posted by derrica on .
Help of a Troublemaker
I remember when I was younger; I had an interesting captivation with younger children. The thought of having my own, was like a dream waiting to happen, but of course when I was younger and more mature. These days I look back and wonder; what was I thinking back then? Children are hard work and I would have to possess immense responsibility for the job. I eventually learned how to, not through my own child, but through my baby brother, Nathan. As soon as he was born, I left school, started homeschool and have been taking care of him since. Through this fulfilling experience, I have learned patience, responsibility, and time management. These qualities I couldn’t have learned without Nathan. Who knew our little troublemaker would help me get it together?
Patience is a virtue that can be cultivated and nurtured. We tend to lose our patience when we’re tired, multitasking, or on a tight schedule. I am one of the people who can lose her patience at all times of the day. Nathan would cry at all times of the day and sometimes during the night, which caused sleep deprivation and severe frustration. I was getting up at all times of the night and during the day, and would be extremely agitated, especially when our little troublemaker wasn’t sleeping during the night. In the first couple months, it was because he would have fevers from being born C-section. He would cry at all odd hours of the day, and from lack of understanding, I had no clue what to do, considering he was now three months old. I made him bottle after bottle, I read him stories, I made funny faces and I still wasn’t getting through to him. My frustration was reaching a point and I finally decided to contact the teen mothers I had met at a fair I attended with my family, they were sincere and sympathized with my problems. They also too, confessed of being extremely frustrated sometimes and left their infants with their mothers or aunts. I didn’t really have that choice to make. While balancing school and a baby brother, I began to put my brain and heart to use. I loved my brother and knew my love could control my patience, including my lip biting. I read books late at night on raising a child and discovered a simple option that some mothers used to keep patience in and pour love out to their child. I wondered why I couldn’t see it before. Music was the answer; it could be any kind of genre from classical to rap. I was so tired one afternoon because Nathan just wasn’t eating or sleeping; I flipped on the radio and just sat with him, rocking in our rocking chair. My eyes were closing by themselves and my mind was just so jumbled up I couldn’t resist closing them. After 10 minutes, I finally opened my eyes out of panic and looked down into my arms. He was there with his blonde hair and stormy gray eyes, bundled up, snoring a storm away. I was so surprised, I was excepting when to open my eyes to hear the storm, but instead I heard a piano playing softly in the background.” Music cleanses the understanding; inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if it were left to itself.” Henry Ward Beecher once said. Wasn’t that the truth? I couldn’t have learned patience without music or to understand that Nathan was like a sign showing me that through patience I could endure the best and worst of situations. Patience was quite a lesson I learned, but learning how to save time and go through high school was something I definitely had to learn for both mine and Nathan’s future.
“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.” – Rodin. Time management is the process of exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities. I, too, once had been a control freak, doing everything precisely by a written schedule. As soon as Nathan was born, I just kind of grew out the habit and just “went with the flow” of the occurrences of the day. I would let Nathan sleep and play whenever he wanted to. As he got older, he became wilder, more hyperactive, and of course, a little more spoiled. Nathan also had a habit of waking up at five in the morning, crying until someone took him out of his crib to let him play with his toys in the living room. Finally, after some weeks of being agitated every day and extremely sleep deprived, I sat down with my parents and told them my situation. Of course, they were distressed, but also delighted that I came to them with my tribulations. My father advised putting Nathan down for a nap at a certain time each day, for a couple of days, to experiment the outcome. I hesitantly tried it out, and interestingly enough, it became quite noticeable that at that certain time now he would start look for his bottle and manage to climb up and curl in my lap. I took note that this was a regular repetition in his behavior and started noticing other things, for example, at lunch, when he was hungry he would bring me a spoon. Or at three in the afternoon, would bring me one of his shoes, to show that he wanted to go outside. I put together an hour-by-hour schedule of what he was doing, and started to put it to use. I now had free time to work on lessons from school and also take small naps. His transformation was enormous and Nathan became calmer, more active when we went outside, and was sleeping longer during the mornings. The outcome was a success and my parents were delighted that Nathan and I had a more certain routine that we could follow. Time management was a responsibility I had taken upon myself to make sure Nathan had a warm, fun, but essential environment.
“The price of greatness is responsibility” – Winston Churchill. Responsibility is a duty or obligation to satisfactorily perform a task that one must complete and should be able to accept the consequences if failed. It is acknowledging that you are solely responsible for the decisions you make. I made the decision to be homeschooled and take care of Nathan, at age 16. Yes, you might think that that was too young for a teenage girl, but I was ready and I knew the current situation at home was too difficult for my parents to handle alone. I knew it was my turn to step in for the family and give them all I had to help out. My mother knew I was responsible, but I just needed to prove it, so she could be reassured that her one and only son could be taken care of. I thought that being responsible would be simple and maybe a little fun; boy, I wrong. Being responsible meant making sure Nathan was fed, changed, and just generally made sure that he didn’t get in any kind of trouble. I made sure he was fed three times a day, with snacks included of course. We usually had fun with that, if we were having goldfish, I would make it swim to his mouth. Changing was no fun at all, but it was my responsibility to make sure he was squeaky clean. Making sure Nathan didn’t get in trouble was kind of a big thing for me. He was always taking something apart or going through our kitchen drawers. He would pull out all the folded laundry off the shelves, would pull our scrapbook paper out, and at one point opened the fridge and climbed into there to get some cheese sticks. This kid was a handful; even I admit that. But I did learn how to manage him without going crazy or haywire, or even angry. He had a tendency to throw stuff down the toilet and flush it, I was told to teach how to break his habit. How was I supposed to break it? I had no experience with toddler’s habits. Should I let him go in there until he was tired or refuse to let him go into the bathroom at all? I decided to go with the latter and became committed to making this work. I began closing the doors everyone morning, Nathan would stand at the door and cry pitifully. Curious on what happen if I distracted him with toys and crayons, I tried it out. Surprisingly, it worked on the first try and as time passed, Nathan eventually forgot that the bathroom even existed. My responsibilities weren’t only to make sure Nathan was fed and changed, but was shown discipline, love, and to make sure he had a safe and healthy environment.
This experience has been more than fulfilling; it has shown me the road to something greater than responsibility, time management and responsibility. Children are the future and we impact the hope of the future today by our showing the many qualities that have been shown to us. A child is to be brought up to be loved, nurtured, and disciplined by a loving caregiver whether it’s a parent or relative. I did learn that. Maybe one day Nathan might follow in my footsteps, regarding education or other decisions he makes when he’s older, and I would be responsible for teaching him those qualities back when he was a small toddler that managed to outsmart us many times. Leaving school, entering homeschool, and becoming a substitute mother for Nathan was a decision that I made, not knowing what I was entering into, but at the end realizing that it was teaching me to show someone a better life and to encourage a better future.
younger and more mature. = shouldn't that be younger and LESS mature?
family, they were sincere = the last part is a separate sentence, so not a comma but a semicolon = family; they were
I was excepting = I was expecting...
for both mine = for both my and Nathan's
kind of grew out the habit = grew out of the habit
generally made sure = generally make sure
I do not guarantee that I caught everything. It would help if you clearly delineated the paragraphs. This was so long and my eyes are so tired.
THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH :)