Alas then cam the day that I had children of my own! The stage of infancy was a breeze and than one day my sweet baby became a TODDLER!!! Not just any toddler mind you he became a very naughty toddler. I try so hard to fall back on my training but isn’t it so much easier when your talking to someone else about THEIR child. Now as a stay at home mom I find myself in a daily mental wrestling match with a 15 month old!!!!
BITING: My child has become quite the bitter, I like to call him Hannibal. At first I tried to tell him no and than turn all of my attention to the poor friend that he has bitten. That didn’t work at all he would become so distraught about my attention shift that he began biting me while I was handing out condolences to his friends. I guess he figured “she may think she can ignore me but how can she possibly ignore this“…CHOMP. Next I tried teaching him biting hurts and no I did not bit him myself to prove my point, instead I would point to the wound and say OUCH, OUCH. Then I would point to his mouth and say NO BITING. This idea had interesting effect, he kept biting but now he would point to the mark and say OUCH, OUCH…..hmm that was not quite the result I was looking for. Now alas I have resorted to time-out for all biting violations, a simple word NO followed by a time out, the only problem with that is there is no time out at Wal-Mart when he bites me in the knuckles as I’m pushing the cart.
MY CHILD THE BATTERING RAM: It was when Mat started crawling that he started running into things with his head. I was so concerned about this behavior that asked his doctor, the Doc so nicely told me (as my son was running head first into the office door at top speed) that his skull was very thick and he would never do it hard enough to knock himself out…as reassuring as that advice was I would still ask my wonder boy to please stop. Soon he began to Head butt people, Daddy and his uncles immediately found this behavior to be cute and would giggle as he would crash skulls with them. After a while my son thought it was so funny that he would head butt every one including his great grandmother, it was then that began think maybe redirection would be a good idea. I began asking for kisses instead of head butts and hugs instead of him plowing headfirst into my very pregnant belly. At first he had no interest in handing out affection if there was head ramming to be done, now he will head butt me and then kiss me afterwards…hmmm…what a man making up for naughty behavior with kisses. The doc says he will grow out of using his head as a weapon, I hope so but now I warn everyone hold at your own risk he has a herd head and knows how to use it.
SLAPPING: I don’t know how my child figured out to hit, it is some kind on natural instinct I guess because never has he been witness to hitting or slapping of any sort, come to think of it he has not been witness to biting or head butting either and he figured those out just fine. My charming son now slaps for fun, you hold him and he will slap you on the head, sit on the floor and he will slap you on the legs and if your are doing something that he dose not think you should be doing (anything that draws your attention away from him) he will slap you and shout NO. I tried redirection with this too, I taught him to give high fives instead of slapping, now in addition to hitting he walks up to people at random and start slapping their hands….way to go on that one mom!!! I have found that if I set him down or ignore him when he hits and it seems to make him stop and choose an nicer activity but as I said it’s hard to ignore him at the store when he is pelting my arms with baby slaps as I am doing the weekly shopping.
Although these behaviors can make me a TAD BIT edgy and a little frustrated I will happily take what ever it is he has to dish out. Being a mother is worth all the bite marks, head butts and slaps in the world (now I’m not saying it doesn’t get exhausting after a while). I am expecting my second child soon and I cannot wait to see just what kind of personality she will have to offer. During my first year of motherhood I have learned so much, having a naughty child does not make you a bad mother, once you have a child you are never the same and becoming mother gives us a sense of humor we never knew we had.