Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Zara's 嬷嬷 (Mama - Paternal Grand mother)
The days when I was away for my work trip, Daddy got MIL to come and stay in our house so that she can keep an eye on our maid while he's at work. MIL's style of caring for a child vs mine is very different, especially in these 3 areas : 1) She didn't believe in breastfeeding, and thought I breast fed Zara for too long, making Zara too attached to me. She was so glad I finally weaned her off from the breast, even after I told her many times the benefit of breast feeding, including the DHA I'm giving Zara, and the boost of immunity she's getting from all the breast milk. 2) She thinks that a baby should be and can be toilet trained by the 1st few months of life. She's appalled that Zara is still not toilet trained by 1 1/2yrs. She said all her kids were toilet trained within the first few months. I don't believe a child can hold their bowel movement or bladder at such a tender age. It's more of her being 'trained' to bring them to the potty at specific intervals. 3) She over protect the child. Even now, she still has her arms stretched out around Zara when Zara walks about, she's getting ready to catch Zara if Zara fell. I'm actually quite glad that I get to bring up Zara my way, which is through reading lots of books written by child care experts. Tuyam, my maid, is not married and has not cared for a child before, so I thought her my desired method, and she followed them. So when MIL came over to the house to stay, both Zara and her were in for some surprises. MIL was shocked we allowed Zara to play in her bath for so long. MIL was always following Zara with arms outstretched, Zara found it very annoying. MIL tried to stop Zara from sucking her thumb, and or course Zara was very upset. When I wasn't around, Daddy told me that Zara has been asking MIL to be away from her. When Zara is upstairs, she would tell her Mama, "Mama, go down stairs!" When Zara is downstairs, she would tell her Mama, "Mama, go up stairs!" And sometimes MIL close her arms around Zara (ready to catch her if she falls), Zara would point to a corner and tell her Mama, "Mama, go there!" When I was around, I saw Zara pushing MIL away when MIL tried to help her climb a chair or on to the sofa (which Zara is already an expert doing it). I had to chip in and tell Zara, "Cannot be rude to Mama. Mama is just helping ok?" or "Cannot push Mama away, you know Mama is Daddy's Mummy and she sayang (Malay: Love) you very much?". Zara would then turn towards MIL and give her a hug, as though to apologise. I know MIL loves Zara and cares for her. However, her method is not one that Zara is used to, so Zara is not accepting her. I'm glad and thankful she was wiling to help out when we needed her help. However, I'm also glad that she's not Zara's main care giver, as I think Zara would be a very different person under her care.