Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
"Your kid doesn't poop?" asked an acquaintance.
" Well he poops. How can anyone survive without pooping? But, he doesn't poop using the training seat yet." I replied.
" That's sad. You know my sister's daughter started using the toilet seat since she was a year and a half old. She trained her so well."
"Wow, she must be a real genius. Right now, I am just happy that my son has started telling me that he wants to poop. Do you know, he still doesn't yet chew well."
"He is 2 years old and he doesn't chew well? Oh! God."
I guess, I just gave that lady a heart attack. Thankfully, by God's grace, she survived. Anyways, this conversation hardly meant anything to me. For long, I have stopped paying heed to what the world thinks and what the world wants from my little munchkin or me. Though, initially I used to think a lot. But, then I realised that 'this useless thinking' won't speed up learning process of my kid. He will learn at his own pace, which, by the way is the best. All I know, is that I have the best son in the world and I am the best mother in the world. And, this is true for every mother and her child.
One might think, that I am a callous mother, so be it. I don't mind. I can't force things on my son simply because, so and so's son or daughter did that particular thing at that particular age. Every kid is different and so is every parent. By learning to poop early in his training seat, my son is definitely not going to get a Nobel Prize. And even if he did, I would dare not force him.
Here are few things, that I have come across and wanted to share with all of you.
1. Chewing - When my son turned 2year, he was unable to chew well. The problem was not in chewing, the problem was from the fact that he doesn't like to eat. I tried giving him many chewable tasty item, both healthy and fast food (french fries, bread pieces, poori, carrot, cucumber slices, apples, grapes etc etc). He would take a bite or two and reject it. At times, he may finish the whole thing (which happens very very rare). As per the world, by two he should be chewing off a whole tandoori chicken. Well, my friend's son does. But mine doesn't. So what? My friend told me, if he doesn't, then let him be. He will learn with time. And I feel so lucky to have an encouraging friend like her.
I even tried giving him some chunky food, which, he would either spit or at times even choke and vomit. Did some Googling, and found out that forcing a child to chew may cause some serious choking hazard. So, never ever forced him again. But I kept on offering him chewable snacks. So now, three months later, still not a chewing champion but is better than what he was. Now, at times he sits with his father and eats rice or chappatis from his plate, may be just a very tinnie minnie amount. But, I'm happy with that. I simply can't pressurise my kid to chew the food by forcing it into his mouth. I am just waiting for the right time.
2. Toilet training - Well, to be very frank, I religiously started it only after he turned two. Before that, I would often take him to the toilet, made the 'shhh' noise, to make him pee, told him to pee, but it wasn't a very successful mission. At times, he would, but most of the times he wouldn't. I guess, he, at that time never understood what exactly was expected of him. And if you are unaware of your targets, achieving them would surely be impossible.
But, after he turned two, he started telling me to take him to the loo. But, not always. I was happy, if he told me even once in a day. But by 2yrs 2months, he would go to the toilet, pee and come back ( As in order to train him, I would avoid making him wear his undies/diaper). And just yesterday, we were at a mall, he was wearing a diaper, he wanted to pee, I told him to pee in his diaper, but he insisted on his dad taking him, to the toilet. What more can I expect from a 2yrs 3months old? Guess all we need to give them is lots of time, be patient and keep on repeating the act as long as the kid doesn't get accustomed to it.
3. Potty training- a milestone yet to be achieved. He loves to sit on his training seat, but had never pooped in it. But, I make him sit on it, on a regular basis. Give him some books or play some online rhymes for him on the tablet. He sits there without a fuss, very happy to watch the rhymes or looks at the books. But never accomplishes the mission. But, off late, he has started telling me that he has to poop. He even goes and sits on his potty car, but is still unable to do it there. But, I am happy that he has started taking some initiative. And I make it a point to applaud him a lot, whenever he tries. I have heard many cases of kids being potty trained at an early age, well, hats of too those kids and their mothers. Really appreciate it. Wish my kid did the same. But, like I said, every kid is different. And ,all you have to do is encourage them, and give them time.
4. Talking/Speaking -Yet, another milestone. But each kid is different, and every one's vocabulary may not be the same at a particular age. But remember, that this is not the deciding factor to a kid being dumb or intelligent in future. Some are fast, some are slow, mine was a mediocre, until last month. When all of a sudden, he started speaking in small sentences. Now he can recite few nursery rhymes, he can count 1 to 10 as well as count the number of cars he owns (sadly,which never increases the count of 10), he tries to get involved in small chats with us, answers the questions asked to him, even at times tells us about his friends, in broken but beautiful sentences.
No matter, what you do, you can't force to make your child talk. I had a notion that my son would start talking at a very early age, as I am very very chatty, but he proved me wrong. But, I kept on talking to him as much as possible, read story books to him, expained him whatever we were doing, encouraged him. And with time he started picking up words, joining them into phrases and now incomplete sweet sentences.
5. Knowledge- How much does your kid knows? Does it really matter? Well, being a mom, I know that one likes to brag how much your kids know. But does it really matter? I don't think so. My son knew all the parts of his body before he turned one. Well, I was indeed very proud. But I abstained myself from displaying his achievements in public. I had introduced him to loads and loads of books, bought interactive and educational toys together with lots of other toys. He simply loves his books, he loves playing with the utensils in the kitchen as well as loves to solve puzzles. How much a kid knows at this age is totally irrelevant. But, what we can do is keep on introducing our kids to new things as much as possible. But not force things onto them. Just because, my friends kid can count till 20 doesn't mean mine one can. This is not a competition.
We as parents, always expect our kids to excel in every field. But, this may sometimes lead to raising our expectations beyond permissable limit. Which, by the way, is not good. They are just kids. So let them be kids as long as possible. Because once they grow up, they will be forced to become a part of this crazy frenzy world. So Let them enjoy their childhood.
Being a mom of a toddler, I have learnt quiet a few things, have made tons of mistakes, and also have learned to work upon my mistakes, have had our share of high and lows, have at times questioned my parenting style. But at the end, have always put my son first. Every kid is unique, every kid is different. And as mothers, we should stop judging our kids, comparing them with others and admire them for what they are and not what we want them to be.