Teach your kids the importance of saying sorry, and watch them try to get away with murder!
I’m trying to teach my sons to be gentlemen. To accept their mistakes and apologize. To say sorry.
Tough to teach a boy that you say? No my friend. It’s easy. A little too easy!
Seriously. Now my 3yo still continues to do all the wrong things, and every time I rough him up about it, he fights back with a puppy face and a sly sorry. He’ll pinch his ears and say ‘sholee mamma’ and expect me to instantly forgive him for punching his baby brother to the floor. When I continue to frown, he’ll matter-of-factly go back, plant a little kiss on the baby’s cheek, pat his head lovingly, precisely thrice and come back and say to me, “maine baby ko pyaal kal diya”. (loosely translated, that sounds something like “I just showed him some love”)
At this point, he expects me to ceremoniously approve of his little charade and diligently go back to whatever I was doing, so he can go back to whatever he was doing. What was he doing again? Oh yes, punching his baby brother to the floor.
Bummer of a game it is, Punch…Apologise…Repeat. Viola!
I don’t think he’s got the point. That saying sorry means he won’t do this again. He just thinks saying sorry is a part of the game. It’s what you do after you break something…or someone.
But how can he not know? He knows 21 nursery rhymes. He knows the difference between Doraemon and Ninja Hattori. He could unlock an iPhone at 9 months old for god’s sake. He can turn on the laptop, open Chrome, click in the address bar, type ‘y’, hit enter, and choose his favourite video from Youtube homepage. How can he not know that saying sorry also means you won’t do this (hitting, punching, breaking) again… Ever… For at least a few minutes.
No I’m sure he gets it. I’m sure he knows. He just chooses to play innocent. When kids look dumb, look like they’ll never learn, they are actually smarter than us and have already learned what they need to learn. That a puppy face and pouty sorry will get away with anything. Anything.
It’s easy as a parent to feel lost this way. To feel if we will ever be able to teach these kids values, feelings and concern. What we teach them today will shape their entire life. But waiting that long to see how we did, that’s an awfully antagonizing wait.
How do we know if we’re doing okay? This parenting thing is hard.
Maybe I know a little more today than I did yesterday. I know because something happened this morning. Both the kiddos were very happy and particularly frolicky. Jumping up and down the bed just like in the video ‘Five Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed’. Cute video though, you should totally watch it. What, you have a life? Well, nevermind.
While jumping up and down frantically, the big monkey accidently knocked the little monkey down. Little monkey fell pretty hard and for a moment I lost my breath. But an experienced monkey mommy that I am, I always have more mattresses on the floor than on the bed. Anyone feels like doing a cartwheel in the middle of the night, I’m prepared baby. So aal iz well, no one got hurt. Little monkey cried for a minute just out of shock (and for effect, hey, he needs his moment too, peace!).
But that’s when I saw it, just for a little passing while, genuine fright on the big boy’s face. He stood solemnly while I comforted the baby and the second my eyes met his, he pinched his ears hard and said sorry. And he totally meant it. He didn’t do the dramatic kiss the cheek pat the head routine, which he otherwise does about thirty seven times a day. He just stood there and watched the baby calm down. And then sat down next to him and watched for another few minutes. I tried comforting him, telling him it was okay. But he only really smiled when the baby shot him one of his little grins.
He loves his lil brother. I’m pretty sure he loves me too. He’s a little different from normal happy kids. He doesn’t like to communicate much. An introvert. It often, almost always feels like he doesn’t give a damn what happens to me. But somewhere deep inside, I’m pretty sure he does.
Guess I’m doing okay.
Guess my boys will grow up into good men.
For now though, I gotta rush. The two monkeys broke into a fight over the same yellow golf stick again. Gosh! Two little pirates I swear. Why couldn’t I just have a daughter? C’est La Vie I guess.