Friday, December 9, 2011

2011 Reposts The Year That Was 1: Daddy and Oona

Re-posting from 9 Feb 2011 Dad and Oona and Boys

RF has been moping that Oona was growing up.

Since we co-sleep, meaning we share one bed with the babies, RF is one end, then Oona, me and then Olly. The babies normally squash me in the center and all RF and I can do is touch feet or hold hands while I'm smothered under beddings, pillows and babies. Waking up with kinks in my back and a crick in my neck happens, but what can you do? Since Oona has been our wittle babypotpot for the longest time, RF got used to her snuggling up to him when she was a baby. Nowadays though, her concept of personal space has evolved. Now, without her say-so, she doesn't want to be hugged too much, kissed, tickled, snuggled or babied like she used to be (mostly by him since RF is more playful than I am). Every night when she's about to doze off beside me and RF comes to say goodnight, she'd get irritated and say she only wants Mommy to snuggle with. Sometimes she'd throw a last minute tantrum because Dad would just lie there beside her, looking at her to tease her and she'd be pikon: she'd yell, thrash and end up waking the baby or being scolded and general mayhem would ensue with me giving a murderous glare at a tiptoeing-away RF for leaving me with two howling babies to put to bed AGAIN. Sometimes though, after a bad dream from which she'd wake up crying, she'd ask him to hold her until she falls asleep. I would always tell him to let her fall asleep on her own since she's gotten too heavy to carry, but Daddy the Softie would always say it's okay, smile blissfully and say that it's his rare chance to baby his little girl. 

So I'll let them be.

I told RF not to keep teasing her and that when she says No, she means it and that's what we're trying to teach our girls. Respect personal space, let others know boundaries and No, means no. It starts the foundation for being firm in their decision-making process and implementation in the future. One that I hope would be effective enough to thwart hormonally overactive teenage boys without resorting to penile injuries (which I will teach them to deliver when they're old enough to know when to use it). Of course Daddy teasing and being playful is different from what we're building up to with overeager boys, but you get my drift. Besides, I told RF, we know she's not the sporting sort enough (pretty much like me) so why keep pushing her buttons, right? I know where she's coming from when she gets pissed off because she takes more after me than RF when it comes to being teased. Or pretty much a lot of other things...I believe she looks like hubby but the details are all me.

Anyway, last night I came upon them talking about it before going to bed. I was pleasantly surprised when RF informed me that he and Oona were having a serious conversation about how she wanted to be held and what was good for her. She said she didn't want a hug that's too tight and that his arm shouldn't be too heavy when he hugs her. RF was asking her questions and she was seriously holding her own, offering her opinions about his different hugging suggestions like he shouldn't squash her tummy, etc.
Listening to them, I kinda felt weepy and happy at how my little family's growing. I was relieved too that the situation didn't have to reach Do-I-Have-To-Think-Of-Everything-Myself proportions. I wasn't even annoyed that the idea didn't come from me and that I was in no way involved in facilitating a "grown-up" exchange between them. I was glad I didn't have to do anything but watch my little girl, our baby, blossom into expressing herself clearly and firmly. After all, I think all she wants was to feel in control of herself and the situation, be understood and her input accepted. That, and her personal space recognized, her persona, her being respected. I realized how momentous this otherwise "small" occasion was, for her and for us as parents. RF is in effect teaching her about communicating her wants and needs in a no-nonsense way, firm in knowing that it's her right to be treated fairly and her feelings and opinions taken seriously. Self respect and valuing oneself, right here! I could only hope that she doesn't forget about this when she's older and boys become part of her awareness in the hormonal way. Of course I am fearful, but I am praying that we are able to ingrain a strong sense of who she is and how precious a human being she is, not to be trifled with or taken advantage of. 

As a precaution, though, I am enrolling her and Olly in self-defense classes as soon as they're able and teach them the value of a good kneeing.

Anyway! I was so proud of them both. I really felt happy and I knew, no matter what we are yet to go through, muddling through this business of being a young, growing family, we'll be okay. :) Surprises, adventures and all.