Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Child, The Hitter.

This baby.
I knew this baby was going to be a hand-full while he was still in utero.
In fact, I dubbed him "mean baby" the last trimester of my pregnancy because of his incessant pushing and stretching that brought me to tears more than once.
Mean Baby he was...
Mean Baby he is.

Of course, mother guilt - the ever-present companion of every mother, everywhere - tells me that by calling him Mean Baby I self-actualized his behavior.
It's all my fault.
It always is.

In church nursery last night he hit some children.
Um...let me clarify...
he hit five children.
Five of them.
Innocent little cherubs doing no harm to anyone and he hit them.
Whack! With an oversize lego right on a defenseless, little bald head.
Bam! On the face of a baby girl sweetly gumming away on a teething ring.
Whap! Pull! A hit and a hair pull combo for one lucky little lady.
Zoink! A stealthy bottle-steal right from the mouth of an unsuspecting babe.
{This post is unnervingly starting to sound like a retro Batman episode.}

I was mortified.
{I was working nursery last night and it was a one-woman job to just follow him around doing damage control. There were casualties of Mean Baby strewn about the floor, bawling, whimpering and pouting in certain degrees all night long.}
How do you discipline a 14 month old for this behavior?
How do you teach him boundaries?
How do you tell other parents that,
 "Hey, that monster in there that gave your kid the knot on his noggin? Yeah, he's mine. Isn't he a doll?"

He actually is a doll...

I don't really know where I'm going with this post.
Except maybe to hear from a couple of readers something like,
"You're not alone. My kid was a bully too and turned out okay.
He even grew up to be a good-will ambassador and a genius at that!"
{Something along those lines...}
I guess I'd like to hear, "I'll be praying for you as your try to raise your hellion."
But maybe my biggest motivation for this post is in the hopes that some of the parents of Britt's nursery-mates will read it and see how truly flummoxed I am as to how to stop this behavior and that I don't run a
Baby Beat-Up Training Camp in my home on weekdays and that this is not my fault.
Have a little mercy on the overwhelmed, defeated Mama.

I'm off to dig up my copy of The Strong Willed Child...


Jamie Willow said...

oh my gosh I am laughing so much right now...cause I promise you from 9 yrs of experience at was always the cutest ones who were the naughtiest :) lol

I know it sounds crazy but talk to him about baby language...he hears you...he may ignore you and pretend he doesn't understand but talk to him anyways.
It will eventually sink in...and he may hesitate before he hits. lol.

I will also say, the children who were like this were also the smartest ones who were bored...not sure your nursery dept provides activities for kids at this age or not but might be a good idea if they did...even if it's just for him...I know that sometimes requires more one on one interaction and more workers so it might not be possible...but something to consider.

I still think he's a cherub :) with a good right

oh, and my verification word is "angst" lol thought that was funny...

Mrs. B. said...

@jamie Thank you! You are the perfect person to talk to about this (and to think I didn't even realize I should go to you first!) So glad you commented. Thank you for the reassurance.
That word verification is peeerfect. :)

Andrea said...

I don't know anything about hitting, but you're Super Mom as far as I am concerned! You're a good mommy, and I have to believe that it will get better.

He's to sweet to be mean!

Jamie Willow said...

oh yes, and most of them grow out of the time they are 3...ha. then it just changes form...

you are a wonderful mommy, just keep on him and he will get through this phase.

and give the workers permission to tell him "no no" and redirect him...and to get you if it gets bad so you can come in and talk to him. It makes it hard to be 100% involved in a bible study or whatever but you'll get through it quicker if you can be involved in the discipline and redirection in the class.

I will also add...he will probably end up being a leader. That is also something I saw...hard to imagine at 14 months but his little personality is shining through even now...just in his own age appropriate (or way.

jek said...

We affectionately call my nephew "Dozer"...short for bulldozer (we being me, my sister and her husband). The word No has very little meaning to him (he actually takes it as a challenge). I did give him a time-out once for mean boy stuff. Just him in his crib for about 20 minutes. It was really more about me getting space from him, but he seemed to do better after a bit with some alone time.

Having grown up and lived in a home daycare for 20 years and then working in a church're doing what you can. He's not 2 or 3, so he won't respond to time-outs and scoldings the same way, but over time that's how he learns (I know, preaching to the choir).

I think most people understand that he's a kid. I understand the mommy guilt...and let's face it, we all want the kids that everyone loves. But don't beat yourself up over it. You're a great mom!

Saundra said...

Sorry Ash, I had to LOL too. He could be practicing for his NFL career when he buys you a fabulous house on a beach somewhere.
All I can think of is taking his hand when he's caught and telling him (at his level)it hurts, then take his hand and show him how to be gentle and loving.
And...."this too, shall pass", you are a great mom, this "faze" has nothing to do with your parenting skills (unless, of course, you show him how to wallop with more accuracy)(just kidding, with a little giggle)
He is so stinkin cute.

Lyndee said...

Keep it simple and model it. Take his hitting hand and stroke something gently and say :Gentle Britt! It worked on Tisha who is brain damaged.... but you have to stay on it too. If you see it about to happen say his name loud and then Gentle Britt as you race to save the victim.
I will pray while I laugh. If you only had met Jessi as a baby except you might have been her victim....
Sweet except when not....I love that slugger!

Saundra said...

I love Lyndee's wisdom and humor!

Katie said...

I can relate, Ashley. Henry is a rough one. He hasn't hit any other kids...yet (or that I'm aware of), but he's so rough at home and I have no idea how to discipline the behavior. He has no respect for the word "no" or any form of it. He just stops what he's doing, looks at me with a charming smile and then continues on with whatever he's not supposed to be doing. So frustrating. Part of it is just boy stuff, I'm sure, but still. These comments have helped with ideas. I've done a time out once. I strapped him in his booster seat in the corner. I guess it kind of worked, but it's hard to say. Ha! This too shall pass, right? RIGHT?! I don't remember Lily being this difficult. :)

Alicia Marie said...

I found that that one time that I did nursery IN Jack's nursery class with him, he was a monster. He would cry and whine and he literally pushed a crying child off my lap. I was horrified. I asked the normal workers if he was always like this and they told me just must be because I was there. He was trying hard to get my attention. And he was very, very bad. I have noticed that Colin has done the same thing when I hold my friend's babies. His little hitting spree could have been an attempt for mom's only attention.

Either way, he is a doll and it does sound like he is a little leader in the making. I am sure when you are not there, other little ones have taken it to Britt a few times as well. I am sure it will all even out. We have brought Jack home with bruised bite marks on his hand from a little girl. He was quite proud and showed every person in site his little hand. So no real harm done.

Mine is a bossy little thing. How do you deal with that?!

Ashley said...

I bit my cousin...hard. Drew blood. Right smack on the side of the face. We though it'd leave a scar. It didn't. And, I'm not too crazy these days =) He'll be fine. He's just a tough guy, marking his territory. That's all.

Sarah said...

Ohhhhh boy. I have one of those types here too. I have thus far survived him nearly 4 years. I am here for you :)

Sarah said...

Forgot to add: Just so happens mine is the third child too... coincidence? I think not. My husband was also a third baby, and he was a crazy boy too :) Heaven, help us.

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Oh Girl, Don't hate me but I keep laughing out loud because every time I read the title of this post my brain says,

"My Child, The Hitler."

My hubby said he had the same thought.
So, he does a little hitting - he's no Hitler.

Sorry, maybe I should keep my deranged sense of humor to those who have met me more than ONCE!

SWC is a great book - Hoolie can clobber too be she does it out of total, "I'm gonna get you"ness. A few weeks of "no hitting" and you will be fine but they sure can embarrass the crap out of us can't they???

Mrs. B. said...

@Sarah - I knew you'd have some good words of wisdom and support! :) Your little redheads aren't redheads for nothin'!

@Angela - You're not the only one to think the title said "Hitler" :) Had some buddies on facebook say the same. Maybe you're not quite as deranged as you think...or maybe I know a lot of sad, deranged people.

{Trulie Scrumptious} said...

Well we're here for you even thought we don't have any great advice for ya! You're doing a great job, so keep on keepin' on!

Anonymous said...

Well.....I guess he takes after his auntie Alli ....remember she was dubbed "muhammad Alli" due to her hitting and pushing skills in the chuch nursery, sweet pk.

Laura said...

He'll grow up to be a vigilante. He's just practicing. He'll be fine. Especially with you as a mom.