Kit for Kat!
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Life today is so different. I look at Kat and I look at myself when I was 15-16 years old and she’s only 10! Her mind is so complex, her feelings so mature but her mind is still of a naive child. So last night, following a cue from a story of a child paedophile arrest, we discussed at length with Kat.
It disturbs her to know that the world can be a bad world and that children can be bought or sold for purposes of child pornography. It frightens her to know that parents can even sell their children for money. It is all so fictional to her. People who can or are a part of this horrifying trade are CRUEL but as parents, we feel it is our responsibility to educate her about this reality, for her own safety (the taekwondo lessons come next!).
Kat was distressed, very distressed but we feel a lesson well learned…never to text/chat with strangers online, always come to us with any problem (big or small) and never to feel that we are anything but friends. Such conversations are never easy but every parent goes through these moments and I hope that there will not be a situation when these promises will be put to test but we just want to teach our children that we will be there for them…whenever they need us, just like our parents have been for us, our lifeline, our SILENT HEROES.
I think I may have got away to some extent with Kat with my I know best, it’s the first child authority. But secretly in my heart I know that we overprotected Kat. I know we should not make the same mistake with Kit but it just tends to happen with me. Here is when Papa steps in…he will not let it happen – but then, Kit will never let it happen too! Such an explorer, such an adventurer she is!
The rides Kit was on yesterday had my heart in my mouth all afternoon. I was watching the attendant more than the ride thinking “does he/she look like the kind of person who will stop the ride for my child in an emergency?” There was one ride (see image) which was a Carousel gone way too far (and there were no horses either!) – Of course Kit had to do the ride because Kat said she loved it but once seated you could see she was a bit uneasy (she’s only 3.5 yrs old and everyone else on this humungous swinger looked 9+). Kit uneasy, mummy crazy! I could not stand still for the remainder of the ride.
Kit was unsure at first – her expression changed from joy to surprise to shock to unbelievable (this centrifugal force causing her to feel almost dropping out of the ride!) to ecstasy and then the PRECIOUS SMILE !! In the meantime, all I could think of was her seatbelt breaking somehow, Kit flying off, ride malfunctioning, glaring and wondering why the attendant was smiling when he should be glued to the equipment he was supposed to start and stop!
Kit Kat did this ride several times again and I finally let go of them in the last few rounds after convincing myself that nothing bad was going to happen and that maybe Kit was now ready for these rides…Have I learnt anything from this weekend? Possibly. Will I let her be herself again on other bigger rides? Not sure. Do I need to grow up and let go of my fears? Absolutely!!
Papa, our massage therapist, would sit by her bedside soothing Kat to sleep for as long as she needed him (some days sleeping with her when she was so very scared) while I read books or put Kit to bed early to make time for Kat (every little helps!)
After some CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) sessions to overcome the fear, we broke through. Little did we know that few weeks later we would be faced with a real situation – Kat’s best friend’s father was diagnosed with malignant brain tumour and we kept this from her for as long as we possibly could. Heart breaking it was but there was no way we could break the news to her – we just could not gather the courage to do it or face the consequences.
We finally broke the news to Kat over the weekend and her reaction was surprisingly calm. Maybe we underestimated her resilience? Was it our own feelings that we were worried about dealing with? Of course, she had some questions but they were the ones we could answer.
Kat still is sensitive and will worry but she is over the dying part – she does not get upset anymore when the fish die (so that’s also a good sign I think!) while Kit is constantly on watch for the fish to die as the lone survivor (our last fish) we have now is Kat’s and Kit is not happy!
At the back of my mind I know these worry genes in Kat are mine. Its interesting how being a mother changes everything…I can never show MY fear – I cannot tell her that I was too scared to get on a plane for a holiday alone with the girls with the fear that someone would blow it up and Papa would be left alone!
All kids are born fearless – the best age of all! Then creep in the insecurities where we as parents play a pivotal role I think and this is where the dog fear came in – I have this innate fear of four legged animals and they seem to sense it no matter how far they are! They are drawn to me instantly and maybe I behave strange because of this?
Kat must have sensed and picked this one from me (obviously!) to the point where she would not go near any animal (let alone touch it). She was terrified of them…but then came the huge problem…FRIENDS! You never want to be embarrassed in front of your friends, do you? So Kat decided one day (she gets this determination from me I like to think) that this was it – after sessions from her psychologist on overcoming fear (the fear was that bad!) and many nights with both of us talking about it before going to bed, Kat has done it! When she sees a pet dog on the street with someone, she goes up on her own and pats/strokes the dog (very confidently) and sometimes the dog does look fierce and I have to force myself to stay put on the ground and stop myself from shaking so violently!
Nothing makes you prouder than the achievements of your children…
As for Kit, she will easily copy what Kat does. When Kat was scared of dogs, so was Kit. Now that Kat is not, Kit will readily put her hand in a cub’s mouth! Kit for Kat!