So you have your baby, your sweet innocent beautiful little boy, and you think...this child will never do anything wrong. Oh, he is too perfect. Look at how cute he is! (Although...this probably only holds true if it's your first. After that you're not as stupid and naive to believe all these lies you are telling yourself.)
And then it happens....so quickly, you almost don't notice. He turns two. And this is where I get lost...at 23 months, he will still that sweet and lovable little "baby", although not quite as angelic as he used to be. But then, right as you think "wow this kid's pretty easy" - BAM! Reality (or in my case, my child) slaps you in the face. You put to bed your little son and wake up the next morning to your son + major attitude. There must be some type of switch in them that goes off right at that birthday mark. Although, I've often wondered if my mom or dad have been teaching him for months on ways to get their own form of payback- since I was a naughty kid, they taught him a few tricks here and there so I knew "what it was like". So I'm doubting that's what happened, but that's a pretty awesome idea to keep in mind for my own grandchildren. *makes mental note*
So, here's where I'm going with this...my son has become "the hitter". And it's not just this little swing at me. Nope, it's an all-out intentional smack aimed right at my face! Seriously, what is this?? Where did this come from?? It was this tiny little thing, that has blown up into the main way he tries to deal with his frustration. Let me give you an example. Every day we have somewhere to go. So we do this whole chat during the diaper change and breakfast about what we're doing today. I do this because the poor child thinks every time we leave the house we *must* be going swimming. And instead of breaking his heart every time we don't go swimming (which is more often than not), we just talk about everything ahead of time. So let's say we're walking through the garage and he sees, but of course, his beloved basketballs. "Basketballs mommy, shoot, hoop, mommy!" "Not right now buddy, we're going to the zoo." And I try to get him all excited about the zoo while taking his hand and leading him away from the balls and toward the car that we apparently hate all of the sudden. Next thing I know, he's in all out limp noodle mode. Alright, I'm not playing this game, so I pick him up, and he'll angrily yell "NO, BALLS!" and swing right at the face. I can even hold his hands and he'll continue trying to swing. I mean, this kid does not lose his focus. If his goal is hit mommy, then hitting mommy is what we will do.
So I don't know where I'm going with this, other than to complain I suppose. We're working on all sorts of techniques on how to punish this behavior and also how to stop and prevent it. Time outs have become our new best friend. We aren't too keen on spanking, seeing as how hitting as a punishment for hitting seems a little confusing. We work on "nice touches" and how to use our words ("no thank you mommy") instead of hitting. I've been trying to teach him to breathe a few big breaths when he gets super frustrated. I'll let you know in a few months if we actually find something that sticks!
I love my husband though. I end up in tears about once or twice a month at least over this (yes, I'm overly sensitive and insecure about making sure we're doing this parenting thing "right"). He is always kindly reminding me that parenting is not a sprint. It is a marathon. And even if it seems like what we're doing is having little to no impact on him right now, it will eventually start to have an impact.
And I want everyone (before they picture my child with devil horns sprouting out of his head) to know that about 90% of the day, my son is still that angelic, sweet, perfect little boy that can still "do no wrong". And no matter how bad that 10% is, it cannot erase all of the wonderful, loving, kind, and amazing things he does each day. He is a thankful, loving, ornery, goofy, funny, awesome little man.
And I know this rough spot is one of MANY to come during the course of my parenting career. As each new adventure brings more challenges, I will still continue to pray for God's guidance, strength, courage, and knowledge in dealing with each situation. I'm fairly certain He will be the only way I can get through all of this alive!
So...think you're better at parenting than me? Got some advice? Feel free to comment below!