Posting has been slow after we got back from our vacation in Hawaii. The lazy holiday mood carried over even after we landed in 40 degree chilly San Francisco after enjoying the 85 degree sunny and gorgeous Maui climate. It was our best vacation ever (I seem to say that after every trip but this time I think it's really true!) and there were a lot of memorable sights and activities but two things really stand out. One sounds really rather silly when put down in black and white but it's just that, with kids, life becomes so hectic and one of the things my post-baby self has always wanted to do is relax in a cozy armchair with a cup of steaming hot coffee or tea and gaze at the ocean waves lapping on the beach; and I got to do that in Maui. I would wake up by 7 am or so, too late to catch the sunrise, but early enough to beat the morning traffic of S, Y and A; make myself a cup of coffee and sink gratefully into the rattan armchair in the balcony of our condo. Coconut trees everywhere, a mountain with windmills lined up near the summit, and the restless sea. Bliss.
The second thing that I remember with great clarity was the random walk Ads and I took one morning, to the beach near our condo. We wandered through knee-high unkempt grass with no particular purpose, stopping every now and then to (literally) smell the flowers. We plucked some wildflowers, examined the bark of some coconut trees, and even tried to climb one (horribly difficult!). Ads ran ahead of me calling back to me "Honey, come here!" He was a tiny figure in his blue shorts and white T-shirt. He looked so young and vulnerable and I felt a sudden pang of regret that just because he has a younger sibling, maybe we treat him as older than he is and expect a standard of behaviour that is simply not possible for a kid his age? I see parents with just one child who still treat that child, whether they are 5, 7 or 10 years old, like a baby. Maybe we would also treat Ads like the not-long-out-of-babyhood kid that he is, if Y hadn't been around. I decided to be more patient with him, a noble resolution that lasted only as long as his next tantrum that same day :(
Speaking of which, it has been an uphill task dealing with Ads' multiple daily tantrums. For the last 1.5 years, we have been having a hard time dealing with his emotional ups and downs and somehow I thought that after he turned 4, the problem would sort itself out. He would be more mature, we are giving him lots of attention despite (or indeed, because of) Y being around, he would be more settled at school etc etc. None of our predictions have come true and while we are managing this frustrating phase in his childhood, we are far from knowing what triggers these outbursts or whether, as his teacher claims, it's just a stage many kids go through and we don't need to fret about it. Neither the carrot nor the stick approach seems to work. Withdrawing certain privileges as a punishment for bad behaviour is my formula; but what do you do with a kid who calmly accepts a temporary ban on TV and reading books and drawing (his 3 favourite activities) and doesn't seem to learn anything from it? S is amused, I am sheepish and frustrated and the whole incident has no impact on his Majestic Tantrumness.
Y has been engaging us in a different manner; but that is fodder for another post.