Monday, March 23, 2015

The struggle is real

We've reached the hitting phase.

I didn't think it was coming -- not MY kid -- but it's here. This tiny little human is supremely frustrated with not having the language to communicate everything going on in her brain, so, now, she hits.

She hits toys, she hits the couch, she hits her dinner plate, and, worst of all, she hits herself. Herself! Her own freaking head! She hit me one day, too, but I put a swift stop to that. I don't even know how I did it. I think I startled her by yelling and put her down so fast, it made her head spin. Either way, I do not generally get hit, which is a small blessing.

Now that Ava is 19 months old, I struggle with how to discipline. Seriously, how much does a kid that age understand? So far, I've been putting her in "time out" on the stairs every time she hits herself. When she hits objects, I ignore her. It's all been touch-and-go, making me question my parenting strategies, oh, every half a second.

On the flip side, when she is sweet and gentle, I praise the shit out of her. Tonight, for example, she gently touched her head (she was thinking of hitting) and I made such a big deal about how gentle she was being. Then, she kept petting herself, which, of course, made me lay it on thick. We were a very bizarre duo for a minute there, with her stroking her own hair and me acting like she had just discovered a cure for fucking cancer. But at this point, I'll do anything.

Oh, another fun fact: She's also throwing things. Girl has got an ARM on her. I was washing dishes tonight while she was in her chair eating dinner/playing with her food when all of a sudden, her sippy cup came flying past my feet.

The hell?

You think that's acceptable? Think again, baby. Now you don't get milk. (Um, until you ask for it.)

She also threw her fork.

Okay, that's mine now too. Bye-bye, fork. Eat with your hands.


It's a process I guess.

On the bright side, I have taught her how to clear her plate when she's done. After she finishes her fruit, we carry her plate and bowl to the sink. I always prompt her by asking, "Are you all done? Let's put the dishes in the sink!" Tonight, though, she did it on her own. I turned around from washing the other dishes to see her with her bowl and cup already gathered in her arms. "Sink," she said. "Sink."


(The rest of the evening went well until her post-bathtime diaper change, where she screamed and kicked so much that she actually cut her heel -- it bled! I was so sad for her at first and scooped her up in my arms with a flurry of kisses and hugs, but once she was "all better," I said, "That's called karma, muthafuka." I'm a terrible person.)

Anyway, it's a weird age. She's still little and cute, but she's also a demon spawn. I love her so much, but I want her to change. She's interacting with me in the best possible ways, but her mood can change on a dime. I'm trying to keep up, but all I know for sure is that this kid is gonna be the end of me.

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