A Letter to Carlo #4: On Doing The Right Thing

Dearest Carlo,

You and I have had some battles lately, huh? From an epic 7 hour stand-off (more like a sit-down protest) about feeding yourself, to mini issues that range from taking care of your toys and books… to peeing in the potty after you wake up and before bedtime. Sigh.

I wish, dearest CarloBear, that every day could be like a vacation… where treats and toys abound, and where everyone is relaxed and carefree. On a vacation, it’s generally okay if we tried to fulfill all your wishes about what to do and where to go… well, because we are on a vacation and we don’t take trips to special places every day. But that’s just not how this parenting thing works. Because every day is not a vacation. Because usually, our every day consists of our normal, simple routines. Furthermore, Papa and I don’t want you to end up to be a spoiled, unruly brat. So, rules and boundaries need to be set. Discipline needs to be established. And being kind, respectful, and honest is always of paramount importance. No matter what. This applies, not just to you, but to me and Papa also.

Some days, Carlo, I feel like a witch of a mother, the biggest sort of contrabida, as all you hear from me is: “No!”, “Stop that!”, “Don’t ______!”, or “Caaaaaarlo!”. Days like those suck big time and I feel terrible.

It breaks my heart to see you cry, especially when I know that I have to be tough and do what is right. Like I explain to you (after we’ve both calmed down): I’m also sad whenever you’re sad. That I’m trying to teach you how to do the right thing. I say to you that I’m your Mama, and I ask you to please listen to me.

You’re 3 years old now, my not-so-little-one. Soon you’ll be 4 in a few months. But, at this young stage in your life, I’m supposed to guide you. I’m supposed to know better.

Supposed to being the operative phrase.

Thing is, Carlo, many times, I feel like I’m winging it. And boy, do I wish there was some sort of instruction manual that my obstetrician handed to me when you were born. (“Toddler Troubleshooting Tips” Ha!) But since there isn’t one, I just have to use my judgment as to how to handle our rough patches and hope to God, that what I’m doing isn’t somehow scarring you emotionally and psychologically for the rest of your life.

My goal as your Mama is to raise you to be a good human being. But Carlo, I’m not perfect. And yes, I’ll probably stumble again (most likely because I was winging it with you). Just know that I am always trying my best to do the right thing and to teach you the right things.

Being your parent has been the toughest and most challenging role I’ve had to date. But being your Mama is also the best, most rewarding, and most blessed aspect of my life. And every day, I pray to God that He is guiding me so I can do what is right by and for you.

I love you mucho mucho, my CarloBear.

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  1. Beautiful post, Treena. Was really touched by your honesty. Even if there isn’t a how-to manual on raising your little one, it still sounds like you’re doing fine job!