Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Teething Pains? Night Time Terror? How a Child's Incessant Crying Brings Out Conflicts in Child-raising

In the wee hours of the morning, Juan Or was acting cranky again, with all the fretfulness and crying spells. At first, when Mommy rocked Juan Or to sleep at 10.30 p.m., Juan Or appeared to be an angel (or so Mommy thought!). Finally, at 2 a.m., Juan Or woke up from sleep (but still drowsy) and Mommy woke up too to breastfeed him. Finally, Juan Or dozed off after breastfeeding and Mommy put him back into the spring cot. What seemed like a peaceful sleep thereafter turned out the total opposite about 30 minutes later - Juan Or started crying loudly and it sounded like a furious cry. Several questions ran into Mommy's head. Is Juan Or's cry part of his midnight terror dream? Or is Juan Or feeling the teething pains? Or worst of all, did Juan Or not drink enough milk just enough? But deep down in Mommy's heart, the last option is the most highly unlikely one, otherwise Juan Or wouldn't have dozed off while breastfeeding.

The cry went on and on no matter how Mommy tried comforting Juan Or and no matter how Mommy rocked him. Finally Grandma came down to attend to him too. Grandma took over the rocking while Mommy returned to sleep on the sofa. Juan Or seemed pacified a little, but there were still short cries in between those pacified moments - could Juan Or be reminded of the midnight terror dream off and on? Finally Grandma took Juan Or out of the spring cot because of the continuous crying. Grandma managed to pacify him and by then Juan Or was wide awake. Mommy recalled being half asleep on the sofa while Grandma 'entertained' Juan Or's playtime. This went on till 4 a.m. when Grandma decided that playtime's over and rocked him to sleep.

At 7.05 a.m., Juan Or woke up again with slight fretfulness. So Mommy took him upstairs to breastfeed. Mommy can't breastfeed downstairs anymore because Brother-in-law was around. As Mommy took Juan Or upstairs, Juan Or started crying and fretting. For what reason? Mommy thought Juan Or was probably impatient - not being able to feed immediately upon seeing Mommy. Finally, upon reaching upstairs, Mommy offered him the breast, but he still refused - crying and wailing loudly. And Mommy was trying hard not to get angry with him. So Mommy put him onto the bed and tried comforting him, but to no avail. The crying went on and on - sounded more like a bad-tempered cry! Then, Father-in-law came up to ask Mommy to pass Juan Or to him to be brought downstairs again. Mommy did, but Mommy had mixed feelings. It was a feeling of dissatisfaction that Mommy's way of handling Juan Or got interfered by other family members. It was also a feeling of anger-of-sorts that Mommy was not able to pacify him. It was also a feeling of anger towards Juan Or for being so irritable - spoilt perhaps! It was also a feeling of anger that showed itself after the anger was suppressed for some time.

By the time Mommy went downstairs again, Juan Or was already in Grandma's arms and pacified. Mommy went near him to 'scold' him for acting difficult. Father-in-law told Mommy not to scold him because he is just a little kid. Mommy got irritated and replied that whether the child is little kid or big kid, the child has to know what behaviour is acceptable and what is not. If a little kid doesn't learn that, when will the child ever learn? Father-in-law kept quiet. On top of it all, with the Grandma keep on saying sorry to Juan Or whenever Juan Or frets, wouldn't take eventually make the child think that the world owe him a living? And that the child can act in whatever way he likes and expect others to succumb to him? Wouldn't it be like that?

Conflicts in child-raising....there is no one hard-and-fast way of dealing with this issue, especially when you are staying with extended family members. Finally, Mommy drove to work with the mind still thinking about what happened. One thing for sure is, Father-in-law and Mother-in-law will stick to their way of child-raising whereas Mommy will stick to her own way. And Juan Or will still get to have things his way.....

1 comment:

Foreword said...

You have a cute child, Miss Phua. Congratulations. Regards, Mandeepal.