A Mummy’s BlogMar 30, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org 3 Hand in Hand Learning, How Babies Learn guest blogger, kinesthetic
A huge welcome to our new guest blogger Natalie…
Natalie is a 40 dodging widow and mummy of Eddie and Rupert (3.5 and 18 months). Navigating life with tears, humour, wine, coffee, laughter and friends.
I have one of THOSE children … My name is Natalie Wilson and yes I have one of those kids. Before I was a parent I used to look at people whose kids would run up and down in restaurants and wonder what their home life must be like and what rubbish parents they must be. Then when I had Eddie I KNEW those people with those naughty badly behaved kids were rubbish parents who clearly have no concept of discipline. I knew this because my Eddie did what he was asked. If I said “can you go and bring your plate into the kitchen for mummy” he did. I could sit in a place of worship and smugly sit there with Eddie on my lap and give sly sideways glances to the mothers of the kids who were screaming and running up and down the aisle. My Eddie was perfect.
Cue Rupert. Ummm I take it all back. To all you mothers who I glared at, I’m sorry. I judged you and your “ADHD” child.
Rupert is the child who would and has thrown himself on the floor in the middle of Sainsburys/the park/a cafe/at home when he doesn’t get his way. Rupert will hit me repeatedly on the chest or face with his chubby little clenched fist when I pick him up to stop him doing something he shouldn’t. I find myself meekly saying “Don’t hit mummy, that’s not nice” as he thumps me again in the mouth or my nose. Yes, I’m THAT mother. I used to sneer at mummies like me. I would mutter to whoever I was with “what is wrong with that child? How pathetic is that woman saying it’s not nice to hit mummy”. I would love to make myself feel a better, more in control, superior person by confidently stating my child would NEVER do that.
In Church recently I winced as Rupert repeatedly ran up to the Vicar in the middle of the service and started “chatting” to him whilst standing right in front of him only to then disappear as he tried to climb up into the pulpit. “God help me” I began muttering. As I grabbed him and brought him back to sit down I got my usual thwacks in the mouth. I sat down…..off he trotted again. After the service the Vicar greeted Rupert with big cuddles and a cheeky (knowing?!) look on his face. When we’re out all my friends laugh at Rupert whereas I am frozen to the spot, embarrassed and mortified. They divert his attention….it works.
It would appear I am the “problem” not Rupert. One of my friends talks of children and says “you never get two the same” and she’s right. However I am so conditioned and used to parenting my “easy” child I was sort of stuck with what to do with this more challenging child.
So we went on holiday last summer. My lovely cousin Sandy said “Rupert’s a kinesthetic child, I could see that within 5 minutes of meeting him”. Errrr what?! A crash course in children’s types and at the age of 38 I realised that I’m a visual learner. I need to see things written down. Don’t tell me something important verbally. It doesn’t go in. Now I know why I always have to email and text everything. I used to get told off by my boss at work for emailing clients not calling them. Now I know that I needed to see things written down, not that I am not a people person. Rupert needs to learn by doing. He won’t ever be told or asked but if you get down to his level and tell him AND show him, he gets it and that saves us all a lot of tantrums. If he’s really going off on one, diversion is the best attack. Not ignoring him, open mouthed thinking “just pull yourself together”. Rupert is a physical child. He’s rarely still. Eddie will watch tv all day if I let him, Rupert would rather empty my dishwasher and rearrange the shoes on the rack in the hall. Rupert is physically miles ahead of where Eddie was at his age. As a mummy I need to accept my sons are different and learn to parent them in different ways.
So actually Rupert’s not a deviant weirdo who is destined to be in borstal, I needed some parenting advice! Although more challenging to parent, now I’m on the right track, it’s actually a lot of fun and makes me engage my brain a bit more and think outside the box. In many respects my chatty little monkey is easier than my quiet sulky good boy!