C., This One Is for You!
Here is the thing: I am not a mum.
But I have been blessed to be involved in raising Alin’s daughter, C. She is 6 and she’s amazing.
And before you get all “yeah, everybody thinks their kid is amazing”, let me write again: I am not a mother, C. is not my daughter and I am, thanks to my mum’s upbringing, pretty critical and objective.
Given my delicate position in C.’s life, we decided that I am not her mum, nor her friend, I am her Oana. And just what exactly a Oana does? Well, pretty much everything to ensure C.’s development as a decent healthy human being. Plus some fun stuff ridiculous stuff. And also to teach her that Queen is the coolest band ever. It’s still fighting Katy Perry, but I will give it time.
Partly because of the responsibility and partly because of my curious nature, I have and still am piling information about kids, parents and their interaction. Nowadays the internet is full of blogging mums… And boy oh boy, I do tend to panic and speak like my grandparents: “Youth nowadays.”
Between kids throwing tantrums and parents hovering over their child’s every move, I do not know what to choose. It’s very hard to balance protection and responsibilisation of kids.
We all draw from our past experience. That doesn’t, however, fit nowadays. Things have changed. People have changed with them. It’s ridiculous not to allow your kid access to technology under the pretense that it distracts him from embracing and admiring nature. Technology will be part of his future and it makes no sense to seclude it.
So yeah, panic about how to feed your kid properly, panic about how much time should you allow him to watch TV or play a game on the iPad, panic about how much you should insist with his homework, panic about how he should spend his free time. Panic all the freakin’ way! What if he grows up to be dependent on a parent? What if he is not learning enough? What if he gets picky about food in the future? All the questions lead to the panic of raising an unfit kid.
So I took all that info, passed it through my reasoning and applied it on me and C. Don’t do that, have you finished homework, have you washed your hands, go brush teeth, switch that off, and so on.
Every now and then, when she is a little fussy, I have a hard time dealing with her and her needs. I do get pissed off. She goes to her room and closes the door – that is the sign that she is upset. I keep on thinking that she gets too much attention, that is why she is behaving like that, and think it’s not ok for her future, when she will not be the focus of everyone anymore. I imagine things …
And then I look at other kids and parents and realize that C. is really a wonderful kid. She truly is a wonderful kid. Moving past the obsession for cats, she listens … most of the time, she is witty and funny, she experiments and, most importantly, she wants to learn. What she needs is a little stirring and a friendly face who really listens to her. She made it all very easy for me and I can probably speak here for her parents as well.
So C., when you grow up and read this, just know I said thanks for letting me be your Oana.
I wanted to write this as a reminder to me. And maybe for other people who think their kids could do better. Yes, they probably could, but they could also do much much worse.