“In spite of the six thousand manuals on child raising in the bookstores, child raising is still a dark continent and no one really knows anything. You just need a lot of love and luck - and, of course, courage.” - Bill Cosby, Fatherhood, 1986
I have heard too many stories of irritated people yang tak tahan dengan perangai budak-budak dalam kapal terbang, di shopping malls, dalam restoran. A columnist even went to the extent of calling this one toddler she was sat behind in a plane, a TFH i.e. Toddler From Hell. Kah kah. Mean but kinda funny. But somehow that particular piece she wrote did not irk me much, because it was written from the perspective of a mom. Her children are all grown up, tapi dia pernah lalui fasa anak-anak kecil. Lalu dia faham. Lalu penulisan dia tak mengguris.
Penulisan dia benar; well, let’s face it, memang ramai budak nakal and the parents jenis tak kisah so these kind of people memang annoying.
I for one memang sangat berdebar if my baby starts to shriek or wail or baby-talk loudly in a plane/restaurant. So I’ll do everything I can to stop him from disturbing others, selalunya dengan cara kasi dia makan something lah. I think what irritates most people are parents who just couldn’t care less and just let their children do whatever they please.
For instance, we were eating at this McD outlet in TUTA and there was this toddler who kept running here and there pergi table orang sambil baling-baling mainan dia dan jerit-jerit. The parents were busy dengar penjelasan MLM dan buat tak tahu saja at their toddler yang sedang membuat karenah, until the toddler terlanggar pintu cermin dan menangis sekuat hati, barulah the dad ambil and sit him down and pujuk, but after 5 minutes, the chaos began again. Pfftt!
So yes, we parents get it, Toddlers (or even Infants) From Hell are annoying.
Someone wrote about this on the Malaysian Insider (she called these kind of toddlers untamed beast - how dare she! Haha) and suggested that parents with toddlers should not go to malls. Lepas baca, aku rasa macam, eh eh apahal? So once you’re a parent, you don’t get to enjoy what other people normally do, is it? Haish. Itu bukan masalahnya. Masalah ialah bila bawa anak dan kemudian buat tak tahu when they start acting unbecomingly. She tweeted that ada parents marah dia lepas baca that article and said that she doesn’t understand sebab tak ada anak. To that she answered, “Terasa, much?” Hahaha.
You ni. I tak terasapun sebab anak I belum pandai lari-lari jadi untamed beast kat shopping mall (God forbid!) tapi I think to suggest that parents with toddlers should not go to mall, adalah sedikit kelakar. Heh. What parents should do ialah, jagalah anak-anak! And as she put it, albeit too harshly, “Stop torturing other people with the antics of your ill-brought up children because they reflect badly on you.” She has a got a point there.
But I do somewhat agree that if you’re not a parent yourself, you don’t get to lecture others on their parenting skills, apatahlagi to call them Bad Parents. Haish.
The day will come when the husband and I will have to deal with our son as a toddler and I hope that we will be able to discipline him dengan sebaik mungkin dan elakkan dia dari jadi an untamed beast or a TFH. I guess one of us has got to be the bad police and I have a feeling it’s gonna be me T____T Kah kah. With that, I leave you with this beautiful poem by Diane Loomans, If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again:
If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd build self esteem first, and the house later.
I'd fingerpaint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I would care to know less and know to care more.
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.
I'd see the oak tree in the acorn more often.
I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.
I'd model less about the love of power,
And more about the power of love.