Just a child

Posted by ~Summer~ on November 11, 2014
in ,

I have been wanting to write about this for some time but was afraid that I would not be able to control my emotions, and tears, when I do.

You know, when I gave birth to my second baby, it seemed like my firstborn, willingly or not, had to grow up overnight when she became a big sister. At just three years old and starting to understand basic instructions, I wasn't sure if it was too much for her to handle and I thought I was already being very sensitive to her feelings by having a siblings gift exchange, by explaining to her about babies, by trying my best to speak in a calming and soothing voice, by making sure I not only gave the baby hugs and kisses, I also cuddled with my big girl whenever I could.

Then, the truth set in and with all the chores piling up, no extra pair of hands and an additional human being to look after in the house, I started to expect more of my girl and gave her more responsibilities - at times more than what she could handle.

*****

"Go play with meimei in the living room while Mummy makes dinner, okay?"

"You are the big sister, why must you always snatch the toy?"

"Yes, just because you are BIG, you should learn to give in more."

"She is just a baby, she can't understand me. But you can, and I need you to."

"Mummy needs to take a shower. Can you play toys with meimei and look after her?"

"You can't do this and can't do that because your sister is going to learn all these bad habits from you."

"Where are your manners? Do you know you are going to be five years old already?"

"What kind of a big sister are you and what are you teaching your meimei when you do this action?"

"Don't run so fast! Meimei can't catch you and she will fall down!"

"You need to be a role model, you know that?"

"This is for babies, not for you. You need to grow up and be more sensible."

"If you are naughty, then she will be naughty. But if you are good, she will be good too."

"How can you eat slower than a one-year-old baby? And I thought you are the bigger child?"

"I told you to look after her while I am busy, didn't I? How can you let her get hurt???"

"Nothing belongs solely to you anymore. From now on, you have to share everything with meimei."

"I need to make meimei sleep first before I can read to you, okay?"

"Do you really love your sister? Because you are not really showing that you care for her." 

"Let meimei go first and you go second, can?"

"Can you get a pair of socks for meimei and wear her shoes for her?"

"Why didn't you hold her hand when you cross the road?"

"Why didn't you give meimei a sweet before you ate one up?" 

"If she gets lost, then it is your fault."

"If this is how you are going to behave, nobody will like you anymore."

Go on, I can give you an endless list of things that I have said to this darling girl of mine and even if I said them out of frustration and fatigue at times, the truth is I can't take back my stinging words even if I want to.

******

I can't tell you how many times my heart ached and how many times I felt guilty when I went to bed at night. I would always console myself that tomorrow would be a brand new day and I would be able to hold it together better. Furthermore, the best thing about kids at this young age is that they forgive and forget easily and do not hold grudges at all - which makes it even easier for me to fall into the vicious cycle. Time and again, after a few days, I would start saying things that sound most unfair and yet, I couldn't help it at that moment in time. Sometimes, I just wish to slap myself after.

Is this how things go for other mums with more than one kid or am I doing something very wrong as a mum of two? 

Good or bad news, I think the hubby does the same too which makes things even more unjust for my big girl at times, if I must say so. Nowadays, whenever I realise that we are hurling more responsibilities and tasks to Angel and expecting more of her simply because of her age, I tell myself to let loose a little and remember that

she is still just a child.

A child who needs my love no less, a child who needs to slowly learn to give love, a child who is so awesome in so many ways already, a child who used to have all the time in the world with me before someone robbed her of that luxury, a child whom I love just so, so, so dearly.

And I need to show it to her just how much she matters in my heart.

*****

P.S.: Dear Angel, for all the times I scolded you, please know you have been the most awesome big sister and Ariel is just so blessed to have you in her life. I can't thank my lucky stars enough as a mum and it warms my heart to see the sisterly love you have for each other. That is the most rewarding part of being a stay-at-home mum and it is you who made this journey such a fulfilling and happy one. I love you and you will always have a most special place in my heart.

9 comments:

  1. I am guilty too. And perhaps even worst since Ayra is only 3 and I am expecting her to behave like a big kid.

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    1. Clauda, I think we all are guilty at some point or another. It's like that when the second one comes along, isn't it? I expect Angel to behave like a big, sensible and wise kid at times too but sometimes it just hits me that she just wants my love and attention like meimei does. Guess we just gotta learn to be more sensitive to the firstborn! You will do fine as a mum of two lovelies!

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  2. Hi Summer, not to worry... you are not alone. This happened to me with my both son also. And all unfair words that you said to your daughter sounds familiar because i have said the same thing to my eldest son too and i really felt bad and guilty after that. And the worst is when he answer me back "You all not fair to me!" Nowaday, he choose not to hear me and totally ignore me, which sometimes make me even more angry. What we can do is to show him more love and explain to him the reason and spent some one to one time with him...such as bring him out alone without the Didi so he wouldn't feel left out and we do pay attention at him too. Of course, we are not a perfect parent and we will repeat all the same hurting words again and again. And me, as an eldest child among my siblings, my parent use to said to me the same thing last time. You are right, i have to keep in my mind that he still a kids. So..."Jia you!"

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    1. Thank you, whoever you are, for telling me that I am not the only guilty one. It's nice to be able to bring the big one out without the baby, right? I'm trying to do more of that too even though it might happen really once in a blue moon. I was the younger of the two in my family so I really don't remember my mum saying all these to me, which makes me feel bad that the words can come out of my mouth like that. I try to bite my lip sometimes and think twice before I saying anything that might come across as biased or hurting. Yes, let's all jia you together! =)

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  3. Sob sob sob tissue tissue blow nose blow nose. I can identify, Summer! Our poor little ones had to grow up overnight since the intro of their younger siblings. I shared this with my mum too and she says that they prob won't remember when they're older! I'm the oldest child and you know what? I really don't remember any of that happening!

    Well, knowing the problem is already half the battle won, so you are already more conscious about choosing your words. Focus on the good things, Summer, having a sister is a wonderful thing and your girls will have find memories of growing up together!!!

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    1. Haha I was not the eldest so I don't know! I do remember we both got punished whenever a fight happened, regardless who started it. Thanks for assuring me that they won't remember it! Lol. But it still does hurt when I see her sulking or walking away from me when I scolded her for not doing what, to me, a big sister should. There are many things I don't think she can understand or put into practice at 5 years old but I am expecting her to, and that's the guilty part.

      Anyway, thanks for the encouragement! I do think of all the positive stuff and it warms my heart to see that they have a sister to hug, kiss and cuddle every day and night! It is such a wonderful and amazing gift and I am just glad to be here, inside their memories of growing up together. =)

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  4. You're not alone! I feel the same was too with my first boy and he's only 4 :'(... Many many times I've also felt real guilty about shoving so much to him too without realising he's just a child who needs his mama too, just like didi. I really really can understand your guilt.

    And I'm all the more thankful because he is such a sensible and responsible older brother to his didi too. Watching them play together and laughing is the best thing ever!

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    1. Thanks Qiu Xian! You are right about 'shoving so much'! I do that too especially when I am overwhelmed by chores and need a second pair of hands, so my big girl by default becomes that pair of hands. I have to say the good thing is she seems to be growing up as a loving and sensible big sister too, sometimes more mature than I think she should be for her age and I wonder if I indirectly caused that. Anyway, I really need to remind myself that she is still very much a small child and I need to balance out the love I give to them. And yes, watching them play, bond, laugh and do silly things is like one of the best things about being a mum!

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  5. OMG I actually teared on the train home while reading your post.. #2 girl popping soon and been having a constant worry about 'shortchanging' #1 has her environment will change from being the main princess to a sister Who got to share n 'be a role model'.... really Hope She will not feel the negativity if any.... :(

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