When I moved to KL a few years back, I had my hands full with a 2-year old drama queen. Our mornings would more often than not start with her screaming like someone was cutting off one of her limbs. I would close the window in the hope that the neighbours would be spared the racket that was caused by the choice of shoes or by silly mum not letting her wear a fancy princess outfit to school (what was wrong with me!). Let’s go to my then life for a second:

The morning has already started with a series of catastrophies: cereal, no cereal, milk with the cereal. No milk, wrong cup, wrong spoon. In addition a few false alarms and a few attacks with no apparent reason. And then. The Princess Shoes. It is only nine o’clock.

Princess crown pinata

When a stay-at-home Western mother moves into the neighbourhood, the local mums take full advantage and use every opportunity to ask questions about the Western methods in child care. Nobody dares to ask about the screaming matches but all other issues get covered. Do they eat by themselves? Sleep in their own bed? In their own room? Are they allowed to scoot around the yard? Play with sand and pebbles? In between every question a long silence and a significant Aaah.

They see my kids as having initiative and independence. I am not quite sure if they see that the classic kicking and screaming is the other side of the same coin. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

The lady next door cannot go to public places without her husband, because she is worried that the child gets out of control. My children are hardy ever in control, but for me losing face at the supermarket is – hands down – a lesser evil than losing what little wits I have left by being stuck at home.

The neighbour is looking for tips to handle a child behaving badly in public. She giggles at my suggestion to strap the cave child in the pushchair and remove the offending item from the scene. I am yet to discover how the Asian parents tackle terrible twos, which I suspect is not a Western phenomena. I don’t hear them roaring at their kids at the swimming pool like I do, though. Maybe I have caused the terrible twos after all?

princess dress

At the preschool they welcome the angry toddler with “Is she a bit tired today?”. I would love to tell them who really is tired, and bring her to school naked since she refuses to wear any outfit available (actually I have done that but that’s another story). At the same time I curse myself for buying those freaking princess accessories in the first place.

And then, after following a mother-daughter negotiations on going to the potty, the then four-year old says: “Mummy, let it go, she is still very small. She will learn when she is big like me.”

And now, more than a year later, it seems she has . I also have. I think it started getting better when I stopped caring whether she woudl go to school looking like meringue. And that only happened when my friends told me to stop being crazy and let it be.

My advise to anyone suffering with a strong willed tiny person would not be “pick your battles”, it would be “avoid battle if only you can”. Battles should be left for situations that are actually dangerous, not just dangerous to your mental calm. And, when your princess is a teenager, I am pretty sure an argument over princess shoes would feel a bit unneccessary.

 

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LattemamaKL Livingmotherhood,terrible twosWhen I moved to KL a few years back, I had my hands full with a 2-year old drama queen. Our mornings would more often than not start with her screaming like someone was cutting off one of her limbs. I would close the window in the hope that...Family, travel and expat blog from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia