I am going to start a series called “What I am feeling” which will appear on my blog each and every time I feel overwhelmed or too emotional or lost or even confused. This will be an honest look into a situation or a problem that I am facing at a particular moment and I will be looking forward to opinions, advice, and any form of help from all of my readers based on their experience or knowledge. What I am not looking for is judgement.
So this time the person leading to the messed up state of my mind is my little almost 5-year-old. Vi, has never been a stubborn child, he didn’t have the terrible twos nor did he give us any kind of trouble up until his last birthday. I don’t know if people would believe it when I say that even as a baby he was totally manageable. He was not the crying howling babies that people scare you with when you are pregnant. He was so calm that when my friends and relatives would visit us, they would say that it doesn’t even seem like there’s a baby in this house. Last weekend we had a specially difficult time. We had gone shopping with him and he was, as usual, running around the place. I would keep telling him to slow down since both N and are not able to keep up with him. This shopping space was a huge open area with at least a million people. Finally, in between his running around, he went and dashed into a lady. Luckily they didn’t fall over. But I gave him an earful when N told me about this. Vi was so upset that he said he’s going away and that he doesn’t want to see us again. I didn’t take it seriously and went off to order food since I was super hungry by that time. N had gone to get him. And he comes running back in 2 minutes saying that he can’t find him. Now we both start panicking. We run around trying to find him and I am on the verge of crying. N tells me to calm down and walk back the same route. He walks towards the information centre to see if he can speak to a security officer and I walk back slowly the same route I had taken. As I walk slowly and look around, I see Vi hiding in between the plants. Feeling completely overwhelmed, I am in tears as I hug Vi tight. He tries to squirm away but I don’t let go. I call N and he comes over and sees that we have found Vi. Vi says he doesn’t want to talk to us, be with us and he is really upset that we didn’t listen to his version of what happened and scolded him. We tell him that he could have got lost. His response is ‘Let me get lost’. Both my husband and I are really upset but we control our emotions and just hug him. We know that getting angry and upset is not going to do any good at that particular time. We tell him that we don’t want to lose him. Vi goes on to explain that he was hiding so that we don’t find him. It breaks my heart to hear my baby saying that. To imagine that he prefers to be lost than be with his Amma and Papa. Finally, after all, the emotions have settled we go to have lunch.
Later that evening at home, we have our normal, tried and tested and failed fight for more TV time. Vi throws a tantrum saying he wants to watch more TV and I lose my cool and give him a tight whack on his bottom. All the pent up emotions from the afternoon are released. He goes away upset and I go to my guilt space. That night I am not able to sleep. I just can’t understand what I am doing wrong or different, what is happening to my little boy and what to do to improve the situation. It makes me feel helpless and somehow useless too. My husband N tells me not to worry. He is one amazing father and I have to say that if I didn’t have him by my side, I would have been a parent that I would never be proud of. He gives me an idea, he tells me that anytime I feel like I am going to lose my temper with Vi, to try and get down to his level and understand him. At least I will be able to cool off. He tells me to think of him as an adult too. I will try that and see how it works.
Please do read this:
This is an article I saw 3 days after we had this incident and it scared the life out of me. I thought for a minute that what if.
So let me what you think? What would you have done in a similar situation? Have any of you had similar experiences? Please do share what you feel, about the incident, our reaction, and any advice regarding what we could have done differently.
Update: This post was written almost 2 weeks ago. And I have tried what my husband suggested. I try to think of Vi, as any adult whom I would interact with. It doesn’t mean that I would give into all his demands. But there is a respect in the way we communicate.I don’t say a blanket no. We talk why the particular request may not be viable at a particular time. I feel there is a small change and we are seeing fewer tantrums.
And in the days that followed the incident, we had a few stories of rabbits that get lost and wolfs that get taken away by elephants and police ants who have to help find the lost animals 😛 .We would never miss out on opportunities for a story!
But this is not a chance I ever want to take. Of losing my little boy. I couldn’t live without him.