On sunday night, DeeDee and MeeMee (I) had a talk with BoiBoy about his Art Enrichment class held in his school on Mondays. Four lessons has taken place so far and he has refused to attend the class without MeeMee’s company. We were torn between simply withdrawing him from the class and persisting. We decided to persist with a new method. DeeDee promised to buy him a computer (Eg Leap Pad) if he would attend his Art Class by himself.
Monday afternoon, I waited at the school gate. “Ring!” School ended and I was anxious. Deep down in my heart I did not believe Boiboy would attend his Art Class by himself. “Mummy”. BoiBoy’s call caught my attention. Quickly, I got him a table in the canteen area and put my bag down. I held his hand as we walked to GerGer’s class to fetch her to the canteen, just as her teacher dismissed her class.
BoiBoy and GerGer had the bread and Milo drink which I had brought to school. BoiBoy was taking forever to finish his bread. He used one finger to dig the cream out of the bread to eat when he had a mouthful of bread left. I got anxious. ”Hurry up, don’t be the late all the time”. I offered to discard the bread but he stuffed it into his mouth. My anxiousness grew as I wore his apron for him while he ate the last bits. “Do you need to pee? “I asked. He stroke his head, and then we walked towards his class. He grabbed my hand tight as we approached his classroom. I felt uneasy and lost. “Shh Shh”, he said. I was not sure if I believed he really needed to pee or if he was avoiding going to class. I requested that he put his bag and water bottle into the classroom first and he did. This made me believe he really needed to pee.
We went to the toilet and at the Urina, something was was not right as an awkward silence filled the toilet. “Mummy… Mummy. “BoiBoy called in a soft and uncertain voice. I looked down. His pants was pulled down and held with his legs apart. I touched. It was soaked. His legs, socks and shoes were soaked with urine. “Did you do this on purpose so you can avoid going for your Art Class?” I asked softly but in an accusing tone. He went quiet. I was at a lost because I did not have my going-out bag with me which usually has a spare set of clothes. I carried him and stood him by the sink. ”I’ll ask your teacher for a clean pair of pants to change”. He refused to let me remove his socks. I know he has sensitive sense of touch and freaks out when he is bare footed on sand. But I had nothing for him to stand on. I was not thinking from his perspective. “Quickly, would you?!” He lost control of his emotions at this point.
BoiBoy burst out in tears, hitting me repeatedly causing my spectacles to fall off my face consecutively after each time I recovered its position. I got angrier. ”Stop! ” I shouted. His classmates from Art Class came into the toilet moments before his outburst. My gut feel told me he was embarrassed and he hit me because he was at a loss, and perhaps blamed me for not saving his ego. But my mind was too focused on the practicalities of how to get him to change into dry clothes as soon as possible. He hid his face in my neck, cried and cried. I lifted him and got him back to our table in the canteen. A kind school teacher went to borrow a pair of clean pants for me and even gave me a paper brief. BoiBoy was a little calmer by this time and I managed to change his brief and pants. I sat him on a bench to remove his socks.
Thankfully, GerGer agreed to my request to let BoiBoy have her socks. She was so sweet, wasn’t she? After I put on socks for him, I asked ”Do you want to go for your class?” He shook his head, with pleading eyes piercing right through my heart. I went tough and asked “so you don’t want computer no more?” He shook his head. I felt very torn. I surrendered. “Stand here and wait for me, I will go get back the cheque for next term’s Art classes.” I knocked and opened the office door. Before I could open my mouth, the School principal said “let me try “, as if she understood my turmoil. I followed her, surprised and helpless.
“Come, let me bring you in” said the principal. BoiBoy rushed to hug my leg. She requested again calmly. To my surprise, he held her hand. I watched them enter the classroom and saw the door closed. “Waaahhh!” a loud cry, so familiar to my ears came from the classroom. Five minutes later, the principal came out alone and had a chat with me. She reminded me to be calm when talking to my children. I was not listening because I had not let go of my untrusting thoughts. I never believed BoiBoy could go into Art class alone.
Her words lingered in my thoughts for the next two days as I came to realise where I went wrong. First and foremost I did not trust my boy. Past incidents are no valid excuses for me not trusting him. If his mother does not trust him, where could he get courage from? Secondly, I scared him when he did not wet himself intentionally. Thirdly, I was not there to comfort him and give him assurance when he felt embarrassed when seen by his classmates in the toilet.
The more I reflected on my mistakes, the more guilty I feel. It teared a couple
of times for not acting the right way. I feel ashamed for not being his pillar of strength and support. What happened to my learning of “Appreciation Education” from Zhou Hong? What happened to my recent learning about parenting with grace, from Joseph Prince’s DVD?
Do I fit to be his mother?
When did I stop perceiving the world from his perspective?
What have I become?
I have tried to be calm so many times, even at the expense of arguing with DeeDee, but when did I stop being calm?