I hate books about parenting. The whole point is to increase anxiety and guilt about what a bad parent you are and then they try to sell you something. I already know what kind of parent I am and some child psychologist with mountains of knowledge and whimsical writing style just ain't gonna help. I started reading a fatherhood book when Jen first got pregnant. I lasted 3 chapters and haven't read a damn thing since. Not because I'm arrogant and think I'm the perfect dad, but mostly because it didn't make any sense. But... ummm... lately... I've been thinking. *whisper* Maybe we should get a book or two.
Our kid is a bully.
(Yes, she is two. I know that. I also know that "All kids go through that phase." But, if that's true, how come every other kid on the playground is not currently beating every other kid that looks at something that she may want to play on now or in the sometime distant future, huh?)
Example #1: Recently we spent a weekend with a 2 and a half year old named Elsa. We have since renamed Elsa to just "Punching Bag." It really fits her. She has the bruises and scrapes (courtesy of yours truly's progeny) to prove it.
Example #2: After spending a week and a half away from daycare because of some vacation time for us and the saint who coordinates the "Toddler Circus," we started talking to Rigley about how she was going back to daycare the next day. Seriously. The VERY next thing that came out of her mouth was "Hit Wesley (a daycare buddy with the bruises and scrapes to prove it)." No joke. In her primitive, little, toddler brain, she associates daycare with beating little kids. She was getting tired of beating up her old ma and pa and really couldn't wait to get back to slapping, swatting, and pounding her old buddies at daycare.
Ok, so you're thinking that there must be violence in our house, right? Not so. In my head I confess that I have thought about giving sweet Rigley a little "love tap" when she scowls at me and throws her plate of spaghetti at the wall for the third time that night. It does cross my mind, but as of yet, no physical outbursts on my part.
Maybe its all that TV she's watching. Hmmm... Well, we can rule that one out so far since we don't have TV. Actually I would love to get her hooked on Dangerous Housewives or Jersey Shore. Right now Rigley can pay attention to one thing for almost 9 seconds before bolting to somethings else. I figure if she can get nice and addicted to TV she can learn to pay attention to something for 8 minute increments between commercials. *sigh* We can always dream.
It's not like we are the permissive parents either. Heck, she smacks us in the face DAILY and we are all over the timeouts. Boom! Time out. Whack! Timeout. Blammo! Timeout. We're talking through each instance after every time out. We're talking about alternatives to hitting and how to use words to express strong emotions. Believe me, Super Nanny, we are working our tails off! To no avail. If it were up to Rigs her birthday presents would be a pair of brass knuckles and a billy club so she could roam the neighborhood riding any bike she wanted and no one would EVER touch her stuff.
These days we are tip toeing around the house just trying not to piss off Hulk. Anything could set her off.
"Oh! You wanted the blue binky? Not the red one? Here's two of them! Please! Please don't punish me!!"
"No more peas? Oh. Okay. Does anything sound good to eat? We have 75 different things on the menu tonight. Do any of them look good to eat? What? Umm... No we're out of yogurt. No! Please! I'm sorry!! No more beatings! I'll go to the store right now!!"
We're seriously considering picking up those parenting books now. It might be too early to take her down to the boxing gym.
Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.