I realise now that growing up is a pain in the a$$. When I was at Matthew’s age, I was already expected to act more “mature”. I guess that is why I had been expecting the same from Matthew. Maybe I am expecting too much, or maybe I should expect something else altogether. Matthew is destined for greatness. I feel that. I just hope that I am not hindering his potential.
In this day and age of digital freedom, we read and we watch all sorts of advice from “experts” in the field of parenting and what not. Well, I can tell you right now, I’m no expert at fatherhood. It is more complicated than I had originally thought. So complicated in fact that I would be willing to get paid as a guinea-pig to make a scientific study out of it. Tough though, that it won’t be happening anytime soon. Truth of the matter is that these advices are generic and generalised. While some parenting advice that I followed worked, most of them didn’t. I had to improvise, and that’s where things turn. Better or worse is up to you, but yes, that’s where it turns.
I won’t solicit advise that isn’t wanted, so I’m just going to say out loud what I have learned so far. It turns out, Matthew is a kid who doesn’t want to grow up. He can’t sleep without his mum beside him and at least one of his plush toys. He doesn’t listen to what we ask him to do but he understands what we tell him. He will clean up his stuff when you ask him to, but only after a few hours have passed and you have told him to do it at least a dozen times. He hates math. He hates it so much that the mere mention of the word puts him in a berserker mode. Moreso if you add the word homework to the word math. Eventually he will answer the worksheets or homework sheets, but like cleaning up, only after you have told him to do it twenty-five times and sometimes only after you have lost your voice telling him off for the umpteenth time.
In my time, that would have been unacceptable. And maybe it still is to some parents today. But since Matthew is different, this is how it is at the moment. We have tried to make changes, but so far, things either go from worst to frustratingly worst. If there was a word that was worse than worst, that would be it. I am an adult, and that is how I feel about it. And when you ask Matthew how he feels about it, he reciprocates with roughly the same frustration as mine. So I think that somewhere between his frustrationa nd mine is a compromise that all of us can be happy with. What that compromise is, I have no idea yet.