p pol The Adventures of Carboman: Pressing Matters

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Pressing Matters

Carbokid isn't quite the same kid lately. For the past 2.5 weeks, he's been difficult to handle, throwing tantrums when we send him not only to his nanny's and school but also when picking him up in the evenings. This is all the more unusual since he has a collected and easy going demeanour. Even when he was cranky he could be easily pacified. We'd talk and reason with him and he'd be OK.

The recent problem was compounded when he appeared seemingly confused by his troubles - bawling and saying that he doesn't want to go to the nanny's and school, but yet when we pick him up, he didn't want to come home with us! He was also quite clingy. The "What To Expect" book and several Internet resources said that this behaviour was normally a result of transition. The kid is finding it hard to adjust to the daily goings-on: leaving early to school, then to nanny's, in between activities, and back home.

However we suspect that it stemmed from school. After spending a couple of weeks in the ground floor classroom, Carbokid's class was moved upstairs to a much smaller/enclosed room. Not only that, he had a change in teacher. That morning he probably couldn't adjust to the sudden change and he wetted his shorts twice. Highly unusual as he's potty trained and he knows how to say that he needs to go to the loo. According to the school, just when the teacher was about to put on his shorts for him, the nanny arrived, so Carbokid went home with just his T-Shirt on covering his upper and lower body. I suspect he must have been traumatised by the experience and wasn't the same since then. And I suspect (but I've no way to prove) that the school didn't attempt to find him a pair of spare shorts and even reprimanded him for soiling the 2 shorts.

Nearly every day for the last 2 weeks we've had to cope with him and we've stopped him going to school. We've even spent the recent Monday and Tuesday in Penang, hoping that he will be more relaxed. But last night he was happily playing at the nanny's and refused to come home with us. So we let him spend the night there and Carbowoman and I took the opportunity to catch up on some rest we desperately needed. We had a nice dinner at a Thai restaurant and got our 8 hours of sleep. Before we retired we called the nanny and found that he's perfectly all right there.

All these taught us that sometimes when things are not going well with the kid/s we will get the feeling that we're not being good parents and other thoughts of inadequacy of helping the kid. While this is natural, we need to recognize and arrest those negative thoughts and focus on doing the best we can. Parents can't possibly handle or know how to deal with everything. What we're doing now is to return Carbokid to the old simple ritual, hoping this will bring back his old assured self. This therapy will take awhile but kids do recover from traumatic experiences.

KLIM is just but the least of my worries. I've not run a single step since last Sunday's final long run and I can't see myself running another step up to the race. Work has been bad and my external "hobby" has just taken off. Most importantly Carbokid needs his Dad's energy and time. So life as it is is pretty packed. Because of that I'd be shelving my racing for a few months and when I find time to run, it'll be for reasons of maintenance rather than training/medalling. I spoke to Justin about this last evening and my decision, surprisingly, wasn't that hard to make, given the more pressing matters at hand. I'll be back to the races, I'll grant you that but perhaps it's time I take a break for now.


  • Carboman,

    I faced the same fate as you 15 yrs ago when I got my daughter. Bcos of all the pressing matters from the kid and also not leaving my wiffy alone to handle it, I decided to stop running almost completely. And instead choose badminton to keep myself fit. Then came my son 3 years later, and the cycle started again. Not until last Sept, when both my kids are much older now - 13 n 9, I decided to make a comeback and am into my 3rd 1/2 marathon b4 attempting the 42km again. Best of luck to you. Your carbokid needs both of you more than anything.


    By Blogger C-CUBE, at 4:13 PM  

  • C-Cube: Thanks for sharing. It's about priorities. And I've always thought that I'll run my best races in my forties! In distance running, age is not so much a factor. Hope your "return" will be great.

    By Blogger Carboman, at 5:08 PM  

  • u know..i also have this problem... this gal of my just graduated from uni and always refuse to go to bed early and dont want to eat anything fatty except..sushi..how ah???

    By Blogger lifemou, at 3:18 PM  

  • I hope Carbokid comes out of this soon. Actually one of my main concerns when considering sending my boy to school so early was him being 'mistreated' for his mistakes and occasional naughtiness.

    Each child responds differently when reprimanded and I notice my son for instance listens and follows instructions when told kindly and explained to as opposed to being ordered or scolded. He has a very stubborn and persistent streak in him, very much like his father.

    My mum used to teach in a early learning centre as well after her retirement and she has also shared her views on how the teachers are just too busy keeping the oversized classes organised that they don't have the time to be sensitive to each child's predicament.

    So for now, we've decided that Nick shall receive his lessons at home every morning from my mum. This has worked out well so far.

    By Blogger Dinesh, at 2:07 PM  

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