About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.
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”).
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?