's bedroom at a very early age or having him potty trained before he's 3 doesn't make him independent and disciplined. To me, it affects the child psychologically in a way that he learns from an early age that this world is lonely and loveless and that his parents are only there when he has nightmares and not when he wants the all-night comfort of a cuddle. It's like if mummy can't sleep without daddy's cuddle, how can he sleep comfortably without mummy's reassuring presence? A cuddly teddy bear cannot substitute a parent's presence.

I am just glad that K understand me in all this and as i keep on telling him, if we want to do things together as family during the day, why not sleep together as family in the night now that he's still a child? When he grows up, he would want a life of his own, his privacy, and choose his own comforts. Why not make most of this nurturing years of his life and spend it with him and reassure him that every second of the day, whatever mood he's in, we are there for him and that we do things together because we're a family.


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