Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas list: one foil hat



Forget the Rose Petal Cottage Butt Playhouse. What Junior really needs are some hand restraints.

His favorite new trick is smacking Chuck and me and scratching! Who is this demon child and what is his return address?

So far, nothing we’ve tried has gotten him to stop. Not the firm but calm “no.” Not the gentle restraint of his hands accompanied by the purposeful yet stern gaze into his eyes. Not even the loving affirmations (e.g., “I love you despite the fact that you have left claw marks on my fragile winter flesh”).

Nada.

You’d think my prior experience would help. My brother, Ted, was the most difficult child ever birthed. He was already into his terrible ones when I was nine, so I have vivid—nightmarishly accurate—memories of him in all his toddler fury. You know how dogs can smell diseased cells in humans? Ted had that same kind of extra sensory perception. If he even felt that there was something you wanted him to do, he would put up a fight.

The only way to guarantee success was to mask your brainwaves with a little foil hat.

I’m kidding. Though I would have tried that just to get him to concede. Just once. I swear, battling him was like trying to pop a blimp with a matchstick. He left me no choice but to resort to sisterly measures: I knocked him around, tied him up, broke his toys, tried to push him off cliffs.

Sadly, Chuck won’t let me do any of those things to Junior. He’s all Mr. Mom: “We have to set a good example, blah blah, rainbows and rose petals.”

Fool. When did dads get so nice?

To appease my sap of a husband, I spent a fair amount of time online today looking into child-friendly remedies.

The first site I found suggested I keep a log of Junior’s outbursts to see if there’s any trigger. Yah, here we go:

“Wednesday. Let Junior push buttons on microwave. Over and over. Praised him as he repeated the word “moon” again and again and again and again. Listened to Sesame Street soundtrack for hundredth time. Turned on Noggin network. Unscrewed bottle of wine. Watched Yo Gabba Gabba. Drank straight from bottle. Fell to floor as Gabba Gabba creatures infiltrated fatigued brain and attacked compromised brain cells. Got smacked by Junior.”

Nope, no patterns I can see.

Site #2 said:

Be prepared to be hit or bitten repeatedly. If you feel you are beginning to lose your cool, separate yourself from your child. Tell the child "that’s enough hitting, now I need a break." Then remove yourself from the room.

Come again? “That’s enough hitting, now I need a break”???

Yah, mommy’ll be back in five, but don’t you worry, after that she’ll be ready for another smack down.

Child psychology experts my ass!

Tell me, reassure me, hold me—this is a phase, right?

10 comments:

Pablo Guero said...

Yep, we went through this with Thing One. He's three now, and never scratches, bites or hits -- us. He saves it for the rare outburst on the playground now.

When he was two-ish we bought a book called "Teeth Are Not For Biting." He actually cried when he realized he hurt other kids by biting them. He stopped within about two weeks.

PS: I hate Yo Gabba Gabba. It drives me to drink, too. I bet if you turn off the volume, and play "The Dark Side of the Moon" on the stereo, some freaky shit would happen.

Frogs in my formula said...

That is an AWESOME suggestion. I can see why wifey keeps you around!

Keely said...

*writes down Teeth are not for Biting*

I'd say I'm not down with taking repeated abuse, but I do. Xander beats on us mercilessly. I would remove myself from the room but who knows what he'd manage to do while I was gone??

Jay @halftime lessons said...

OMG...moon...you just described our current struggle...

Plus, every word sounds like "cock".
Kinda disturbing.

Temple said...

Note to self...you are perfectly happy with Lola the Wonder Corgi who was successfully weaned from "nipping" within only a matter of weeks...

:)

Nicole said...

Oh dear heart, not sure on that one... Katie puts up a fight--just not physically... When all else fails for me, I scare the shit out of her... "Don't eat that chocolate; it was made in China." So far I haven't seen any backlash--the China threat has worked pretty well up till now (though I wonder what she thinks China is...) Good luck, this too shall pass!

Anne said...

Not sure I am crazy about the whole "that is enough hitting, I need a break." Isn't one hit more than enough?

My daughter went through a biting stage (she is nine now and rarely bites anyone). I would start to cry when she bit me and tell her that she hurt me. I can't recommend this since I am sure some parenting expert will come out of the woodwork, saying I damaged her for life, but the crying worked (except for the time my husband came home from the office and found be a her sitting on the floor crying together, but that is another whole story).

Lidian said...

Boy, does Yo Gabba Gabba ever sound terrible. What in the world is it?

Never mind, I can just imagine.

I put in a lot of winter afternoons that went on for weeks, with Barney, two toddlers and a box of goldfish.

Wine sounds good, too.

Michelle said...

Yup, it's just a phase. My little one, who is 4 now, went through the same thing. Once she even attempted to scratch out my hubby's eye ball. I thought we had a demon child too. LOL!! We just kept telling her that it hurt and we would pretend to cry. It seemed to do the trick. She finally realized that she was hurting us. There's a light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep your chin up. I hope this helps.

thedavies99 said...

If it's not a phase you're going to need more than a foil hat! Good luck.

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