I’m having a bad day, a really bad one. I have so much on my plate, and the plate isn’t small! Trying my best to give my best at work, at home and at life! All my body wants to do, is to sleep but responsibilities cannot allow. It’s crazy! So I make a simple meal and call her for dinner. Remember she has been asleep as I do all this. For a few minutes of yawns and stretches, she walks in the kitchen and sits at her corner.
She then stares at the food am serving like it’s the worst thing she has seen in her 9years. She takes it as if she wants it to fall and pour by mistake. I pretend to be busy with the dishes, she grumbles a bit saying the food is too cold, I warm it up and hand it back. This is one of those days when both of us are playing mute. I’m scared of correcting or asking anything because I feel unappreciated. She takes a spoon or two and says it’s boring. Oooh what did you just say? Boring???? The food is boring? I cook for you, wake you up and serve you, warm the food again and then you say the food is boring? Ungrateful indeed!
So I do what my mother used to do, if you don’t like the food, leave it there and go. (There are people who would kill to taste my food; this is what I tell myself to feel better.) After learning a few things about myself, nowadays I don’t jump into battles, I don’t react so fast. So I let it go, as I sing very encouraging songs.
The best time to talk to her is very early in the morning, as we prepare for the day. Today I have woken up with one agenda, to teach her not to take anything for granted, and to stop complaining. So, I put on my sweet face, go on and on with my ‘do not complain lesson’ illustrating how God does not like us complaining, instead we should be grateful. Then I ask a question, do you see me complaining here?
Holy Spirit why didn’t you hold me? Why did I ask that question?
Okay here is what she said…
‘Yes, every day, all the time, you are too tired! You are too sleepy! You are too hungry! You are too full! Your clothes are boring! (Ok, she is all bubbly and energetic, as she imitates me) you have so much work! Your kitchen is small! You need more shoes! The queues are long! It’s too sunny! You always complain here. Even I have forgotten others, when I come in the evening I will tell you more.’
‘Oookay! You don’t need to tell me more. Point taken, maybe both of us need to stop complaining and be grateful. ‘I then go to my ‘small kitchen’ and pack her snack, praying the bus comes earlier today. I have been hit so hard, hard and painful right at the core. So I am the role model here, she learns from me, before I lecture her, something needs to be done first and fast.
The rest of the day is spent in deep thought. My best friend keeps saying that my daughter is my reflection, that she gives answers I give, makes the jokes I make, stares at people like I do, you know, she carries my vibe around. As usual I always put on my defensive costume and start arguing out how we have nothing in common. Then when we are alone, I stare at her from the corner of my eye and I see some truth. She is actually ‘little me!’
When I see something good/bad in her I should check myself first. Someone looks up to me by virtue of being my child. Do I want her to look like me? If not, then I should make some drastic changes.
Sometimes parents are quick to correct and lecture, sometimes we act like we are the good perfect ones who give instructions. Isn’t it time that we checked out who is directing our children to be who they are? Not when we are in church, but when at home in our worst states. That’s what we are modelling. It doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes, it means we will always keep in mind that someone is doing their best to talk, act and think like we do.