The thought that a mother has to be creative ran through my mind one morning as I was requesting my daughter to get ready for school. No ordinary words and expressions can get her attention. She is extraordinarily fussy about her dressing. I heard from my sister-in-law that boys are not very particular about what their mothers choose for them to wear. I like the exercise of matching colours – which leggings and dress would go together and so on. But sometimes, it gets so tiring, especially when you know that there isn’t much time. For example, this morning, she ran into fury just because I made her wear a full-sleeved shirt. While we are cold and wrap ourselves into winter jackets and socks, she does not even want to wear a full-sleeved cotton shirt. However, this morning, I was determined to hold my authority and despite her tantrum and tears, I made her put it on.
Another thing is her choice with shoes. She will go for any high-heeled sandals that make the ‘tok tok’ sound on the floor. My husband accuses me that I have given in to her demand and bought this kind of slipper. I am now contemplating on hiding them. Do children really have reasons in doing what they do? What is going on in their mind? From the things they pick up and from their capability of detailed observation, it seems true that their brain is blank and ready to be filled up with anything they see. I am particularly intrigued by their degree of curiosity and energy (I also think that the story that a man challenging to keep up with a child in being active the whole day finally declared defeat is true).
Back to being creative, I have to use words such as a spider is hanging from the ceiling, or a cute puppy wants to use her toilet. Or I must entice her by promising to take her to the park, to her cousin’s house, or to buy her a cup cake (I do make sure that I keep my promise). Last weekend, it was just the two of us at home. We were drying our clothes outside and suddenly a toddler on the first floor verandah in the building we stay spilled potato crackers and she picked up one piece and it was in her mouth in lightning speed. I promised to take her to the shop to buy it if she didn’t eat that. She agreed. But as I went inside the house to get my purse, she latched the door from outside and ate up all the spilled chips. Looking at this, children’s brain certainly can make some judgment.
I must confess that I sometime feel like running away – just so that I will have some quiet moment. But I tell you, as I look at her innocent, peaceful face lying next to me, there is nothing more I want in the world. That is the gift motherhood holds.