I like to be positive, think positive and act positive when with Lolo. I am criticized for trying to bring her up with distorted realities – meaning painting only about the “good things” around her. Well, she is just three – won’t she imbibe the realities as she grows up? Right now, I feel she needs to feel special and see special.
But at three, she knows the difference between “good” and “bad”.
Last Sunday morning, past 8:00 a.m. we were still in bed, the only morning I get to laze with her in bed now that schools have begun, and so also my schedule. Lolo is an early riser; irrespective of what time she goes to bed, she is up before 7:00 a.m. The mornings we get to gaze the ceiling with our funny conversations, she knows I am off from work…and she is most happy (“Mummy, opis ma dhe la?)
So, last Sunday morning.
She asked for Papa’s phone to fiddle YouTube, an art she has grown expert in. We fussed over the subject of interest. In a moment of protest against her adamancy, we exchanged:
Mama: Lolo good girl mang-ge kala (Lolo is not a good girl).
Lolo: Mang gen che ne (Let me be).
Mama: Lolo bad girl geka la (Lolo is a bad girl).
The next thing was the splash of a hard slap across my face, with “Ya ne la…bad girl ge ne la. (Here it is, if I am a bad girl).”
To her, “bad” literally meant the ferocious side of her, which of course is not often unless ignited. Obviously, she doesn›t like to be rated anything below “good”, like she says “I am Moo-yap (I am pretty)” if we tease her otherwise.
Often, we hold long discussions within our parents› forum how best to deal with our children. We share experiences and stories, some are worthy enough to be references. Among many, we generally agree that instilling the positive energy in your child(ren) and valuing their self esteems are core motivations as they grow up to face the competitive world.
Thus, says my niece Lilly when I shared the incident with her, “We better be careful with the words we speak to Lolo.”
Certainly. I learnt the hard way.