Growing up is hard to do


  • Humour Me
  • Wednesday, 30 Oct 2013

MY son thinks growing up is tragic. His dream is to forever be a child. To him adulthood is a punishment. It’s like being stuck in the kingdom of boredom, he once said. 

Once in a while my son goes through a period where he refused to go to bed, He has this idea that skipping sleep could somehow slow down his growth process. “If I don’t sleep, I won’t grow. If I don’t grow, I won’t become an adult,” he told me several times. I have no clue how he came to this conclusion.

One thing is for sure though, every time he tried to deprive himself of some sleep (in an effort to stay young), he turned my evenings topsy turvy. I think my seven-year-old has a routine devised in his head, for nights like these. One which always begins with him giving all kinds of excuses 
to avoid going to bed.

Once done with his excuses he’d embark on a range of activities. It’s commonly a dynamic process. I get exhausted just watching him. He would go from playing to reading and then to drawing or even painting (sometimes on the bathroom mirror with his toothpaste!) But his favourite thing to do is building Lego blocks. 

My son also took it upon himself to update me on the development of his activities. This means he would be marching in and out of my bedroom bearing announcements of his progress. 

If I fall asleep, he’d peel open my eyelids and ask/say stuff like “mummy, are you asleep (errrr, isn’t it obvious)?”, “Cos I have something to tell you…” (and yes it can’t wait) or, “I know you are sleeping (you think?), but I need you to separate these Lego pieces for me…” 

At my age, keeping my eyes open past 9pm is a massive struggle. Imagine having to separate small Lego pieces without my reading glasses! And, at an unGodly hour, I couldn’t imagine any task more challenging than having to pull out a Lego man’s head from a full faced Lego helmet!

But hey, out of desperation, I discovered (by accident) that all I had to do is to yank the Lego man’s head at an angle! I became an instant hero in my son’s eyes that night! I’m the mom!

I am officially his friends’ “go to” now, every time a Lego man’s head get stuck during playdates. Ahem! 

As an adult and a mom, I sometimes forget what it’s like to be a child. In my effort to get the house chores and my work done, I’m afraid I must have indicated to my children, through my actions and vibes, that being an adult is no fun.

I once asked my son why he didn’t want to grow up. He told me, it’s because he wants to play all the time. In his eyes, adults don’t get to play like children do. “They only have boring toys, like Blackberry.” 

There are times though, I caught myself wishing that my kids would stay the way they are. Well, at least some parts of them. I love how innocent yet invincible kids think they are. They can be fearless and very optimistic .

My son is still thinking of ways to make his jetpack fly and of an antidote to death. His desire to finding solutions to problems choked me up at times. On other occasions we laughed so hard at his ideas until I snorted. He seems to thinks that moms who snort are super cool! 

Looking back, I don’t know how I managed to lose the optimism and curiousity I had as a child. I used to channel MacGyver for heaven’s sake! Except instead of fixing things, I left behind a trail of broken items like the radio, telephone and kitchen tap around the house! 

Imagine the horror I put my parents through! It must have been very challenging for them to keep their patience and their second daughter at the same time.

Dealing with kids especially one with never ending supply of energy can be challenging. To be honest sometimes I am unsure whether to encourage or discourage his late evening creative impulses. 

On a few occasions when he insisted he had to get some images out of his head he actually produced really amazing paintings and drawings.

The same thing happened a few weeks ago. He requested to stay up to draw. As I had had a long day earlier and was too exhausted to keep him company, I left him in his room and went straight to bed.

I got up the next morning to an illustration of some aliens attacking a shopping mall. My son also wrote : “I love the world. Love it with full of nice stuff”

I am still figuring out this one!

> The views expressed are entirely the writer's own.
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