As a mother, you learn to give the illusion of not being able to hear, while remaining alert. This particular power serves well to learn new things - things that would not ordinarily be revealed to you otherwise.
On Tuesday, I took the children to the library so that they could have a quiet and cool place to do work. Walking slowly behind them to ensure that they keep in line, etc. I heard Shakir say to Renee that his goal is to be a super hero so he can defeat Super Mom. "Who is Super Mom?" She asked, to which he responded, "my mummy. That's what she does call herself!"
Ordinarily, it is something to be proud of when your kids aspire to be like you, or when they strive to be better than you in your profession, but in this case, something dark and primal built inside me. I cannot believe that this child really plotting my defeat though! You see why children need to be punished? You try your best with them and in the end, it all comes down to them to make the choices that could very well cause their downfall. Obviously, he will be annihilated like others who have tried. Someday, I might be persuaded to tell the tale of my defeat of the Super Villian that I now call my husband.
Speaking of illusions, I am reminded of how super hero children are born with powers of their own and how they choose to use them. For instance, from the time Shakir was a few days old, I realised that he possessed a great power that I had never even imagined. This child used to scream from around to 11pm until about 2am, refusing to sleep. I used to sing, dance, cry, try to reason with him, but he wouldn't stop. Amazing how one so small could have such power to control. Even my father used to get up sometimes and do a few spins with him. Well one night, I decided that my will was stronger than his and I turned off that nightlight, plunging the room into complete darkness and do you know that worked? I wish an older me could have appeared to the younger me in the hospital and say, "this is the secret". To this day, that child still doesn't like to sleep. During the day if I tell him he needs a nap, he will lay still and quiet, giving the illusion of being asleep. When it feels like a long time has passed, I see him stretch and yawn and I'm to believe that he has just awoken. SMH.
Even Jaheim has his own special powers. So far, it seems only I am immune to them... oh and a select few others. With just a smile, I've seen big people melt and gush about how cute he is and then they let him do just about anything. You hear things like, "he's just a baby. He doesn't know any better. Cuddear, don't lash him." SMH.
But the beauty of a child is that they have the innate understanding that there is love in discipline. Even after they misbehave and you punish them, they curl up in your arms and force you to dash the anger away. These are the times when I discuss with them what they did wrong and make sure they understand the reason for the punishment. Let me caution though that if you encourage your children to express themselves freely, you might end up in an hour long discussion, including questions, explanations and a layout of feelings on the table, as is my experience with Shakir.
Allison is mother to two active boys who challenge her on a day to day basis with their escapades. In her other life, Allison juggles a regular day job as a marketing executive in a health food organization. At night, when everyone is asleep, she dreams of being a fulltime writer and super hero.