A Day Out With A 4 Year Old!

My worst nightmare was knocking on my door bright and early on a cold, rainy Saturday morning. Today I had to look after my 4 year old cousin. YES you’ve read that right, I had to take care of another human besides myself. You are probably thinking looking after a 4 year old is easy “ peasy lemon squeezy.” NOPE not this one, she is little diva who demands everything to go according to her plan and is very unpredictable at times. She is at that age where she asks a lot of questions and wants to know everything and if she is not satisfied with the answer you provided her with she will continue to ask more questions until she is satisfied. Nothing wrong with that, as it is a learning process for children at that age, but her tantrums and mood swings are impulsive.

I had a few errands to run so I took her with me. We first made a stop at the library were I told her she can get any book she wanted, she picked out the thesaurus, so I told her to pick something else because a thesaurus is not a book “why would it be in the library if it isn’t a book” she argued “look it has words on it, so it is a book” she said pointing at the thesaurus.  Okay! You can ONLY get it, if you carry it. She puts the book back knowing very well the book was too heavy for her to carry.

Few minutes later she picked out another book this time the book she picked was not suitable for her age, “BUT….but  I want this one” she argued and throw a tantrum, “  I walked away hoping she’d put the book back and follow and surprisingly she did.

Our next stop was the supermarket.  Dare I say I was dreading this? She stood at the toys aisle asking me for everything she wanted. First she asked for a coloring book, but the pages in the book were torn and I couldn’t find another one. Then she asked for play-doh, which she already has. Her next request was LEGO, which she has plenty of at home, and has broken of plenty, too.

Finally she asked for a doll. The doll she asked for was very creepy looking and had missing body parts. I explained to her that she had too many toys at home and didn’t need anymore and plus this doll was damaged it had a broken arm and was on its last leg. Of course she didn’t listen and started crying hysterically, so I gave in and brought her the creepy looking doll.

Spending the day with my cousin made me realise a lot things, but one thing in particular, it made me realise how our Nafs (self, psyche ego) is like a toddler. It constantly pushes us towards giving into our desires no matter how wrong or, inappropriate, they maybe.

Taking control of our Nafs (self, psyche ego) at times is very difficult, it is similar to getting a toddler to listen or stop crying or do anything of that matter. They do not want to listen to our reason, or understand what is good or bad for them; they don’t really care about what you have to say unless it is what they want.

Honestly speaking, I give into my cousin more often than not, and I give in to my Nafs (self, psyche ego) way too often. It was easy for me to give in a buy her the doll, but instead I should have walked away leaving her to cry and throw a tantrum like how I did at the library, she would have eventually stop and put the doll back. In circumstances like this it is best to be patient and persistent. This is easier said than done, but as I alternative I could have offered her chocolates or sweets, likewise we can offer our Nafs (self, psyche ego) an alternative and keep persistence to it until it gives in and accepts what you want. There will be moments where you will find yourself mentally going back and forth towards your desire. Be patient and persistent, keep strong and keep going back at times like this. If you still give in to your Nafs (self, psyche ego), then take comfort in knowing that the guilt that you felt, when going back and forth, shows your heart is still alive and you have faith. To give into our Nafs (self, psyche ego) only makes us human. It is the repenting and making an effort that makes us better person.

© Hijabi-Online

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56 thoughts on “A Day Out With A 4 Year Old!

  1. Vamagandhi says:

    Thesaurus or wordy heavy books, and dismantled toys are things which stand apart from rest. Kids probably get fascinated by uniqueness, rather than beauty of things.

    Beautifully crafted, imaginative and thematic read.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Everyday Voices says:

    This sounds familiar. I have a 4 year old (and a 2 year old). How kind of you to spend your weekend babysitting. And yes, don’t ever give in to tantrums. Yes it’s embarrassing to have full meltdowns in public but they must learn.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hijabi-Online says:

      Thank you ☺
      It is embarrassing especially when they start crying hysterically I’ve learned its better to just leave them and walk away they soon realise your not joking and there not going to get what they want.

      Like

      • Everyday Voices says:

        Yes it is, but also know almost everyone at the grocery store has had a 4 year old at some point in their lives. They know exactly how it feels and if they see that you are very young, babysitting and obviously not the child’s mother, you will get very sympathetic looks. And yes, walk away, even if you are dying of embarrassment, the worst thing to do is cave in. They’ll live to the next day if they don’t get whatever item they want, in fact they’ll forget they wanted such a ridiculous thing the next day. Well done 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. jeneanebehmeswritings says:

    Nice story…brings back memories of my daughter, Tara, when she was that age. Questioning everything, forming opinions that made me go hmmm, noticing things that us busy adults sometimes forget to stop and see. She was so much fun at that age, except for the “gimmees” that all kids do. If you babysit again, just firmly tell her NO, you will not get (fill in the blank) and just keep on movin’. Ignore the tantrums or if they get really embarrassing, then just leave the store with her. Tell her you will both go back when she learns to behave. And keep in mind, you will have to constantly and repeatedly do this but what you are helping her learn is self-control. You will also be teaching her how not to be a spoiled brat who has figured out that tantrums gets her what she wants and that is not something she should find to be successful. Always keep in mind what kind of a person is it you would like to see her become and then aim for those goals. Do you want her to be a spoiled brat that no one will like or would you like to see her become a person who can control their behavior, be grateful for what she has and not be greedy for what she does not. Do you want her to be polite and respectful? Then you have to treat her like that, no matter how many times she tries your own patience. But good for you for wanting to be a part of her life! Continue to take care of her occasionally and enjoy that wonderful, curious, exploring mind she has and learn how to be as joyful, playful and excited about life as she is! Thank you for sharing your story, sweetie! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA says:

    I love this piece! You set the stage for delivering your point in such a way that your reader is absorbed in wondering what you’re going to do with this yet-informed soul, and then **bingo** You take the point right home. Lovely.

    P.S.–Buy the little princess a dictionary, preferably the Oxford English with etymologies, and make sure she learns one word a day. She can have the thesaurus next year😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hijabi-Online says:

      Thank You Laura 🙂
      Thats a great idea her birthday is coming up next month I wasn’t sure what to get her I’ll get her a dictionary that way she’ll learn a new word everyday, but I’m not sure how much she’ll appreciate it. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA says:

        When I was a girl, my father’s mother was my hero. In fact, she still is. In 1917, just as the Russian Revolution was beginning, she and her brother walked from the Ukraine to Poland, and somehow made it to New York City. My grandma knew not one word of English, but she was educated and she was determined to make her way in America, so she learned English by translating classic Russian novels into English by means of a dictionary. She instilled this love of literacy in my father, and always encouraged me to learn one new word each day. Doing this, I always found some word in the definition that I either didn’t know at all, or wanted to know more about; so I would look up THAT word, and before I knew it, hours had flown by and I already needed new glasses 😉 And that’s how it came to pass that I won all the spelling bees and all the kids in my classes hated me because I was (and am still) a GEEK 😉 So you can tell her that this geeky lady that you’ve never met says that learning a new word every day can lead to fame, fortune, an excellent marriage, a PhD from Harvard, and a lot of laughs when the TWO OF YOU find a really juicy one 😆

        Liked by 1 person

  5. smonaghan119 says:

    This was an amusing read 🙂
    I have a 6 year old and i remember the past times of situations similar to this. Different but similar 🙂
    Life is a consistent quest of tolerance with the mix of preference 🙂 and it’s almost always something where we learn new things about ourselves daily even though they may be so small we don’t realize it.
    Again, good read 🙂
    Sean

    Liked by 1 person

  6. desertchameleonblog says:

    HaHaHa your cousin reminds me of my son. My husband gets to take him shopping though. Heh heh heh : D. I often think about how we are like children always saying “WHY” does Allah say we have to do this or that. Its just like when I try to explain to my son something he shouldn’t do. He can’t always grasp why not because he still needs to develop and grow. SO how much more then does Allah know over us adults with our limited human perceptions… I always try to remember this when my nafs is feeling lazy about wudhu, or whatever it is in the moment.
    p.s I love reading the Theosaurus

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Amber says:

    Haha I loved reading this post! Over Thanksgiving I babysat my boyfriends four and 7 year old niece and nephew and had a wonderful time. I absolutely LOVED the four year old, she was super sweet and kept trying to be like me. That said, it was incredibly tiring!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thoughtsofhomes says:

    You have so much patience. I taught for a while and now I realize you sort of need to be as “because I said so” as them. Even though my kids were sixteen, their brains are still growing and they make lots of very selfish or disruptive choices.

    Liked by 1 person

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