Sunday, July 13, 2008 ;
Once in a while, I will meet with some events that leave me racking my brain. What should I do in these instances?Signs, and following the rules
1. We were happily sipping our drinks (Ice blended coffee for me, and chocolate paradise for the kids) at Pacific Coffee Company at Vivocity, waiting for my sis, her baby and Eliz to arrive.
There were a couple of no-smoking signs around us.
I caught a whiff of cigarette smoke while doodling on the Magna Doodle with the kids. Looking around us, I saw the table of men behind us smoking away. There were 6 men, who looked like executives working in the area, drinking coffee, discussing some matters, and 2 of them were puffing away.
I do feel like telling people off, but I usually keep it to myself, especially when I am alone with the 2 young kids. Sometimes, I would tell someone in authority (in this case, the staff), but they seemed busy and there was an empty table away from the men and available, so I just moved the kids.
ds1 asked me why we moved. I told him, and then he started to stare at them, and then went to read the "no smoking" sign. He then said very loudly, "Why do they still smoke when the sign says not to?"
How to answer??!?
2. When we stay at my mom's, I often bring them down to the playground (typical HDB kids playground, with slides, bridge, and 2 swings). ds1 likes to ride on his bike while ds2 will tackle the playground equipment.
Having been to most of the parks in the area (Jurong Central Park- the new one, West Coast Park, Sentosa, Botanic Gardens), ds1 has been taught not to cycle on the footpaths and cycle on the paths with the "bicycle sign", indicating bicycle paths.
At the area around the playground, there were such signs too. He was cycling along, when he saw a big guy cycling on the foot paths, and also into the kids play area. I had told ds1 not to cycle within the play area as there are usually many toddlers stumbling along in that area, or squatting on the ground to play, so it is dangerous as he might crash into them.
This big guy was zooming around on his bike at high speeds, swerving here and there. My mom said, several times he almost crashed into others.
As he passed ds1, ds1 loudly told him not to cycle on the footpaths and to obey the rules. He looked back at ds1 and then scolded him "ben4 dan4" (stupid fool).
ds1 asked, why when he told other people to do the right thing, they scold him "stupid"?
How to answer??!?
3. There is a badminton court downstairs too, and there is a huge sign saying "no cycling here" right in the middle of the court, where the amphitheatre seats are.
ds1 had tried to ride his bike there several times before, but I had pointed out to him that he was not supposed to, and showed him the sign.
This particular day, there were 2 moms and their kids there. The 2 moms (1 Malay, 1 Chinese) were chatting at the seats, while their kids rode their bikes in the badminton court.
I can understand why they like their kids to ride there. It is empty at that time, and it is a fixed rectangular cemented area, ideal to reign in the kids and keep them cycling just in that area, while they catch up on the latest gossip.
In this case, I would think it is probably alright to ride there, if they are not causing any trouble to anyone or hindering others from playing badminton (the real purpose of the court)?
But, my outspoken ds1, went right up to the kids and told them they cannot ride their bikes there. They didn't bother, and he went up to the 2 moms and pointed to the sign (which was right in front of them) and asked them in this manner:
"Can you see this sign? It says no cycling here!"
They did hear him of course, his voice is very very loud. But they continued talking. My son stood them looking at them, with his hands on his hips, watching them.
My mom was there, and she kept waving for him to go to her, to continue riding his bike.
In this case, what should the mom should?
If I told him, don't tell others off when they do wrong things... that sounds very double standard, cos I always tick them off when they do something wrong. And we are encouraging our kids to be civic conscious and to speak up for themselves, isn't it?
But what if, he continues to do this and gets into trouble one day? We read in papers that people get beaten up for telling some smokers off, or for telling others off in the cinema when they use their cell phones and talk loudly??
Principles? Having backbone?
And how do I encourage him to keep doing the right things, to keep on upholding his own principles, even when others are not following the rules and not doing the right thing?
The other consideration: how do we let them know that some rules can be flexible? They are not old enough to be able to differentiate rules right? There is no grey area for them yet right? Everything is still black and white, yes or no, can or cannot.
I am afraid that if I explain that, the moms are there watching their kids, and if no one wants to use the badminton court, perhaps it is ok to ride there? Then would he apply the same flexibility to a lot of other rules, which I don't want him to be flexible about??!?
Which pasture is greener?
When I was pregnant and feeling terrible in the 1st trimester, nauseous the whole day, I told myself things would get better. It did not. The 3rd trimester was difficult too, and labor was worse.
When the kids were newborn infants, and I had to change countless diapers a day and be a nursing cow round the clock, I kept consoling myself that once they grew a little older, I'd have it easier.
They never do get easier, isn't it? At every stage of their lives, more problems are presented. Certain things ease up, that's true, like I get more sleep now, than they were infants. But somehow, the challenges seem to get tougher and tougher. They cause me to rack my tired brain all the time.
Dh says, sometimes he really wish to do manual labor, and be a construction worker, or an office boy who just photostat/ Xerox papers for others. Cos then you don't get mentally exhausted.
So which is better? Sometimes I do think... going back to the baby days are not bad, at least I am just physically tired, cos all I needed to do was change diapers and nurse. During nursing, I can watch TV or read a book somemore....
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow