‘Dumpling’s been an absolute nightmare today! Earlier on, whilst I was breast-feeding, she just came up and wacked Pumpkin around the head three times – I couldn’t get her to stop so I tapped her on the hand’ High Command admitted to me as I walked through the door into the madhouse.
Its been one of those days. A really busy end to a really busy week at work. I have been leaving the house before the girls are up and getting home when they are fast asleep. My only contact has been garbled conversations with Poppet (4yo) and Dumpling (2yo) on the phone (Pumpkin’s still a bit young at almost 1 month old).
So today I set myself the goal to race through my workload and leave early to get home to take the elder two to buy an ‘Algae Eater’ fish for our ongoing Operation Aquarium project (which I have to say has been great fun).
Anyway I managed to get through my workload without getting too side tracked and left with enough time to get home to round the skidlets up and get to the Aquatics Shop before it closed.
As I walked through the front door I was greeted with the usual chaos. Poppet running around aimlessly. Dumpling in tears over something. And that was when I saw that something wasn’t quite right with High Command and she said:
‘Dumpling’s been an absolute nightmare today! Earlier on, whilst I was breast feeding, she just came up and wacked Pumpkin around the head three times – I couldn’t get her to stop so I tapped her on the hand’
Now I honestly didn’t know what to say.
For those of you who have read my previous posts about my childhood memories, hitting my kids in any form is a real deal breaker.
It’s just not an option.
However we have really struggled with Dumpling and her discipline.
With Poppet being so well-behaved going through the Toddler stage I was one of those really smug parents who looked at other kids behaving really badly and looked down my nose at their parents rather arrogantly.
Dumpling, on the other hand, has been a different kettle of fish…..
So we have been really worried since High Command became pregnant with Pumpkin as to what Dumpling would be like with a newborn sister. The honest answer is she’s been brilliant (well more or less) until today
Everything that a naughty toddler can do, you name it, she has/does do – hitting/biting/hair pulling/spitting/prodding/poking etc.
And the thing is when she does one of the above and you pull her up on it, tell her ‘no that’s naughty’ she just laughs in your face as if to say ‘yeah what you going to do..butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth’..
But at the same time Dumpling is such a cute and cuddly and loving person that I think she has me wrapped around her little finger.
Oh and she is a bit different – just today the Manager at her Pre-School was commenting on how Dumpling is settling in and that she ‘Keeps all the staff amused’ and is a ‘Spirited whirlwind’ and ‘She ate her own body weight in soil today and then washed it down with the water for cleaning the pain brushes in’. When High Command was telling me this I really didn’t know whether to be proud or worry that it’s all my fault because I never properly sterilised her milk bottles when she was younger!
She’s definitely unique that is for sure and I love her for bits.
However the nasty streak in her when she is tired, or can’t get own way, means that she can be quite violent. There have been times where she has raked my face with her finger nails, then aggressively prodded her fingers into my eyes, that for a split second I have wanted to hit her back.
And the scratch and marks on Pumpkin’s forehead are testament to what Dumpling can be like.
But I am determined not to hit her (or any other of my kids for that matter) in any way.
Once you start tapping/hitting/thrashing/spanking your kids where do you draw the line?
Having been violently abused by an alcoholic Mother growing up it is only recently that I have been able to have wooden coat hangers in my wardrobe without feeling nauseous every time I reach for an item of clothing.
So how do I feel about the revelation today.
Well the honest answer is I don’t know how I feel……. I am certainly not angry at High Command – when put into perspective she has tapped the hand of a toddler who was seriously hurting a three and half week old sister who was being breast-fed at the time.
Have we crossed a line today – I don’t know? I think it’s a watch this space one.
I say we because as a family we are a team and I have to be honest I go to work for a rest and the thought of having a 4yo/2yo/0yo at home full-time is a tall order. And I respectfully take my hat off to any parent who is a full-time parent.
High Command is the most laid back, good-natured, lovely person you will ever meet.
But if you hit your child, even if it is tapping them on the hand, what message does it send to the child ‘Hang on I’ve just hit someone and you’re hitting me now – WTF does that mean?’
Talk about sending mixed messages!
For me its continuing to persevere with the time out approach and hanging in there as it will soon pass (well that’s what everyone who is further down the journey is telling me).
And for High Command she is reflecting on it and I am sure we will talk more about it tomorrow.
As always would really appreciate your comments on this?
Do you hit your kids?
Should parents who hit their kids be considered poor parents?
What do you constitute a hit – is it a tap on the leg or hand or thrashing with a belt?
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