Offsprings are evolved and upgraded miniature versions of strong personalities for sure.
Parents here are the primary care providers and first circle guardians of the kid spending most time of the week/weekend together.
Or it's Us Vs Us as a sub team of one grand parent Vs a biological first parent
or more often than not it's kid Vs himself/herself since he or she isn't matured enough to understand that the thing he/she is doing at that time is quiet other than anything that's of best interest to him or her.
Well, to be honest the teams are many times inevitable occurrences as a part of the growth of the Parent-Kid/s team.
Enough of preamble, I have been trying to get Kanha to eat by himself and this he temperamentally detests.
He likes being fed and this is a fact which has no basis of any disability to feed himself.
I started with simple cut foods that do not need use of touch (read eating with hands)
So bananas cut in slices to be eaten with a fork was the first step.
Slowly it went on to omlette or Chillas or Idlis for breakfast being cut and eaten with fork...
Then it came down to eating with a spoon , dal rice/ poha/ upma etc...
He threw tantrums , had melt downs , he threatened to not eat and even walk out...
This downright refusal was responded with a constant please eat first then we will talk.
He tried negotiations which were not entertained.
Detached clinical outlook and no winning losing streak is practiced...
You eat like this or you stay hungry...
He also tried the latter but soon realised that he also wants to eat... And the option was just eating on his own...
He got hungrier and more agitated however this was one of those situations where it was not going to be a power play or an ego polish but in fact going to be a bench mark in deciding what is an essential part of being reasonably independent.
This I had to do without comparison with his peers since I believe every child is unique and will have different times situations environment and parameters to his growing persona and independence.
I as a parent had decided it was time to slowly wean him off being hand fed.
So first it was breakfast at home.
Then it has come to breakfast and another important meal (spoon eatable)
He is still being fed some motor advanced meals like roti and sabzi...
He expressed his anger by saying he doesn't like me and that he is shifting to his grandparents house for good.
The important part was to play a role of a compassionate co participant by acknowledging that , 'I know that you are not feeling good about this , however it is important to be able to feed ourself.'
He asked me reasons and he was given reasons.
He asked for rewards and without countering I gently prodded his attention over all the things that he is allowed to do when he knows his quota for the day is done.
He asked, "Aai, tell me what do you do for me that I must do all this for you?"
To which my reply was ," you are doing this for yourself and You have to tell me what all I do for you because you are so observant and i love the fact that you think and know a lot. "
He was taken aback by this response. I knew he was craving to get a Reaction to spin the loop and go full blown into a temper fit.
But he knew from my stance that come what may his mom (team opp.) wasn't going to budge.
He tried pursuing his grandparents and His mommy gently asked them to stay calm and not speak till he has finished.
He tried calling his Dad and his dad said We will do what mom says and then we can talk when i return from office.
And so.... When everything failed , he asked me to sit in one room and not look at him. He asked his grandparents to go in another room and asked them to not come out...
Now it was a question of conquest of stubbornness Vs disciple.
A few hours down the line, slow spoons of Dal rice down his gut and buckets of tears down his eyes...
Finally a bowl was empty
A tiny stomach full
A mother grinning with relief
And a primary schooler happily watching his reward cartoon on I-pad.
Small victories of parenting are worth celebrating.
This episode repeats on a loop mode till the kid takes it on autopilot mode...
There are still many more meals to go, roti and phulkas to be fed and encouraged to be eaten with hands...
Then making him clean his own poo poo is on my next to do list.....
Donning many hats , this by far has been one of the most unpredictable one and nothing in the world , not even practise can make me perfect in being a parent.
It's a constant ongoing process of learning to be a team .... And keep playing...