Thursday, February 15, 2007

Who is boss here, anyway?

Find whoever holds the TV remote control and you'll find the boss of the house! Oh how so true! Pint-sized Mini Me has dethroned me as queen of the house ever since she was old enough to sit up and train her baby eyes on the TV screen!

Western babies do not sleep with their parents unlike their Filipino counterparts who are kept closed at all times. I've heard of our practice being criticized by westerners on more than one occasion. Oh well, we sleep better with our precious ones within an arm's reach - what's wrong with that?

Believe me, for some of us, it is not for lack of rooms in the house. My daughter Abby has her own bedroom, thank you!

Friends R and M's children Kique and Igo sleep on their own mattresses on the floor next to their Papy and Mama's bed. Papy R grew up in this set-up too. He and his 3 siblings slept on the floor in their parents' room. Their father would not hear of them sleeping somewhere else! Their house has around ten bedrooms.

Gabby, Raffy and Cody also sleep in mattresses on the floor of Mommy and Daddy's room. Of course, they each have their own bedrooms.

Even a certain relative's four teen-aged children sleep in their parents' room. Ever seen an evacuation center during calamities like for instance, the eruption of Mt. Mayon? Well, that was how they appeared like in that tiny room. Two beds have swallowed up the entire room, you can barely catch any glimpse of the floor! One practically has to walk sideways to get from one point to another. What were these girls' bedrooms for? For studying their lessons, I learned later. Come sleeping time, and all roads led to Mommy's side.

The point is this: although most Filipinos are forced by circumstances to share crammed space like sardines in a can, those bestowed with the privilege of choice still choose to gather their children as close to them as possible.

Why? Maybe because we were brought up that way, and so, we are bringing up our children the same way. And as I already mentioned, we sleep better knowing our little ones are safe and sound close by.

Sharing the bedroom with my Mini Me has it's obvious perks. With my husband away most of the time, her company is gold. Plus I get to watch over her with eagle-sharp eyes. The downside is having a rival to the TV's remote control who would fight me over it with hands, feet, and teeth!

My husband and I tried to remedy the situation by sending her to her room during TV time. One can only take so much of Nickelodeon and Disney Channel, you know. But we started missing her after two days, so we brought her back. We did the next best thing - brought in another TV into our bedroom. That would have solved the situation, if not for the fact that we had to start fighting over the volume! "Mama, I can't hear!!!!!!" ... came the constant whine. (sigh!)

You would have guessed that our monumental problems would have been solved by then ... somewhat. Oh no! Mine just doubled. Instead of just gnashing my teeth through Spongebob Squarepants or Totally Spies ... under the new arrangement, I found myself gnashing through, not only Patrick and Clover, but through all the basketball games and boxing matches TV could show in an entire evening!!! Argh! How about my CSI trio, American Idol, House, Lost, etc? I seriously considered bringing in a third set. Can you just imagine the pandemonium? That was out of the question. I went on without my beloved shows.

When my husband left for another contract abroad, I claimed "his" TV and got reunited with Horatio and company. Relative calm settled over us until "my" TV broke and Abby started trying to hide the remote control from me, ha ha ha!

I put my foot down and declared CSI and American Idol time as Mama's TV time!

After all, I am still the titular head around here. That should amount to something, shouldn't it?


RTS said...

In our home, J.P. often has the remote but he's still too young to understand it's power.The baby has slept with us since birth. The only problem I have with that is that he cannot sleep without everyone in the house being in the bed with him.Actually, I have more of a problem with television in the bedroom.Nice post....felt right at home.

Olga said...

Hi Robert :)

glad to know your family's adapting this practice. I read somewhere of some groups in the US pushing for this kind of sleeping arrangement, said its good for baby's general well-being.

JP's just like my Abby. Everybody must also retire otherwise she'll do her utmost to keep awake. i've spent countless nights resorting to threat and intimidation, ha ha ha! my latest tactic now is threaten her that I wont wake her up for school the following day :) it still works like magic.

I'd like to thank you again for including me in the blogosphere. one homesick cousin of mine discovered me there and could not believe her eyes. her husband's with the US Navy. it was a good way to reconnect.

best regards to JP and Mom.