In spite of the exhaustion due to the extended weekend / CNY, we managed to stick to the pre-bedtime routine of reading and chit-chatting.
We've been reading this super duper thick book for the past two weeks now!
It's so convenient lol. I don't have to ask her to sneak into the study room to pick two books from the shelf while Meimei is trying to sleep.
She roughly knows what stories are in the book and would tell me which ones she wants to be read.
Although she has been picking "Rapunzel" almost every night for the past 2 weeks. 😂
And she could flip to the exact page, and tell the story already. She would read the lines of the Witch, the Prince and Rapunzel very animatedly.
Last night, she requested for The Little Mermaid.
We had a chat after I finished reading the story. She had so many questions!
"Why the witch say she cannot go back to her father's castle? Why huh?"
"Why she cannot talk huh?"
"Why the Prince marry someone else huh?"
How do I explain the concept of "there's no free lunch" and "unrequited love" to a 3 year old?
I decided to be "factual" about it, and went back to highlight the key conditions.
In order to be with the Prince ➡ The Little Mermaid needs Legs ➡ To get Legs, the Witch wants her Voice ➡ Once she drinks the potion she can't go back to the sea because, no more Tail ➡ No more Tail, No more Voice, No more Prince, so she can only dissolve
Sometimes you have to give up something in exchange for something else. It's your choice, whether the thing you are giving up on is more or less important than the thing you are exchanging it for.
And sometimes just because you love someone, doesn't mean he will love you back the same way.
So the mermaid wants legs and she has to give up her voice. She loves the Prince but she can't tell him she is the one who saved him. So he doesn't know and he loves someone else.
The little boss listened to my explanation intently, occasionally stopping me to ask more questions.
In the end, she concluded, a little too gleefully, "So the Prince says Bye~! Sorry I don't love you! I'm marrying someone else!"
I asked her what she thought the little mermaid could have done to tell the Prince she loved him.
She started talking to me without projecting her voice, mouthing the words instead. 😂🤣
"I love you Mummy, very much," She mouthed.
It took me two guesses.
It became something fun for her. She started switching the words around and making me guess what she was saying.
"Mummy I love you very much."
"I love you Mummy."
"I love you very much Mummy."
"What if the Prince cannot lip-read?" I asked her.
And I left it at that.
It's not up to me to judge or conclude for her whether the little mermaid was being brave or stupid.
As her mother, though, it's very tempting to tell her it's the most naive and stupid thing to do. At least learn how to write before you go all out to see him without your voice? 😂😂
But I guess it's up to her to figure it out herself, one day, some day.
Parenting is tough.
Often, I'm not sure what the right thing to do or say is.
Sometimes, I go with my gut.
Sometimes, I think to myself, what would I have preferred my dad or mom to do, in the same situation?
Sometimes I read about self-entitled brats and rude kids, and wonder, what if Clarissa and Allie turn out this way?
What if there are only two options – be the bully or be bullied?
We can only try our best.
A good environment, good education, quality time, respect, love, and tough love.
Yet there will always be dilemmas, even in the seemingly small things.
For example, Clarissa has been rather obsessed with being the Number 1 to finish her meals. She gets upset when she sees any of us finishing our food ahead of her.
Our helper would tell her she still has food in the kitchen, and I'd deliberately match her pace and leave a spoonful of food on my plate until she finishes hers.
Most of the time we finish faster than her unless it's fried rice or chicken rice. 😂
And we do this to avoid her getting upset and taking even longer to finish her meal.
I don't think it's the right thing to do 😂 but I'm not sure how to correct it.
When we were in Pontian, all the mums were feeding their toddlers because there weren't any high chairs or stools for the kids.
I was feeding the little boss while she ate and checked the progress of her younger cousins.
She was dismayed when she saw that one of the Didis finished his lunch ahead of her.
"Didi is number one!" She said to me, looking like she was about to cry. 😂
At that point I had a few response options: A) Never mind you try harder and be number one next time, B) You finish your food quickly NOW, C) Didi has more food in the kitchen 😂..
In the end, I said to her, sounding as neutral yet chirpy as I could, "Then you be Number 2! It's ok! We still love you!"
Surprisingly she was ok with it, didn't throw tantrums and simply continued eating.
This kind of dilemma would always be present. The struggle between wanting your kid to work hard, and yet telling her it's ok even if she's not the best of the best.
Same goes with this little little one.
To make her finish her milk.. or not?
We've somewhat figured out her nap and sleep patterns, but have yet to be able to predict her milk strikes.
Sometimes she finishes everything, sometimes she fights with us, when we try to get her to finish that last 10ml.. or 60ml.
Today, with 60ml of milk left, she pushed the bottle away with both hands and used the handkerchief to cover her mouth. All on her own. 😂
Just 15 minutes ago she was blowing raspberries and spit bubbles, and swallowing her saliva? Obviously hungry?
When I went into the room to "scold" her, she took off the handkerchief and smiled at me instead.
We tried to feed her again but she only kept pushing the teat around, while SMILING. 😒
So we gave up and let her sleep instead. She was asleep in 5 minutes.
Sigh. What do we do with her? 😅😂