I AM not exactly what you would call new dad anymore having had little Tadana, my first son, around for a year. But some of the stuff that he has put me through is straight off the hook, and I doubt if there is any child-raising guide book out there that could have prepared me for all the surprises.
I know now being a newcomer dad is expecting the unexpected everyday.
When Tadana smashed my new laptop screen in an excited frenzy, I gave him a frozen stare and he gave me his signature grin and threw his hands in the air, oblivious of the gravity of the crime he had committed. Little did I know that more was to come: the following day he tore pages from a book that I had borrowed from a local library. Now that set my head boiling, and I had to stew over words to explain the situation to the librarian.
I could only proffer to the librarian that little Tadana had taught me the tolerance of God when she asked me what it felt being a new dad after she saw the torn library book. She was kind enough to not make me pay for the book but gave me a serious warning to keep all library books away from my son.
At a cost of US 200 dollars, I managed to get the laptop screen repaired, and vowed never to let Tadana near it again. But, God, I was just lying to myself. What Tadana wants, Tadana gets. He has a bawl that can be resurrected at any moment. In one moment, he can be smiling at you, and if you try to stop him from doing what he wants, he twists his head and a flood of tears coupled with an ear-splitting bawl take over the whole household. The only way to stop from bawling is to give him want he wants.
In spite of my fears that he would smash the laptop screen again, I am forced to allow him to tap away at the keyboard, which he does which such zeal as if he was born out of a laptop. Having him do that is the only way I can get to maintain the household peace and silence. At 14-months, it appears that the things that I say no to have the most allure for Tadana.
The way Tadana loves to explore is amazing: he crawls into cupboards, hides stuff under the carpet, tears away stuff, climbs over things and for goodness sake, if you leave the toilet door open, he unrolls all the tissue paper and you will be shocked where his hands will end up.
Now he has taken to mumbling some unitelligible stuff; it all seems to make sense to him, I think. I have tried in the past to unlock my childhood imagination with the hope of picking up what he is saying, but its all been in vain. I must say I have learned one important lesson from Tadana: it’s, it’s all good to drop your shoulders and have fun with life to the fullest.
But, having said that, Tadana can be a real drama at throwing tantrums. The tantrums are like corn in hot oil; they pop from nowhere and can last anything from a second to half-an-hour. He screams, kicks her legs and wrenches all over but I have learned to ingore some of his enactions.