December 15, 2016
We have a problem over here and it is not the huge pile of snow that just got dumped on our city an hour ago- I have this tiny semi-violent person living with me and I don’t know what to do.
Baby, I’m talking about you. For whatever reason you have begun this fun stage of hitting me and when I say fun I mean a bit painful and slightly intimidating. First of all, you literally only hit me and second of all, you are pretty damn strong for such a peanut (or I am really really weak which is also possible… ok fine, I am weak but still, you are 1/8 my size.)
So tonight when I put you down for bed you began to smack me in the face while I tried to cuddle you as per our usual bedtime dance. You were not interested in cuddling, only hitting. WTF. Your dad was so happy because last night when he put you to sleep you began to gently and lovingly stroke his face as you nuzzled into him. Where was that baby tonight? I want to be nuzzled! Who wants to be pushed and hit by a tiny little hand?
Moreover, what the fuck am I supposed to do about it?
I’ve been reading up on how to stop this kind of shit while adhering to a gentle, positive and pro-attachment style of parenting and while I am prepared to follow it, it is kind of unhelpful. The advice is to talk it out with you. So I calmly explain that I will not let you hit your mommy because hitting hurts. As suggested, I show you alternative things to do with your hands such as clapping or making “nice” to mommy. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE RATIONAL AND THOUGHTFUL CONVERSATIONS WITH A BABY. I am going to continue to try because I appreciate the principles of what this kind of “discipline” is going for. I do strive to have good emotional connectedness between us and for you to understand consequences and not to feel like I am your dictator. I want us to be partners in helping you navigate the world around you…. BUT…. for now, having these reasonable chats with you is like talking to a fucking wall.
After all my efforts and all the talking, you still whacked me in the head and laughed.
But this is a lesson to both of us in patience and persistence. It is a lesson on sticking with something for the long con, not the short term gain. Sure, having emotional heart to hearts with you when you don’t truly understand them may seem futile but in the absence of harsh words, yelling and punishment that you likewise won’t understand, we create trust and love. This is something that is happening now but it is really something that we will see strengthen if I can just stick to it.
Because sometimes Baby, it is really hard to stick to what we commit to, it hard to be patient and kind when we are a bit frustrated and it is hard to keep doing something that doesnt seem to be making a difference. But when you believe in something- whatever that thing may be, you have to trust yourself to know what’s best and have the gumption to stick to your guns even when you are up against a wall (or tiny fists.)
I hope that when you read this blog you think to yourself, “self, mom was right and now we do have this really awesome connected and open relationship filled with trust and love.” I know that the chances of you ever saying something like that are slim to none but at the very least, I hope you feel in your heart how much I truly respect you as your own person and how much I want to continue to be your active partner in growing and learning.
I’ll also take the fact that you choose to hit only me as a compliment. True? I guess we will never know… seriously, don’t tell me.
So if you could pack away those mini weapons attached to your arms ASAP, that would be swell. Or clap. Whatever.