Tickled or Teaching?

It has become some sort of an early morning routine with them, my son and his father. Once the hubby is up, he calls for Chets to fetch him drinking water. Some days especially when he's angling for the iPad, Chets doesn't waste time fetching the drinking water. Other days, though quite rare, he’ll throw a “Daddy, why are you always lying down and sending me to get water? Eeeeeeeevery morning...” or “I’m tired too...” at his father and then grudgingly skip off to get the water. As punishment though, he’ll drink half of the water, slurp some more all over the floor and then present the rest to his thirsty father. The poor man eventually gets less than a quarter-full glass of water! Whichever way his mood swings or his day starts, one thing was constant: Chets always fetches the water. iPad is still the endgame.

This particular morning though, he balked. Like, he said “No Daddy, I AM TIRED!!!”. Can’t say I blame him; I know exactly how he felt. You know how it is when you have to wake up real early to get ready for school (in Cheta’s case) or to get ready for an early morning meeting (in my case) and someone else is well ensconced in their duvet, watching TV cos their job encourages working remote? It can pain. Infact, it pains extra when they now send you on errands from the delish comforts of their duvet cos hey, you are already up and about. Tres painful.
Anyways, I’m guessing that’s how Chets felt this morning. I guess I understood. But this was not about understanding. This was about parenting. I was not raised to say “No, I won’t do it; I am too tired” to my father when he sends me on errands. Your mama born you well so? My daddy will slap you into next week! So mba, I was not raised to say no to, or even query orders errands from the parents. And, I wasn't about to piss on that family tradition and cue lamentations every Sunday in church on account of my kids, on top disobedience mata. No way, Jose! I need to be able to send my kids on errand and they need to be able to cheerfully oblige.


Times have changed, I get it. These days, parents give room first for dialogue before we proceed to the next step of not sparing the rod or hand, if need be. In the spirit of dialogue, the following convo ensued between me and my first:
Me: What did you just say to your father? (Cue stern face)

Chets: *stares back, rather fearlessly, into my face* (Such disrespect, in my opinion. He should cower. Ahn ahn, I cowered in the face of my mother’s wrath. Times really have changed. Kids be thinking they are their parent’s age mates!)

Me: I am asking you a question!
Chets: *rearranges facial expression* (This here face says, “Remember I’m only a child. Your first borne child for that matter, the love of your life...)
Crafty boy! I was gonna ignore that face but then he pulls his trump card...his eyes. The eyes drooped. I don't know how he does that but his droopy eyes are the best things I love about him. So, I soft-pedalled but that lesson still had to be taught.

Me: Your new schoolbag, are you tired of carrying it to school?

Chets: No, Mummy.     

Me: Sure? But maybe you are so tired we should cancel that swimming session we scheduled for Saturday?
Chets: No Mummy, I’m not tired.

Me: Ah ok. But you must be definitely tired of wearing fine clothes everyday and eating chips & eggs? (I was on the roll....)
Chets: No, Mummy.

Me: Aha, I get it! Its school I know you want to stop. We can save your school fees and use it to....
Chets: Mummy, please let me go and get the water now.

Me: What did you say? (It seem he has gotten the message but I wanted it to sink in so well, I don't have to do a repeat another day. Really, I was on the roll.)
Chets: I’m not tired again. Let me go and get the water for Daddy.

He left. I chuckled. So did the hubby. Fingers crossed this lesson sticks.
Parenting is so much harder than we figure. I’m honestly of the opinion that mothers should have a home office, from where they strategize on how best to raise these kids, how best to answer questions that bother them, how best to coach them through life. You cannot wing parenting. It shouldn't be left to chance. Its so easy to laugh and marvel at their tricks & quick come-backs but just as easy to miss an opportunity to impact positively on your child’s life.

The lesson stuck. These days, after “Good Morning Daddy”, the next question is “Have you drank water yet? Should I get it for you now?” Mostly, as soon as the hubby wakes and calls for him, he answers with a glass of water in hand. In fact, he sometimes comes with two glasses of water so he doesn't get sent back for a refill. Pro-active much.
There is a God in heaven...and He loves us! Me, you and you. Xoxo...

15 comments:

HoneyDame said...

Lmaaoooo. As always, ur post has made me tres happy. I get happy when i read posts like this in these times. Much as i am an advocate of doing things a little differently from^ur mothers and their motjers, i still say the basics should be maintained. Well done Mama Hazel!

Hazel said...

Hahahaha @HoneyDame. How have you been baby? I've missed you!

Toinlicious said...

I really keep learning from you. I wonder how our parents got us to behave with just a certain look though. When I try it with my nieces, they ask what is wrong with my face or just totally ignore me *rme*

Folkeezy said...

Lmao! Really love the way you handled this, not just ignoring him and daddy or justifying his actions! Just cos it's a new age don't mean we should totally ignore teachings we took from our parents while chastising our kids now. My sis is just 10yrs old, she came really late, so she sorta has 2 mothers, I try to teach her the way mummy taught me, mummy too hasn't lost her touch.. lol but she also gets to be pampered!

moshalewa's world said...

This post reminds me of when I was young, one look from my mum and I understood what she meant... she dint even have to talk...... how I wish kids of these days would be like that... when ever I try it with my nephews I get ' anti titi is there something in you eye' loool naughty boys

moshalewa's world said...

This post reminds me of when I was young, one look from my mum and I understood what she meant... she dint even have to talk...... how I wish kids of these days would be like that... when ever I try it with my nephews I get ' anti titi is there something in you eye' loool naughty boys

Tamie said...

Very sharp boy!
Good parenting skills there. Am learning.

Hazel said...

Lol @Toinlicious. The look nearly doesnt work anymore. They'll just laugh in your face.

@Folkeezy Awww, good work what you are doing with your sister. By the time your kids come, you would be a pro!

Hazel said...

@Mosh Hahahahaha. You and Toinlicious! Kids...smh

@Tamie Thank you so much xxxx

aloted said...

You are right...parenting is a skill....God help us!

nice one!

happy new year

Chic Therapy said...

lol @ "I’m not tired again. Let me go and get the water for Daddy.
"... wo, who no like better thing.

Hazel said...

Hey @Aloted. Thank you...for stopping by!

Hazel said...

@ChicTherapy We keep forgetting kids are "humans" too, lol. Uber stoked you stopped by. Love your blog...and handiwork!

NIKKI said...

This made me laugh...i will try this one on my kids (when i have them) if they misbehave..hehehehehe!

Okeoghene said...

Nice one.