Family Magazine

I'm a Big, Big Girl

By A Happy Mum @A_Happy_Mum
It's been long since I dedicated an entire post to Angel. It's like that, isn't it? When the second baby comes along, much as it is against your will, your first child gets shelved somewhat.
I'm a big, big girl
Looby Loo
Child: Mummy, I wanna pee!
Mum of one: Come, come! I bring you to the toilet. Here is the toilet paper, you need Mummy to wipe for you?,
Mum of two: Go, GO! Later leak already. I'm feeding meimei now, you go yourself ok. Oh, and remember to flush!
At the playground
Child: Come play catching with me, Mummy!
Mum of one: Ok, ready or not, monster's coming to getcha! Roarrrr! *climbs on slides, hangs from bars and runs in circles*
Mum of two: You go run around awhile, Mummy is carrying baby, very hard to climb up and down, y'know?

What's cooking?
Child: Mummy, can you feed me?
Mum of one: You have to learn to eat by yourself, my dear. Finish as much as you can and I will come around to help you later.
Mum of two: $^#&*^$Q*& You are four years old and you still need me to feed you? I still need to feed a baby and I haven't eaten a grain of rice after cooking for an hour. Finish up your rice or we will just throw it away.
I'm a big, big girl
Ok, while that might sound a little over the top, I can however vouch that a part of it is very true and happens in our everyday life. In a sense, I think I am pushing my elder girl to be more independent than she would be if she were an only child. For good or for bad, it is already happening.
She is also at the stage of her childhood where she starts to push boundaries and test limits. For instance, when I say "No" to drinking a cup of ice cold Milo at night, she openly and defiantly says "I say YES". When I ask her to take a shower after playing outside, she declares "NO" or gives replies like "I will, but LATER". Then when she pleads for a candy before mealtime, I say "Not now" and she says "But I just want ONE, a small, small, very small piece only."
I'm a big, big girlI can't count how many times I've lost it and started to chide her over these back talk or actions that she says and does. Sometimes, on hindsight, I think I am losing my temper more easily than before due to sleep deprivation and the constant 24/7 need to care for a needy baby. As a result, I sometimes take it out on the big one, as if that is going to help me let off steam or cure my eyebags. Without fail, I always end up feeling guilty and regretful.
What do I expect from a child who is growing up, who is grappling with morals and principles, who is curious and wishes to explore every scientific logic, who doesn't understand why rules have to be rules?
I gave birth to a child, not a robot. 
I can't expect her to obey me all the time. I can't expect her to stop, rewind or pause at the touch of a remote control. I can't expect her to be perfect, flawless and doesn't break a glass every now and time. At the same time, I don't want her to stop running at the beach for fear of falling. I don't want her to be afraid to venture or lose any of her adventurous spirit. I don't want her to ever think for a split second that Mummy doesn't like her, that Mummy prefers to look after the baby, that Mummy cares about her less than before.
If there's anything, I am loving this child of mine so much more, even if I can't find ways to express this love for her and even if those stern words coming out of my mouth contradict my loving heart. So I always explain to her afterwards as to why I was being harsh on her and how that doesn't erase any of my love for her. She gets it, you know? Because she will say to me "Even if I am naughty sometimes, Mummy, you still love me very much, right?" Of course, my dear, nothing will ever change that. That doesn't give you a reason to be naughty, but it gives you assurance that you are always loved.
As she learns about phonics, numbers, social etiquette and behavioural expectations, I too learn about how to mold and nurture a child, how to handle public meltdowns and keep my own emotions in check, how to be a loving mom who has so much to offer her child but who just does not know how at times. That is the beauty of motherhood, to learn as we love and love as we learn. Together.
I'm a big, big girlNowadays, she always proclaims "Mummy, I'm a big girl already. I can help you to vacuum the floor, I can bathe myself and I can look after meimei too." And so she does, she takes the vacuum from me and cleans a corner in our living room, she takes the shower head and learns to wet her hair without letting water enter her eyes, she sits beside the sister to make sure she doesn't topple over the sofa when I am making dinner.
Oh, for the record, this big girl is now totally off the diaper too! Yippee! I've heard of cases whereby overnight training is tough because you have to wake the child up every few hours and take her to go and pee, or you have to buy protective covers and deal with wet sheets frequently in the morning. Perhaps it is because of that and now that I have a baby to breastfeed and soothe in the middle of the night, I have been procrastinating getting Angel off the diaper since we still have so many diapers for her in the house. Well, I did make a plan to start the night training when she turns four this year.
Last week, she suddenly announced "Mummy, I am not going to wear diapers tonight. I just wear my panties and PJs, ok?" I was a little reluctant as the next day was our photo shoot but I decided to let her give it a shot. Lo and behold, she actually woke up at 2am to go to the toilet and pee by herself. And it gets even better, subsequently for the next few nights, she didn't even wake up at all. She would pass out like almost a pail of pee in the morning when she wakes, but that doesn't bother me at all, right?
My dear Angel, you know how proud I am of you, right? I always have been and always will be.
Thank you for saving me the hassle of having to train you to hold your bladder at night. You did it all by yourself, and that is just one of your magical ways of showing your love for me.
I'm a big, big girlSo, I know she is a big girl now. Actually, I don't mean big as in BIG, but at least bigger. Big enough to have a mind of her own, big enough to assert opinions, big enough to learn to write her Chinese name and big enough to be a loving sister. Yet, no matter what, she will always be the little baby in my heart. Feeling all this, I make it a point to give her big bear hugs and plant sweet kisses every night. I mean, we do sleep together so it is easy for me to nurse the small one to sleep and then turn around to cuddle with the big one.
And when that happens, big or little, diapers or panties, I know, I just know that I am the luckiest mom in the world.

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