Tag: parenting

Dad Dear and the Big Bad Tech Monster

My dad is a septuagenarian. He turned seventy last year, and while at times I feel that my age is catching up with my parents, when he hit his 70’s, I realized that the age gap is greater than ever, our differences punctuated by technology. He says things like, “Maan (my pet name), kunin mo ang Facebook ko” (translation: “Please get my Facebook”). To which I reply, “San ko dadalhin?” (trans.: “Where do I bring it to?”). It’s my fault, really. I bought him the iPad that is causing him so much distress. He feels that every time someone messages him, he is required to message back (meaning, I would need to type and edit what he wants to say). He’s quite popular in his circles, being an educator for decades, and when he celebrates another birthday, a ton of people will most likely greet him. This guy might actually need a media manager! Another thing that changed for my dad is that he loves to have lots of pictures taken using his phone. He would then ask, “Paano ko makikita ito sa Facebook?” (How will I see this on Facebook?) To which I reply, “Upload mo” (upload it). Which results to him giving me a perplexed look. (Translation: I, or one of my siblings, should do something so that his friends could see his pics).

My daughter is most patient with him, connecting him to Youtube, messenger and Facebook whenever she can, but even her patience runs thin when he continues to badger her on things he had already been taught. And while I am mildly amused at his attempts to understand technology, it does get me thinking when I will hit my “technological learning barrier” (copyright Anj CP). You know, that ‘virtual wall’ where no new learning will want to penetrate my brain. I already see glimpses of it as I watch my daughter do her programming. Will I be my dad someday and simply not understand how the new world works? While I hope that I will not lose my willingness to learn, historically, it’s not looking good for me. My hope is that I will get a patient grandchild to help me grapple with technology. Karma, please be kind 🙏

The Thing about Mothers

This is a question I’m throwing out to to the world–Is there any daughter out there who has zero hang-ups with their mothers?

Mothers hold that unique position in our lives– we love them, but we also love to hate them for one reason or another.

Judging from all the people I’ve spoken with, it seems that this experience is not mine alone. My mother, bless her, can single-handedly shred my confidence with a lift of an eyebrow! I can recall countless incidences where I’ve shown what I’ve thought were superb works only to be told, “It’s okay.” (With a sniff.)  And she’s not even a Tiger Mother! (Or maybe Asian moms are a little bit like each other…another topic for another day).

So this is my theory (and yeah, feel free to negate my point of view)—Just as daughters will always have this fear of living up to their mother’s expectations, moms too are always going to be a little bit fearful of their daughters (hence the unintentional hostility).

Ok, before all the mothers out there bring out their pitchforks and suggest that I be tied to a burning stake, let me just say that I am not qualified in any professional way to back my thoughts up with research. I am not a psychologist. But, as I am a daughter, and a mom to a daughter, I am basing my theory purely from my personal experience.

As a daughter, I have always looked up to my mom. She is, in my opinion, the embodiment of a strong, successful woman. She cared for all four of her kids (and still does) as she ran her own business (which then became businesses). She writes books, gardens, cooks—plus she deals with my father on a daily basis (which is a feat in itself).

And so, as a daughter who idolizes her mom, I am naturally drawn to what she does. I started my own business, I wrote books, I cook and bake, and just recently, I have started caring for plants (just succulents though, nothing too crazy). Here’s the rub though. Every time I ask her to read one of my stories, she comments that my Filipino grammar is bad. When I started to take gardening lessons (for the succulents), she scoffed at me for paying for lessons when it was so simple to do. I even got laughed at for taking a parenting seminar (“Why did you take that class when you could have just asked me?!” Mom said).

This bothered me for a long time, until I stumbled on my theory–could it be that my mom was a little bit scared of me? Was she looking at me as a possible de-throner? To an aging queen (sorry, mom), who was used to leading her queendom uncontested, did I really pose a believable threat?

Now that I have a daughter, as early as now, I already think she will exceed me (and of course, that is my hope for her as well). Am I a little bit hostile at times because of this growing reality? Methinks it’s still too early to tell. I am still better at her at most things (except maybe in reading directions—she gets that from her father). Maybe when she starts outwardly negating me, then the hostility will surface. Or maybe I will have chosen what I am imagining myself to be when I grow old—a wise and gracious sage-mother who will willingly part with her throne, accepting and embracing the next queen, merely passing on the wisdom of my years. Maybe, but someday, I think I will struggle with it as well.

A mother-daughter relationship is definitely a complex one, full of twists and turns. But at the end of the day, it is also possibly one of the deepest connections that I will make with another human being.

Belated Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there. Here’s to exciting adventures with all your children!

To My Most and Least Favorite Child: An Evaluation of Year 8

I’ve begun following a blog named My Least Favorite Child, and it chronicles the life of a father with twin boys. It is obviously written with a lot of wit and humor as the dad relates his everyday experience with his twins. At the end of his blog, he will always say who his least favorite child was for the week. The reasons are often hilarious, and written with much concealed fondness for both kids, but I can relate even if I only have one child.

Many parents would vehemently deny, even under oath, that they do in fact have a favorite child. And I would say to those parents: “Liar, liar, pants on fire.” Maybe your favorite child changes from day-to-day, or from season to season, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have one that you rely on when you’re in a bind, or a particular child that makes you laugh your socks off whenever you come home defeated from work.

So like I said, I have one child and even if she is my one and only, there are days when she is an absolute angel, and then there are days, though few are far between, that she is very, very human. Someday, maybe I will let her read this, and hopefully, she will see the humor in it (or not, depending on her mood for the day…hehe).

And so Bumbum, this is how I have assessed your 8th year with us.

Travel Companion

(+) I have often said this—you are an ideal travel buddy. Because you have experienced being left behind on business-related trips, you are always very grateful when you are included in our travel plans. The minute we find our plane seat, you obediently buckle yourself in and proceed to reading the safety instructions of the plane. (-)You could do away with collecting barf bags because frankly, you and I rarely barf on planes, making our already growing stash of barf bags unnecessary. But, as your father would point out, I collect paper cups from the plane lavatory, so he knows where you’re coming from.

(+) You walk without complaining, and rarely do you ask to be carried. You still walk, even with eyes closed from exhaustion. (+) You don’t like to bring and buy too many things, which is a plus for me because I need your luggage space to fill with my own shopping stuff.

Student

(+) You have excellent memory most of the time, which makes it quite easy for mom and dad to review you. This results in other parents complimenting me for my parenting and training (which I accept, even though you did most of the work). (-) However, dear daughter, you do forget at times so please utilize your homework notebook. We are not mind readers. (-) And can you please make room in your brain to remember your pencils and other school stuff as well? It feels like you think we own a National Bookstore the way you run through your school supplies.

(+)(-) You have obsessive-compulsive tendencies, which is tricky. The (+) of this is that you will want your schoolwork to be done immediately. The (-) is that you would also want us to accomplish things as quickly even when the deadline is oh, maybe still a full week ahead. Remember honey, mommy works full time.

(+)(-) Because you feel good when you volunteer, you always volunteer, even though your parents are not as willing. (-) Even when I do volunteer, I still receive a sarcastic remark from you (Bumbum – “Oh mama, I’m soooo glad you finally volunteered to do something for my school). Harrump.

Daughter/Relative

(+) Literally, you are so easy to please. We recently moved to a very small one-studio room temporarily while our new home is being built, and my daughter said with genuine delight, “I love our condo! It’s so small!” You are enjoying the fact that your bed is small enough that you can actually fix it on your own. You even wash your own cup right after you use it because you know we can’t crowd the sink.

(+)(-) You’re quite the smarty pants. (+) You can carry a lively conversation even with adults, which allows mommy to not participate as much. (-) However, you have a tendency to scare people when you talk about your love for Science, like when you quiz them on the Elements Table, or when (gasp!) you remind them to protect their sex so as not to get the HIV virus.

(+)(+)This gets two positive points because it’s that positive. You make your grandparents very happy, which means they let us off easy on many counts just because you’re our daughter.

For that last point alone, we have decided to keep you with us for another year =) I think Santa has very generous (and nerdy) plans for you this Christmas.