Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Started off horribly...

So...after last night's parenting debacle, today started off like this: Bumpus comes into my room at 6:45 (after I've had four hours of sleep thanks to awesome pregnancy insomnia), climbs on the bed...and proceeds to laugh and playfully yell "no!"...and then smack me in the face so hard I saw stars and could still feel the sting of it an hour later. 

I grabbed both hands and said no, we don't hit, that hurts, etc etc, while he laughed, again thinking we were playing. Finally I said, "that's it - you're off the bed," and plunked him on the floor. Which made him cry, but didn't stop him from periodically climbing on the bed and smacking/kicking me until finally I just always held his hands so he would just stop hurting me. It's awful when you can't even trust your child to get close to you, cuddle with you or want to sit on your lap because they're always going to haul off and smack your face!!!

It made me so angry that I again thought about how horrid it would be if I ever did hit him - and that thought made me so distraught that I just broke down and sobbed. Sobbed like my heart was breaking. I just can't stand this. I knew toddlerhood was going to be really awful - and so far, it has not disappointed-!

Finally I had to haul my carcass out of bed and do our elaborate breakfast/showering/kitchen cleaning routine. Then I took him to the less busy playground, and that turned out to be a fairly pleasant morning. Nice people and not too many kids. Now I have to figure out how to keep us out of the house until dinner time. There's no way in hell I'm spending even a minute in the living room with him today. No way.

It occurred today that some of this may be related to the new baby coming - a woman at our music class explained to me recently that her two-year-old daughter had started pushing and being aggressive around the time she was a couple of months short of having her new baby. Just a theory. 

I think I will bring back the re-directing - I had dropped this tactic for the most part when he showed me that all I had to do was say "no no" and "don't touch" to get him to stop whatever he was doing - and this has worked for the last six months. But now that that's all shot to hell, it may be time to bring back the ol' "hey, look at this!" routine. Certainly a lot more pleasant and positive than barking orders (that are completely ignored anyway). 

Believe me, I don't want to be scary, angry mommy. But I still don't know how to let these kids know you mean business without at least using authority in your voice and physically making them face you and pay attention. Considering how much this, and everything else that happened last night, failed, I don't think there's much else to do at this point other than distract/remove. So for today we're going to just stay out all day and I'n going to keep my face out of range of being smacked. I'm exhausted and emotionally raw and that's all I can handle today. 

Four more hours 'til bed time. Sigh.


  1. Oh that sucks! I'm sorry, Toddlers can be SO AWFUL sometimes.

    Hoping tomorrow is a better day.

  2. So frustrating. You must be exhausted. :-( When Fiona was around a year old and got into pulliing my hair or hitting me, I would shout OUCH! and IMMEDIATELY put her down on the floor and walk away, saying, I don't like to be hit! She would usually cry but she wanted to be with me so much that she got it figured out very fast. Of course, I am sure the efficacy of any tactic varies from kid to kid. Hang in there!

  3. Elena also went thru this hitting business (almost exactly a year ago it hit (no pun intended) it's pinacle for us). She'd often hit worst when we were having fun & that would frustrate & confuse me most.I mean, I'd sort of get it if she was mad & hauled off & hit me...but when we're having fun?!!? Why?!!? I came to realize this was tied in to her not being able to express herself verbally...I reacted as Claire suggestes above, I would tell her, "I don't want to play with you if you hit me" She caught on...I would also let her see me cry & allow her to comfort me, that seemed to give her a sense of remorse. My heart always hurt more than the sting on my face, I was convinced I was failing...I know now I wasn't & hope you know this too. B will grow out of this. You will survive it.

  4. I agree with Claire and Tiara above - When Jordyn gets aggressive (which I honestly thinks happens mostly when she's all revved up and rambunctious, even when we're having fun, it's like she doesn't when or how to hit the brakes when she's at the point of becoming aggressive), I put her down, say something like, "We don't hit. Hitting hurts." and walk away. She gets upset because she's basically in a time out - no reinforcement, she's lost my attention, and that's exactly what she wanted. At the least, it stops the aggression, and then sometimes we can continue with what we were doing. It may be worth a try.

  5. A FB friend posted this today, and I thought of how you felt about your labor and delivery experience. It is an article about some research concerning PTSD after a traumatic birth experience. Maybe it has some information that will help you heal and prepare for the next one.