Papa Talk – I Am a Big Boy Now!

My four-year-old son, Saqeeb, thinks he has at last got to the end of the rainbow.

Ever since he made four years, he keeps on reminding us that he is now a big boy and can take care of himself. It all started when ‘fights’ began between him and his nanny over the choice of clothes he should wear.

Whenever she picked something for him after his shower, even if it happened to be his favourite outfit, he would flatly turn it down – just to prove that he can now have his way. Then he would go on to select the most inappropriate costume for the prevailing weather thick materials during a warm day or flimsy ones on a cold day.

Sometimes to save the day, nanny would give in. He has had similar run-ins with his mother, though being the tough disciplinarian that she is, she always carries the day. He will nowadays do all he can to successfully undress himself and wear a fresh set of clothes.

I sometimes walk into the room to find him struggling to pull off a T-shirt that is stuck around his head. My offer to help is promptly rebuffed by a muffled voice filtering through the T-shirt. He will put up a fight until the damn thing comes off!

Last week, he sauntered into my bedroom and announced that he was going to shower himself. His mother being out of the house, I obviously followed him to the bathroom and got there just as he stepped into the shower and drew the curtains.

I slightly parted the curtains to observe what would follow. When he noticed my presence, he waved me away, reminding me that it was “bad manners” to peep at someone showering. I pulled back and retreated, but not before I shouted some instructions to him.

A few minutes rolled by before I heard him call for his towel and I got there as he stepped out of the shower. He reluctantly allowed me give him a good rub.

Looking up, he said, “See, I am a big boy now!” with a wide grin.

He now relentlessly pushes the big-boy agenda. He will often tell his much older sisters that he was going to his dad’s room to have some boy-talk!

My wife and I are working doubly hard to ensure his puffed-up confidence does not entirely degenerate into some form of male chauvinism. But we do appreciate his bold bid for independence, and as much as possible, allow him do what he can safely do on his own.

One of the things we find ourselves keeping alert minds on is whenever he discovers great interest in activities that could endanger his safety. Some family friends earlier this year brought him a small fish aquarium with three gold fish. Because we were aware of his exploratory mind we feared he would sometimes scoop the fish from the tank, just to take a closer look.

We decided to place the aquarium atop a tall cupboard. But because he is convinced it is his right to feed the fish, he will sometimes pull his high dining chair close to the cupboard and mount on to the armrests in an attempt to reach the aquarium.

We have severally discouraged him from doing that, but he still attempts, especially when the one who previously fed the fish forgot to call him to participate.

All in all, we have tried to lift the barriers on his road to being his ‘own man.’

Are you a father? What have you learnt or discovered about your youngsters and parenting? Share joys, trials, challenges, successes. Send them in 500 words to

Source : The Observer

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