Sunday, January 20, 2013

Punched in the eye

My baby punched me in the eye the other day. Straight up punched me in the eye like a thug. My wife and I don't believe in spanking, but in that moment I was considering it... but I didn't.

What made me so mad was I know he punched me on purpose. He was mad at me and he looked me right in the face before he did it. He's been hitting a lot lately and my wife and I can't figure it out. We don't hit him. He's not around other kids that much, so I don't think he's picking it up elsewhere. I honestly think he's just coming up with it himself. Maybe it's evolutionary. If a sabertooth tiger was creeping up on you in cave man days, you had to smack that sucker or your caveman days were over. Perhaps hitting is an instinct that has served mankind well, but it's pretty annoying when it manifests itself in my previously adorable son.

For a split second I almost felt like I needed to defend myself. If someone just walked up to you in the street and punched you in the eye, you'd fight them back. It was instinct. But then the middle-class, liberal, I've-been-to-college part of my brain kicked in and I gave him a timeout instead. When I had cooled off and had a chance to think, I would've felt pretty hypocritical if I had tried to teach him not to hit by hitting him. On the other hand, “I'm going to give you such a long timeout!” doesn't sound nearly as fearsome as some of the other things parents threaten, but you can say it all day long in the supermarket and no one's going to call Child Protective Services on you.

Maybe he's a mean-spirited little baby, or possibly it comes out of frustration because he's a little slow at talking and gets frustrated because he can't express himself. We were reading about it and when babies get really frustrated they start biting, so in addition to hitting, we've got that to look forward to. Some people say you have to bite your kid back, but that is obviously stupid.

My wife and I feel like Dr. Frankenstein must have felt. We've created something, and he is quite possibly going to destroy us.

Does anyone know where he is learning the hitting stuff if he's not getting it from us? Please let me know what you think.


  1. I'm sure your little guy is not mean spirited! It's a trying age (for everyone) and I do think it comes from frustration. They want to communicate and do so much, but they can't, plus they're learning how to manipulate us and stretch boundaries - seeing how they can get the results they want!
    I think it's up to us to let them know which techniques are acceptable and which ones aren't! You sound like great parents, so I'm sure you'll teach him better ways to communicate, give a dose of discipline and things will get a little less...violent! I love your attitude that hitting would be a weird way to teach a child not to hit. I feel the same in my parenting - very strongly indeed as I have some adults close to me who always got taught as children to retaliate physically when hit or pissed off. It doesn't serve them well in present day and it's not worth the struggle in adulthood with anger management or having to now find the ability to communicate effectively without hitting!
    I'm not really in the same spot of bother as you guys, but I am sure that's coming soon. I have been bitten a couple of times and luckily a strong "NO" in a voice I rarely use with him (the mummy means business tone) has been enough (he's a sensitive soul/wuss). Phew. I wish you all the best with it and hope you get some good advice!

  2. My mom bit me back. Problem solved. It was just last year...


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