No pictures today. I wanted to really dedicate and focus on a topic that has really been bothering me for a very VERY long time now. So if you are looking for updates on Haru, or pictures or videos, move on, because there won’t be any this time.
click “Continue Reading” below for the rest of this post.
Last Saturday, we spent the day at Hakkeijima Sea Paradise which is an amusement park / aquarium in Yokohama. Haru had been asking us to take her there for weeks, so we decided to take a trip, since she hadn’t been to a zoo or aquarium type place in a while.
It was my second time there, but Haru had never been there before so everything was new for her. The park is quite big for an aquarium, and full of all kinds of aquatic animals. I usually don’t like zoos or aquariums (especially in Japan) because there’s just not enough space for these animals to comfortably roam free. However, for an aquarium in Japan, it’s a pretty nice sized place.
Haru seemed to enjoy the aquarium a lot. There was even a petting zoo, where kids can pet and hold aquatic animals like star fish and hermit crabs. In some respects, it’s kind of disastrous because, despite all of the signs posted and the countless announcements made, kinds handle these animals pretty poorly and some parents don’t watch them. We made absolutely made sure that Haru handled the animals carefully and she did pretty well with them.
Haru wasn’t too impressed with the sea cucumbers at fist and she refused to touch them at first. Admittedly, I wasn’t too thrilled with them either, but after I picked one up and held it, she did the same.
I think our favorite part of the day was at the dolphin tank. These animals are so incredibly intelligent, it absolutely disgust me to think that there are people in this country who senselessly and brutally slaughter them for food. They are so smart that they knew that I was trying to take a picture of Haru and actually posed and did flips behind her. Everyone was amazed, except for me because I know how truly intelligent they are.
The overall day was very nice. Haru, of course, wants to go back again to visit the amusement park side.
The last few weeks has gotten increasingly difficult with Haru. She has been defiant, extremely moody, and at times even somewhat violent. At first, I thought it was my fault. I thought that I might have been too strict with her and expecting too much of her. After all, she is only three years old. But after careful thought, I don’t think I was doing anything out of the ordinary. For example, Haru ALWAYS wants to be carried. My wife tends to spoil her by carrying her around a lot, but I ABSOLUTELY refuse to carry her. I think at three years old, she is much too old to be carried. She also tends to leave her toys all over the place, and when its time to clean up, she insists that either my wife or I help her clean. Well, I always refuse to help her, after all, she is the one who made the mess, so she should be responsible for cleaning up after herself. Up until recently, my wife tended to help with Haru’s clean up from time to time to which I always tell her that she is not helping the situation.
So initially, because of me not helping spoiling her, and with her mother hardening her stance with not catering to everything Haru wants, I thought this was the cause of her recent defiance towards us. But in the last couple of days, Haru’s behavior has gotten substantially worse. Not only does she insist on being carried ALL OF THE TIME, she’ll refuse to eat dinner unless her mother carries her to the dinner table. She threw a HUGE tantrum last night, and wound up going to bed without dinner.
I was beginning to suspect that it may have something to do with what’s going on at her school (perhaps her teacher -whom I still have very little respect for), but out of frustration and just not knowing what else to do, I did some research to see if this is a common issue amongst toddlers her age.
I have been completely aware of the terrible two’s, but out of sheer ignorance, I thought we had already surpassed that stage, and that things would get easier as time goes on. However, the terrible two’s is not a chronological event that is triggered when the child turns two, and then magically goes away when she turns three (or so I learned). The terrible two’s can last for several years, and is most common within the ages of three and four. According to this website, this is the period within the child’s life where she is trying to establish an identity independent of her parents’. So in order to have of independent thought that is different from her parents’, she will develop a somewhat of a contrarian personality, or take the opposite opinion of whatever her parents’ have, even if she doesn’t believe it herself. For example, I would ask her if she likes chocolate (which she does) but would say no, or say I hate chocolate. And 15 minutes later, she would be stuffing her face with chocolate.
Now that I know that its just a phase, I do feel a bit better. But this has got to be the most difficult phase by far, because not even bribery seems to work anymore. If I tell her that we’ll take her to Disneyland if she behaves, she’ll just respond by saying I don’t want to go to Disneyland, and refuses to listen. And when she is like this, there is nothing that anyone can do to fix this other than to wait until she calms down. I have a feeling that its going to be a VERY long phase to endure.
This is the video of Haruka refusing to come to the dinner table unless her mother carries her there. As you can see, she actually runs to her mother at one point and then tries to pull her over to where she was and begs to be carried.