Yesterday, I chanced upon an old high school classmate who turned out to be a dentist of very young children. Her advice, she says, to help Issa kick out the oral habit because of dental concerns (braces or wearing what she calls an instrument) that are sure to arise in the future.
Last night was day one and it was painful for us both. Our usual sleep time of 10:30PM went on until 2AM. She cried, kicked, and went on a screaming brigade. She looked at me several times, we're both tired - as if asking why. I imagined what her agonizing stare could've meant: Why of all days? Why just now? Why don't you let me be? Why bother with my choices? Why not? I conjure all strength to keep calm and to stick to my guns.
Oh how hard it was to see her in this too distressed state. I hugged and kissed and I wished I could just wipe it all out - tears, the kalamansi and my guilt. But I had to be firm. For her own good. Oh God help me! All drama pursued until finally we fell asleep out of sheer exhaustion.
I'm sure that there will countless more instances that I'll be facing these challenging parenting situations, when, in the eyes of my daughter, the loving mother becomes the Loch Ness monster. I will be the unpopular one. I will be called names and yes, I will be hated. And I will dread all the times when I'll have to tell her to be home by curfew, to dress appropriately, to be more responsible, to be more respectful, to do chores, to not go online until she has finished her homework. And how heart piercing all these moments will be. But more than a friend, I am Isabelle's parent. I will have to act in her best interest, not because I want her to do as I say, but simply because I love her. And I hope she will, one day, understand this simple concept, but at the same time, complex to comprehend.
So tonight, we will go through the same thing again, dreadful! But later, I will hug and kiss her tighter. And I will hold her hand as to tell her that we will go through this ordeal together. Through hell and high water. And yes, we'll keep our thumbs crossed.