Thursday, October 12, 2006

Little Monster

My daughter has started hitting when she doesn’t get her
way. She’s 17 months old and at the
height of adorableness so it is very difficult to get angry with her. For instance, this morning she kept pointing
at the bag of chips on top of the refrigerator and saying her “I want” word,
“Mo-aahh.” I told her no and she
pointed again and said, “Mo-aahh.” I
told her no again. She walked up to my
leg and slapped it while staring right at me. She made a really angry face and grunted as she slapped me. It reminded me a great deal of her

It appears that, unlike her brother, my daughter is
discovering her autonomy at a very young age. My son was sweet and obedient until after he turned three. Apparently, my daughter’s days of sweetness
and light are nearing an end. I need to
brace myself for the months ahead, dealing with the terrible two’s when they
are actually supposed to occur. This is
a concept that is foreign to me. I have
no idea how to discipline a child who cannot yet communicate or if it is even
possible. What should I do when she
hits me? My current plan is to say, “we
do not hit” firmly, every time she gets physical with someone. I’m hoping that sooner or later it will sink

This is all very ironic because my good friend’s daughter,
Katherine, was around my daughter’s age when we met. Katherine and my son used to play together several times a week
when she was my daughter’s age. She
would push him down, slap him, hit him, and kick him on a fairly consistent
basis. I felt sorry for my son (who was
around 10 months old at the time) but attributed that behavior to her age and
let her Mom handle it. I, of course,
secretly thought she was a little monster and vowed never to let my child behave
that way. I was a first-time, super naïve
Mother at the time and was not yet aware of the power of karma in the realm of
parenting. Boy, did that thinking come
back to haunt me. I’ve got a little
Katherine on my hands. 

Katherine is now a smart, sweet, funny four-year-old and
continues to be my son’s best friend and future wife (according to him). She still has her moments but she is much
more mature than my son and very rarely loses control of her emotions. I guess it’s time to ask her Mom for some
advice. She clearly knew what she was


  1. After she quit giggling, Mary said "could be worse, some kids bite". Don't let the little angel fool you, she may not be talking, but she understands everything you say. They start with selective hearing really early. Also, remember, they really don't have any clear memory of anything that happens before age 4. That's how we managed to get away with all the abuse we heaped on the boys when they were young, they simpily forgot! Hang in there Girl, you are bigger, and better educated than her, if you can make it through another 15 to 19 years, they become pretty nice people. All you have to do is keep your sense of humor.

  2. Papa Dale-
    Yeah, I know. I'm trying to get in as much abuse as possible before their memories kick in. How can it possibly cause lasting damage if they can't remember it, right?
    My sense of humor better remain in tact or I am done for.

  3. J,
    When I read that I had to LOL....Ahhh the memories of my parenting style past that it brought back. I hang my head in shame as I admit the following: when my older children went through that stage of hitting my knee jerk reaction was to pop them on the butt. Then the next words out of my mouth were "we do not hit". In my advanced maternal age I have realized the error of my way and corrected that with Alison. If your friend has any parenting suggestions or solutions, please share!

  4. Well, Angie, if it makes you feel better, I had to learn that "we do not hit" rule from Dr. Phil. Now, that's sad :)