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Lessons from Lex

Posted by on August 12, 2011

Lex will soon have his second quarter exams, and so far he has learned a lot of new things in first grade. But I learned so much more these past three months.

I have learned that…

… kids indeed learn everything good and bad from adults. Lex was accused of doing the dirty finger in class on his first week in school. My Mama and I were shocked: Lex has no idea what a dirty finger is! The teacher told my Mama that all his other classmates confirmed that he did it. I didn’t pay much attention to it because I believe in my son. He will never learn that at home. Then as we were reviewing for his first quarter exams, he pointed at the book using his middle finger. Then I observed that he was more comfortable to use his middle finger to point at things. I just shook my head at the thought. How can his teacher AND classmates accuse him of doing the dirty finger? What is a dirty finger in the first place, if you are not saying the “F” word? I wanted to confront the teacher about it, but I just let it pass. I am not about to start a fight with his 22 year old teacher. Another thing that bothered me is that his classmates actually knew what a dirty finger is. Tsk tsk. And until now, Lex is still wondering why he should not use the middle finger to point at things.

… kids will always copy what you say and do, and eventually, you will have a taste of your own sermons. My son has actually picked up our expressions: “ano ba?” when irritated, “sinasabi ko na nga eh”, “stop saying that”, etc. He talks back like a woman, unfortunately. And okay, I realize nagging is indeed annoying.

… my son only wants attention. For a number of times, we had to deal with his tantrums, especially when he wants to use the computer and I would not let him. We would fight like siblings (yes, complete with scratches, punches – from him, and his ultimate “I hate you” screams), and my Mama would get frustrated. Once, she threatened to throw away the computer if we do not stop. So I decided to just use the computer once he is asleep. So now he asks me to read with him, color drawings with him, and lie down in bed while I listen to him talk…

… no matter how I avoid bringing up the topic about his father, he asks questions about him. Well, I let him talk on the phone when his father calls (mainly to tell me that Lex’s allowance will be delayed, again), but after that, I never tell him stories. Recently, he asked me what his father’s full name is. Then he wrote it down on his pad paper. Today, he told me, “Mommy, my Daddy is a soldier?”. I just said, yes. He asked me why. I just told him “because that’s what he wants”. Then he started saying his version of how his father should come here to visit him (“he will ride a plane, then ride a bus, then ride a train, then ride a tricycle, then he will text us that he is at the gate” – kumpleto). Sometimes he asks why his father lives in Mindanao. Lex even remembers the time his father met with us in a mall, with his girlfriend in tow. Lex asked me, “Mommy, that girl with Daddy, is she my tita?”. Although I think that girl has left already, I just told Lex, yes. I can’t believe he remembers that, it was 2 years ago!

… no matter how un-talented my son is, I don’t envy the parents who have multi-talented kids. Lex doesn’t sing, dance, juggle, his drawings are comparable to that of a 1 year old girl, and he doesn’t have a knack for acting (he acts out a lot though). The good thing about Lex is that he reads really well. He is impatient with writing though. (“ang dami dami namang words!”)

… I need to grow up myself. I get angry at Lex when he is being childish, when in fact, he has the right to be childish because he IS a child in the first place. It is really embarassing, but yes, I react to him like a child sometimes. I would have failed Practical Parenting 101. Oh gosh, I don’t even want to think about raising him as a teenager.

… while my personal happiness is important, my decisions always revolve around what is good for Lex. There are occasions that I resent being a single mom, but when I look at my son, especially when he is asleep, I would feel guilty for even wishing I didn’t have to be a mom under these circumstances. At the end of the day, a child is always a blessing no matter the pains and challenges attached to having one.

And that is just the first quarter of Lex’s school year as a first grader. Oh dear, what other lessons am I about to learn?

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