This is not the normal entry that I would post, but it is only fair that I should write for something that matters the most to me.
Past few weeks had been kind of busy, as my daughters came to stay with me during the school holidays. I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect, how they would react, their acceptance and how would they behave, would I be able to keep up and understand them..? I haven’t the slightest idea how to handle a 9 year old and do my 4 year-old remembers me or the rest of the family? a lot of thing was going in my mind with them been away from me the past 2 years, definitely a lot must have changed.
I had to fly over and bring them back as they are not eligible to fly alone yet. during the flight home, everything seems OK and calm, the young one excited being on a plane, and the older one passive, with mixed feeling, reluctant not wanting to part from her grandmother, her guardian these past few years.
The first few days
It was more to an orientation of the sort for them and for me, but I think it was mostly for me.I had to learn and try to understand their eating habits, tantrums and whims, full package included. At that time, I confess that I didn’t know them. Wanting to go home and being rebellious and sulking almost all the time, is quite stressing and at some point, I felt frustrated and almost wanted to cut short on their holidays and gave up on them.
The younger being naive and playful, adapted better than her older sister, running around all the time, she always had something to do, or cry about… one thing for sure, they quarrel a lot. both being very aggressive for their age. But after all that fighting and squabbles, they would calm and confort each other and everything would be quiet (for about 15 minutes ) before war broke loose again. I observed and identified the things that make them tick and fight, tried to control them and watched. It was back to parenting basics and doing it solo is kind of tiring and stressing. Close observation and with some trial and error, the summary that caused the squabbles are.
Competition: the younger trying to exceed the older at everything and anything.
Sharing: wouldn’t share stuff.
Jealousy: annoying each other:
Attention: both seeking attention, providing attention to two kids of different age is challenging.
Soon, I took them back home to meet their grand parents, nothing much happened during the 2 hours drive, thankfully, and I was quite surprise myself. Few years back it would have been a playground at the back seat. I guess there’s some improvement.
Hyper-active children, very energetic, reminded me of the energizer commercial where the energy just keeps on going on and on. The same for both of them.. they can wake up in the morning and went on until midnight, 16 hours non-stop even without afternoon naps.
The younger more active, loud and always having her fit, almost all her demands need to be fulfilled or else there would be trouble. The age of 4 makes it very hard for her to coupe with her older half, thus making her rampant and tense, unsatisfied when unable to do the same thing as her sister. Her sister being older and wiser now, more patient and rational acted the same when she was the same age.
One thing they like to do is watch cartoons.. The remote, theirs. With satellite tv and a dedicated channel for cartoons, they are virtually stuck to the tv set and would not move. lunch or dinner time, In front of the screen, they would not budge. Sometimes I condemn those broadcasters for airing too much cartoons, repetitive episodes, which sometimes are of no educational value or purposes besides to fill up the time slot.
Getting them to get out of the house to shop for school supplies, shoes, clothes stationery is another challenge by itself. I had to persuade the older one to give up the tv and get out of the house. They just don’t want to get out if not for a swim or to the beach. However, with some keen persuasion and a little bit of authority skills.. they bend sooner or later. All went well and the few hour walking about turned out quite pleasant and fun.
Few weeks went by..
They became really close to me.. new problem.. both are fighting for attention, they would want me to sit with them and watch cartoons together and hear their story, although most of the times I couldn’t understand what they are talking about, but I just pretended I did and nod. Apart from that, you would have to play with them quite a lot. The small one just loves being tickled and can’t stop playing.
There’s not much activity that can be done as they don’t like the outdoors that much, took them for some outing and sight seeing, museum, park but they just love the water and swimming every day is possible to the point I had to control them from getting into the pool everyday. Being at the pool almost everyday, I’m positive the pool staff counter recognized our faces already.
Oh dear… Help.
One day, The older one seemed kind of restless and not behaving the normal way she would, I noticed it but didn’t want to be a busy body dad, just asked is there anything wrong, and she shrugged it off, so I let it be. Later she approached telling me, what I suspect to be her first menstruation… Well.! that’s something new.. Great.! &*#&#…! dilemma..! what should I do..!? Nothing else but keep calm and explained the best as I could to her, with some help from my mother on the phone. I wouldn’t know what it would be like to have a first time period, so it’s just better to let women handle women matters. Then a short while later, I proudly went to the supermarket and bought her first tampons, not that I haven’t shopped for one before, but it’s been quite some time since I hadn’t get one from the shelves. Glad that everything turned out okay.
Soon I will send them back home, the flight back is early morning. Everything will be back as it was before, quiet and slow. No more fighting and chaos in the house. The supercharged kids will boil their hurricane at some other place. Of course it is a course that I wish would take a different path but, destiny has stated otherwise. I have learned to accept it and moved on being strong and hard.
What matter the most to them is the time that we spend together, that I learned when being with my kids. Sadly that’s not going to be easy for me to accomplish. I have always loved them and I know they do so as well. I could not ask for more from them. No amount of gift, chocolate or toys can replace quality time with your kids. I only hope that they would be strong and understand, I will always be here for them.