I am the kind of momma, who believes in talking to her son and making him understand situations, people and sometimes the realities of life. Small things, but things I believe would impact how he sees the world as he grows up. All said and done, sometimes this ‘advice’ backfires. This is one of those times when the well meant advice backfired.
One day, on the way back from school, we met one of my son’s classmates. Vi was super excited to see him outside his school. But the other kid, R didn’t really reciprocate the same feelings. He was busy with his Dad and chose to ignore Vi. Vi tried all the tricks he knew in his 3 year old book to get his attention and on failing, he just burst into tears. It was a bit of a difficult situation as the other boy, R had no clue what was going on and I had to bring Vi away from there.
And Vi was very very hurt. It was not that kind of crying that is used to get what he wants. It was the, ‘I’m really UPSET’ kind of crying. This sobbing child of mine was breaking my heart and I used all the tricks I had in my 32 year old book, but none of it worked. Vi just went on saying, “I want to play with R” and tears rolled down his precious little face. I rationalized with Vi that R was busy with his Dad and that’s why he didn’t want to play. I told him that it is his wish too if he wants to play with you or not. It’s true, you want to play with him but he should also feel the same way. You can’t force him nor anyone else. (Allowing free-will and choice is something we are trying to teaching our 3 year old).
Finally, I got all overboard and told him that in life sometimes, we will want to be friends will people but maybe they wouldn’t want to be friends with us. So it’s better to leave them and be friends with people who really like you and want to be friends with you.
At least that has my policy in life so far, I ignore people who don’t give me due attention or respect. I will never break my head over anyone or anything. So finally after a long one hour talk, we hugged and kissed and Vi finally calmed down but he did seem sad and didn’t talk much on our way back home in the bus. I asked him if he understood what Amma was telling him, he just nodded yes. The next day he went to school as usual.
When I went to pick Vi later in the evening, his teacher had an interesting piece of news to give me. She said that Vi had been behind R the whole day. And that finally the two have become friends. A smile came over my lips and I felt awed by my son’s determination. A small part of me also felt disappointed that my advice had fallen on deaf ears.
But I realised that day, that Vi is a person in himself. He has a character which is different from me and his dad too. He is himself and no one can take that away from him. Not even me, his co-creator. I can say and do as many things as possible. But the final decision is always in his hands.
I think as a mother, my duty towards him would be to show him different sides of the same situation and help him to gain perspective. Although he’s a sensitive child, I now know that he’s a person who if he puts his heart to something, will work hard to achieve it. (Unlike his mother 😉 ) He will not let his emotions overcome his determination. The smile on his face when I saw him was priceless. It was the smile of a boy who had made a friend.
As Freud rightly said, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
A 30+ momma who refuses to grow up, Uma enjoys the time she spends with her 3 year old since it gives her a second innings at being a child again. Majored in Fisheries, worked in the Telecom sector and now finally teaching English as a second language to foreign students, she is someone who believes in creating opportunities.
She blogs at The First Ray of the Sun – Vihaan and you can follow her on Twitter @umanigith