Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Leadership (03/14/05)
TITLE: The Voice of Autonomy
By Tim Liwanag
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Well, there were a lot of days when he voiced Mummy and stayed put, unafraid of everything. He was just calm and unflappable as he played with neon blocks in a solitary corner. Nowadays, he is rapidly shifting moods from gentleness to whimper or laughter to squeal. He discovers, touches, and eats odd things in a thrilling manner. Moreover, his endless curiosity combined with his get-up-and-go behavior makes me restrictive, doubly alert and at all times in hot pursuit. Seasoned mothers usually say this is also a time when my child will begin to walk around the entire house in sixty seconds, grab objects and figure out how stuffs work.
Indeed, his exploration and his yearning for undivided attention seem more intense than ever. He constantly blubbers in the presence of new faces, and cries amid startling loud voices or door-banging noises. Whenever he is a little bit jittery, his safe haven is between my long, unshaven legs. I know itís a sign of clinginess. Yet again, those expert mommas would remind me to spend more time with him at this stage and accept his emotional expressions to help him thrive and do well in life someday.
Oh come on, heís just jumpy! But thatís okay; his flare-ups are short-lived anyway. Iím not even worried about his open meltdowns or each time he throws fits inside the grocery store or in front of my mother-in-law. Unfortunately, at home, he would sometimes pinch, bite, and strike anyone with an empty one liter soda plastic bottle, his favorite toy. Think of all the maddening tantrums an 18-month-old person can execute. He will do just about anything to be noticed and to be embraced forever.
Every single day, the small one is gamely geared up to explore his outside world. Who would not want to escort him? Who would not want to witness his initial stair climb, his first backward walk, his first jump, and his first kick at a ball? He may possibly get a scratch or bruise but it will be a budding experience. In fact, there just arenít enough hours to see him grow but Iím going to be there for him no matter what, even if it hurts my career.
An energetic toddler like him needs a loving parent around. Mothers, obviously, have been maxim-izing these ABCs of childcare for years. To be sensitively available and emotionally involved is vital, they say. And the way I'm going to master parenting is by raising my own kid, too.
All in all, it has been an edifying and fruitful year with little John. Whatís more, after our festive breakfast, he articulated a new five-letter word. For the first time, he called me Daddy Ė and I always want to be.
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