What I do when my kid is not looking
We all do things when our kids are not looking, things that would totally contradict everything we have told them! Read on to find out what this Mummy has been sneaky about.
If my kid knew half the things I did when she’s not looking, she would probably never ever take me seriously. Our kids think they are so sneaky getting away with some of the things they do. Little do they know us Mums are the real sneak masters.
These are some of the top secret deeds that I will take with me to my grave.
My daughter has inherited my love for chocolate. If she had her way, she would have chocalate for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I have been trying to eliminate chocolates from the home altogether ever since she learnt how to open the refrigerator – at least those within her reach. As any good mother does, I put organic snacks on the dining table to encourage her to eat healthy.
And when she’s sleeping, I open my topmost kitchen cupboard, take out my favourite Snickers and proceed to stuff my face with them.
Substitute chocolates with organic crackers? Hah! Sucks to be a kid.
So two weeks ago, I left my daughter with my parents for the entire day because they wanted to bring her out. When she got home, I told her I had spent the whole day running errands and that I missed her.
Truth? I had binge watched the entire season of Game of Thrones. Best. Day. Ever.
And of course I told her I had been running errands. How else am I going to reinforce the 1-hour screentime rule in our household?
I always keep my daughter’s favourite CD in a compartment in the car. To “reward” her for being a good girl, I will put the CD on and play it really loudly.
Interestingly, she always happens to be especially good when we are in traffic jams or after we have just met a particularly inconsiderate driver on the road.
Okay, truth is, driving in Singapore can get really frustrating, and muttering about it with choice words can be so cathartic. So, I say what I have to while blasting her favourite music to make sure she never hears my more colourful vocabulary.
So there was once when I told the kid Daddy and I had to go overseas because we had work to do.
Truth was, I just needed a break from being a Mummy and I didn’t want her to feel excluded. This one got me feeling more than a little guilty. But I did come back from my short holiday feeling a whole lot refreshed! I like to think it also made me more patient and energetic with her.
Couple trips might sound cruel especially when our kids are still young, but sometimes, it’s that much needed break for us to keep going in the parenthood marathon.
Kids say the darnest things. Some of the things they say are so brutally honest, but it’s really not anything you want them to repeat in proper company, so you can’t laugh, because then they will think it’s okay. When that happens, you try your best to keep a straight (and hopefully, stern) face, tell them not to repeat it, then go to your room, bury your head in your pillow and let the laughter rip.
For instance, we have a particularly mean neighbour who is always banging on our door and complaining about the tiniest transgressions (such as that time when the leaves from our trees got blown into her front yard.) anyone had committed against her. We tolerate her rantings because she is an old widow who stays alone, but we do have a private nickname for her : Old Chicken (don’t ask.)
She came over one day again, to launch a tirade against my long-suffering mother who stood listening to her rants. My daughter came out, saw her, cheerfully waved to her and said “Hi Aunty Old Chicken!” then promptly rode off on her bicycle, leaving our nasty neighbour slack-jawed.
Life with a kid is never boring, especially with the creative new ways we have to constantly invent to get away with some of the stuff we do!
My daughter gets attached to her possessions very easily and when she gets attached, it can get very difficult to wean her off them. But, she is deathly afraid of ants. If she sees a beetle, she will pick it up. If she sees a roach scuttle across, she will shrug it off. But ants though are something else altogether. She will run a mile if she sees them grouped together or walking around in a line.
To wean her off her favourite stuff without having to deal with her tantrums and sullen face, I have resorted to poking tiny holes in her pacifier and her incredibly smelly soft toy. I will then tell her that ants had probably bitten into them the night before and were living in her stuff. That usually convinces her to hand them over to me for “repair” or “washing”.
Out of sight, out of mind, she never asks for it again.
I know, I’m a genius.
Because I’m the early riser, the task of chauffering my daughter to school almost always falls on me. This means no late nights. This means I have to pull myself out of bed by 8am even if I have nothing planned for the day – except bringing her to school.
Then there’s the homework I have to do together with her. Let’s face it, at any age younger than 7, homework for the kids is basically homework for us that we have to do together. I hated art and craft, and I still do, with a passion.
But you will never hear me say a bad word about her school. In front of her, school is a magically wonderful place and her teachers are never wrong.
Bring you to school every morning? Of course I would love to sweetie, and you are a naughty girl for wanting to skip a day at this incredibly fun place!
Sadly, the reality is that we don’t truly morph into perfect adults and humans the moment the wrinkly, wet bundle is placed in our arms. We are still the same imperfect, flawed individuals who over-indulge ourselves far too much.
But my kid need never know that.