I meant to write this yesterday and then I got sidetracked updating some stuff around here and by the time I remembered I wanted to write about this it was time to go to bed and not sleep.
Seasoned moms, I need your help.
My child is really into this game of slapping me in the face any time I want him to do something he doesn’t want to do. I get bopped upside the head or smacked in the eyes with this loose-limbed, over-handed maneuver of his and I just want to scream because sometimes this really hurts. And even if it doesn’t hurt, it’s still bad behavior. Where he has learned this, I have no idea. But it’s getting really frustrating and sets my teeth on edge.
Take yesterday, for example.
It was naptime. I grabbed his milk, picked him up, and headed to his room. He says “no…No naptime!” To which I replied, “Yes, naptime. Joshie’s gotta rest!”
To which he raised his little toddler hand and whapped me, knocking my sunglasses off my head. And then he laughed.
Sometimes he laughs when he does this which tells me that he thinks this is a game of some sort. Sometimes, he’s clearly doing this out of frustration as he’ll be crying the whole time.
I grab his arms and hold them away from me, or crossed over his chest, and say “NO. HITTING.” sternly, and he laughs again because mama’s scary face must not be too scary to him. Meanwhile the insides of me are.on.fire. and I feel horns sprouting out of my skull and smoke pouring out of my ears.
I cannot stand to be hit like this. Out of anger, or fear, or in jest.
I cannot stand it.
When he hits me, I have to really check myself because my gut reaction is to hit back with a swat on the bottom or the hand or the leg.
But that makes no sense at all to me.
You cannot teach a child NOT to hit by HITTING. How, in the mind of a 2 year old, is that supposed to make sense?
And I don’t know if I necessarily believe in corporal punishment for my child. I think it’s completely possible to raise a respectable, awesome, non-spoiled, non-bratty kid without hitting him and because of my visceral response to being hit, I want to try to raise my child to be these things without spanking him.
But I’m really to the point where I don’t know what to do.
Is this just a phase? Did your toddler go through it? What did you do?
Update:: Because Dan is a Google genius, he found this post on Breezy Mama that deals with toddler hitting. I’ll try it. You try it. We’ll compare notes. Though I maintain that the phrase “criss-cross applesauce” is the DUMBEST PHRASE EVER. Because applesauce DOESN’T SIT.