Wasn't Me!

March 12, 2008

James has a new trick up his sleeve, and I'm not sure if I should blame it on the fact that Jared is a stay-at-home-dad or on the fact that James is a male. In the long run, I suppose the reason for the behavior doesn't matter so much. The truth is, my kid has a hitting problem and it seriously needs to stop.

Yesterday, when I walked in the door from work, instead of being met with a joyful, dramatic hug like I usually am, I got sucker-punched. As soon as James heard the door creak open he bolted down the hallway, arms flailing like a man on fire, and greeted me with a big, fat whack to the side of the head.

I'm thoroughly embarrassed to admit that this problem is not limited to hitting and punching. In recent days it's expanded to pushing, head butting, and body slamming as well. When I brought the issue up with Jared, he simply added:

"Oh, I know! You should have seen him this afternoon. He was outside, hitting the car with a stick over and over and over for like FIVE MINUTES STRAIGHT!"

"Oh my gosh," I replied. "Why'd you let him do it for that long? He's gonna knock all the rust off the side of the Blazer and we'll have nothing left to drive!"

"I tried to stop him, but he couldn't hear me through the window."

I have to admit, it took me a moment to process that line. It's turns out that Jared gets James all dressed up in his winter woolies and sends him into the harsh New England elements to play while he sits inside, watching our two-year-old through the window. My husband knocks, smiles, waves, and gives our little buddy the occasional thumbs up while he sits inside and snacks on gumdrops and saltines. How very manly.

I wrapped up our brief lesson on the basics of appropriate parenting by saying, "The bottom line is this: When James hits, you've got to tell him that it's not nice, even if you have to unlock and open the window to do it. And if he doesn't listen, he gets a time out. It's that simple!!!"

Later that night, James did it again. I refused to give my toddler hot fudge for supper, so he wound up and walloped me in the side of the leg. I've got to say, Jared was right on it with the discipline. He put a very serious look on his face, pointed to the dreaded time-out chair and said, "One more time an you'll sit in that chair for three minutes straight."

And without pausing for a flash, James picked up his florescent-pink teddy-bear, used it to smack Jared in the gut and said, "I not do it. Da bear hit you. Et was da bear." I don't know how many timeouts we had last night, but I do remember being assaulted by Lightening McQueen, a pull-along duck, and a stuffed pony. I was also bitten by a picture of my mother--very unfortunate.

If you have a good military school suggestion, go ahead and leave it in the comments. Thanks.


Vanilla said...

This is such a relief. It's good to know my sons aren't the only ones pulling these kind of stunts.

Amy, I feel your pain. I too have been assaulted by Lightning McQueen. I can't tell you how many times I've had to explain that "if one of your toys does something bad, YOU get punished for it, capisce?"

Topher said...

Honest to Buddha, I was going to say the hitting might be a side effect of trying to counter-balance the fact that you bought the boy a hot pink girlbear to play with. Then I get to the bottom of the post and you mention the dad-gum thing. Get the kid a GI Joe to play with and see if that doesn't help. But then, I guess, he might try to counter-balance that with playing dress-up and having a tea party with stay-at-home Dad while you're away. Gosh, sounds like you guys have some things to work out :)

Grandma said...

no...not outside alone...there are coyotes around!!

carla said...

here's hoping that you are a smidge more frickin exhausted by it all than you let on?
here? I can keep up the laughter for only so long then I need to run into the other room and stomp my feet before I can resume being smacked around by the Tornado!


Patti said...

I'd consider full body armor...or at the least a shield to deflect Lighning McQueen, Elmo and any other flying projectiles!!

Lindsey said...

consistancy consistancy consistancy. If you say you are going to punish him for doing it, deliver. That is all I got. Otherwise, they will just call you on your bullcrap.

teacherwoman said...

I don't have children, but I work with kids everyday. My suggestion would be to

1) be consistent

2) don't give too many warnings without following through

good luck.

I read your blog ocassionally but haven't posted much. I love reading it!

Charlotte said...

I don't dare give you parenting advice because we are going through the same problem with our son but we watch supernanny. It is entertaining and has a lot of good parenting tips for kids like mine.

HotMommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HotMommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HotMommy said...

Sorry for the deleted comments - something funky happened. Anyway...

When you wrote suckerpunched, I immediately got a mental image of you being hit in the gut, folding over in half cartoon-style, with a word bubble that reads "wosh" as all the air left your body.

January said...

When I read about Jared sitting in the car while James plays outside I did a serious LOL! Hey, at least you know he's smart making the bear do it!

Brianna K. Grant said...

I wish I had some miracle solution to offer, but sadly, we're still struggling with the same issue with our three-year old here and there. I'm with the consistency crowd. Lay down the law and stick with it. You'll find that the instances of hitting WILL dwindle, though they'll still appear on occasion when there's a new line to test!

chattypatra said...

1. Take the toy away and banish it to "the Twilight Zone".

2. Grab the toy, hit him with it and ask, did that hurt? (kidding!)

3. Take the toy away, get down to his eye level, give him "the look" and say NO! very firmly, then give him a time out. Tell him that the more he cries, the longer he'll be in time out.

4. Reward good behavior and create a chart where you put a star next to his name every day if he does not hit you or Jared. (Or anything similar).

5. Send Dad to the doghouse if he leaves the kid alone outside ever again. SERIOUSLY. Coyotes are nothing compared to PEDOPHILES WHO KIDNAP CHILDREN! Listen to Grandma.

6. When you pray together as a family each morning and night, make sure you ask specifically for him to stop hitting everyone, and to give thanks when he behaves.

Remember, you are a great Mom!

Brandon Harshe said...

I always find that duck tape and a really dark closet work wonders for a child's problematic behavior. Give it a shot. It could work for you, too. ;P

Rob & Katy said...

Knock it off with the hitting or I won't intervene next time Ty pulls your fluffy afro.
I love you,
Auntie Katy

Bahston Beans said...

Your Mom shouldn't bite you like that, how rude (said it Stephanie Tanner style).

Jill said...

Yea, been there done that.

Time out never worked for my kids. It always turned out to be more of a punishment for us than them.
We did, however, start putting the toys in time out. That resulted in a huge amount of screaming from the kids, but at least there was nothing for them to hit us with.

If it's any consolation, my older (previously tantrum throwing in public) kids are very well behaved now. Well, at least in public they are, and that's what counts, right?