One of the reason for this Korea trip is to travel before little man turns two, hence we left for Singapore a day before his birthday. And this little man decided to be a koala at two years old and clinged on to Mama for this entire trip in Korea.

It’s like he suddenly “grew up” and became very adamant in his choice of company. Before that, it was like “I want Mama, but if only Papa is available, then I will accept him too.” But for this trip, he will bawl his eyes out until I appear in front of him and pick him up as requested. When Hubby tried to take over, he will point his index finger at Hubby and tell him, “Papa, nono. Papa go! Bus beep beep. Go!”, telling his father to take a bus and leave us alone. He looked so cute and funny at first, but subsequently it became very tiring for me.

That night when he couldn’t sleep due to the itch, he only wanted me. I had to carry and rock him like a baby, and every other minute he would demand to be put to bed and have me pat him. It lasted for almost an hour and “poor” Hubby can only look on and go back to sleep while I soldiered on with his demands. When he finally calmed down and drifted back to sleep, I was too tired to go back to lalaland. And that was only the second day of our trip.

Hubby has always been the nice parent to little man, whilst I am the discipline mistress. But no matter what I do to him, he will still run to me and demand for me. As much as I try to appreciate and cherish his affection for me, it can get difficult to stay calm and at peace when you do not have enough sleep.

Despite the bad itch, little man still manage to stay very active in the day. Too active, that is. It’s like he suddenly became free in Korea and started dashing around whenever he finds the opportunity to do so. This impulsiveness of his got him into plenty of trouble.

He got his hand stuck between the elevator doors on one occasion and scared the life out of me. Luckily I was able to pull out his teeny weeny hand before anything bad happened. Nevertheless, it left a mark on his hand for a couple of days. A few days later, he was almost hit by a car when he suddenly ditched our hand and ran across the road. As if these are not enough to give me a heart attack, he tripped over his ball yesterday and cut himself badly on the lips. It was so swollen that he refused to drink any milk. Suddenly, everything that he decided to play becomes hazardous.

Many times during these two weeks, I felt torn between trying to be more understanding towards little man’s actions and emotional outbursts and giving him some tough discipline. Sometimes I would reprimand him harshly and feel guilty afterwards. Perhaps his outburst is due to the new environment. Perhaps it is due to the change in his daily routine, as we are unable to stick to his usual timing while travelling. One the other hand, I also wonder sometimes if I should do more to discipline him.

Hubby and I had a few late night conversations about this. I told Hubby that we need to gradually make him want me less. He needs to learn to accept Papa as Mama replacement when Mama is busy. We also agreed to give little man a little more time to get back to his usual routine after coming back from the trip. We will slowly teach him the right and accepted behaviour from then on.

After coming back from Korea, my family commented on how much weight little man has lost, and how deep his dark eye rings have become. It dawned upon me that little man has not been eating and sleeping well ever since we started out our trip. Yes, no doubt he enjoyed some parts of the trip when we visited the zoo, museums and palaces where he gets to roam around freely, but the truth is, he did not eat and sleep as well as we hope him to be. Perhaps we really shouldn’t judge him based on this trip.

I would like to think of the Twos as a phase for both of us to learn. Him to learn to behave, and me to learn how to go about teaching him right from wrong. I want to keep reminding myself this whenever I feel frustrated dealing with his antics.

I think I need a lot of positive energy and thoughts.

A walk around Insadong, with the restraining toddler bagpack because little man is constantly dashing around.