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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Not Peas in a Pod

It struck me yesterday that the twins couldn't be any more different.

We were at one of the enrichment classes (gym and flash cards) which they have been going to for slightly over a year. Having moved up one level to the 2-3yr class a couple of weeks ago, there are some variations to the elements of the class. Musical time is no longer having a xylophone brought to a child and having the child play it (with a parent holding hand). Instead, the child is asked to bow facing the class then play some notes on a small piano.

So, when the teachers asked who would like to go first, E2 said her name loudly and clearly. The teachers called her to come up and she bowed happily before playing on the piano. When it was E1's turn, she refused to stand up and walk over to the piano. When lifted over, she buckled her knees and refused to stand. When brought to the piano, she started to cry. My helper had no luck persuading her and even my threat of using the clip to clip her hand did not work. When the teachers called her the second time (after calling the other kids first), she still refused but at least she didn't cry. I dragged her roughly to the piano and dumped her down. And then persuaded her to press the notes. The teachers who were pretty much young girls look worried and terrified. I suppose I must have had a ferocious look on my face. E1 cooperated and then deigned to sit on my lap for the rest of the class instead of the helper's.

I don't know whether it is right or wrong, and I couldn't care less if I was wrong, but molly coddle a child I will not. I don't believe in letting a child get away with what has to be done because he/she throws a temper or refuses to do what has to be done (maybe because I was brought up that way). However, I wonder at my very different reactions to both E1 and E2 when they do not cooperate.

I'm not saying I am not rough with E2. E2 tests my patience sorely too - I am so very tempted to beat her on many occasions, like her stubborn refusal to swallow when I feed her, or when she refuses to swallow the very last mouthful of each meal and lets it sit in her meal for up to an hour (before spitting it out when we bathe them at the end of the day). But yet when my little girl stares at my angry face and into my eyes, my rage melts away and I can't find it in me to beat her or handle her roughly. I am filled with the most infinite love when I look at my child. Not always, not when she cries and kicks up a fuss before doing the Kumon homework. Not when she refuses to swallow her food. But for the most part, she is an affectionate, giving and happy child. I couldn't ask for more.

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