A Day Out With Reuben

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Reuben and Han with sugar

Today Brandon and Andrea went off for a school trip to the Farm in the City, so we took this opportunity to spend some uninterrupted time with Reuben. We bundled him into the car and made our way to Mid Valley—a place I haven’t been to in months.

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This little man has a proper mind of his own now. Says “NO” to almost every question, suggestion, and instruction. He can be real whiney too when he doesn’t get his way. And yet he’ll be the first to burst into the room if he hears Sean crying from downstairs, or to walk over to an older sibling to give them a gentle pat on the shoulder if they’re visibly upset from receiving a telling off.

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He is now almost 3 years old, and yet through our thoughtlessness, we still treat him like the baby of the family. Chanrany still feeds him at the dinner table even though he is actually capable of doing it himself. So this afternoon was one of the very rare occasions where he had almost total freedom to handle his plate of food. It may not seem like such a big deal, but for a small boy who has to constantly expend energy and effort to vie for attention amongst his siblings, being given this chance to finally be a ‘big boy’ could have quite a significant impact. From now on I will have to be more firm in having him take care of his own meals at the table, even though there’ll be a bit more of a mess to clean up after. It’s a small price to pay in order to buffer his self esteem!

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On my part I think I can do so much better for him. Most days I find myself merely reacting to situations rather than planning ahead, which makes for a chaotic approach to parenting as well. I am constantly tired, and sometimes allowing myself to go hungry in favour of getting work done in what little time I have during the day when I can hear myself think. It was a real treat for me today, to be able to sit quietly at the table and just enjoy my food—to appreciate its presentation, its flavours, to chew slowly and smile at my two boys sitting across from me. What a welcome change from having to incessantly remind three children to sit still and not play crazy with one another!

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Today Reuben got to have a nice lunch all to himself, admire a fountain, have a walk about Borders and bring home a book about bugs (he loves butterflies). Here he is dozing off while sitting on Han’s lap at Gelatissimo—by that time not even gelato could keep the poor chap awake! :) Then we visited Daiso and Muji at Han’s recommendation (I still can’t get over the fact that my husband was suggesting interesting shops to visit in a mall!).

Most importantly, today Reuben got to have us all to himself. I’m glad we had this opportunity to observe and appreciate him for who he is.

Looking forward to more such experiences with each of our children.

 

 

 

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