Thursday, January 27, 2011

oh no he didn't

I've come to accept a lot of things about parenting a two year old. Like that sometimes there's going to be a cat trapped in the hamper, and that if I happen upon a naked toddler, there's a pool of pee to be found somewhere. I've loosened up and lowered my expectations. He'll eat when he is really hungry, and if that meal is a whole lot of carbs and nothing green, so be it, he ate. Leaving the dog food cupboard unlatched is an invitation for kibble from one end of the laundry room to the other. My wedding rings left sitting on the bedside table will end up riding along inside the Little People bus. He probably won't just sit nice and listen to the story at story time, because he's two and he's a boy and there are BOOKS and FISH and COMPUTERS to see. So long as he's not hurting anyone or disrupting anyone or blatantly disobeying a rule I have set in place, whatever. Rock on with yo' crazy self, Mister. Be two. Learn, explore, figure out what's what.

But spitting? OMG, YALL. The spitting. He spits when he's feeling defiant, he spits when he's frustrated, and today, he spit at me because I dared try to coax him away from the craft table at story time when he'd already completed his craft (read: already covered himself in paint and ripped his mardi gras mask in half). He. Spit. At. Me. In public. So obviously, I grabbed him by the hand and said a curt goodbye to my friends (sorry, friends) and marched him to the car and drove my frustrated self to Taco Johns for a large Mountain Dew (because I couldn't hardly go grab an ice cold six pack, and this was the next best thing and killed some time for everyone ((read: ME)) to chill out before we got home). Because while I'll tolerate a lot out of a two year old knowing that the name of the two year old game is testing boundaries .... I will NOT tolerate blatant disrespect. Or spit. In my face. That I put makeup on and everything.

So, mamas, do any of your kids do this spitting thing? (Or if they don't, tell me they do something equally jaw-droppingly naughty, just to make me feel better.) What on earth do you do about this kind of behavior? Have you read a book about parenting toddlers that might help me out and not bore me and/or make me feel like I suck? (Title, author, Amazon link. Thanks in advance.)

((Note: it wasn't just that one episode, either. The whole morning was just kind of one mess after another mess, but for the sake of not going on and on and on (because I never do that, I'm always all to the point, over and out), I'm just sharing the lowest of the low.))

And all this after a day like yesterday, when we had some of our new friends over and had a fabulous play date where everyone played nice, nobody hit (or, you know, SPIT IN ANYONE'S FACE), and the kids hit it off so smashingly and had so much fun playing together that the moms actually got to speak in full sentences and I got a chance to get to know two new friends a little bit better. Total keepers, for sure. And the afternoon was equally pleasurable, with lots of playing and hugging and "wuff yous" and such. So yesterday was like that and I went to bed all "kids, good, life, yes, fabulous, lucky meeeeeeee" and then today went all "omg make it STOP!!!!!!!!!"

Anyway. Share your words, oh wise ones.

17 comments:

Jill said...

Wyatt has spit only once, and not at me, but I tried to do the opposite of react to it. I just played it off like he hadn't just done something that repulses me. Which is so hard to do! He hasn't done it again. But squeeze, bite, push, and step on his little brother? Yeah, he's done that again and again. And I can't NOT react to that. Here's hoping three is a better age!

The Momma said...

Oh my god. I do not look forward to those days!!! Stand firm Momma!

Simply Complex said...

As you well know, I am dealing with crazy stuff too. I'm actually comforted with knowing that I'm not the only one who has zero control over the little being that used to adore me and follow my every request. I never knew they would become so independent so soon.

As far as books, I have a couple I have read- but they don't work at this age. Just so you know. I think they set up the mutual respect so the techniques can work later- but not so much now.

Simply Complex said...

Oh, and Jill (from above)- I have heard that three is much, much worse.

"Bring ya to your knees Three's". That sums it up according to other mommy types.

lena said...

"That I put makeup on and everything" made me laugh both times I read this.

Haven't had to deal with any spitting (gross) yet, but I'm sure the day is just around the corner! Good luck.

Nicole said...

Mine loves to hit me in the face and kick. As soon as the hand is thrown I carry him straight to time out. The process continues on and on and on. Time-outs aren't very effective in our house. I also give him choices (like pick a hand, because his speech isn't so great). So I would say something like, "Put down the craft (and show one hand) or go to time-out" (where the other hand represents time-out). More often than not he chooses the correct hand and our problem is alleviated. On those particular days where he is defiant for the sake of being defiant NOTHING works.

Emily said...

So far we've escaped spit, but we are battling karate chops. A bad habit that was so lovingly encouraged by my wonderful mother-in-law over her New Year's visit.
It's happened a few times in public, where the sweat just pores from my head and I very quickly whisk my lovely two year old to the car. All the while whispering threats and squeezing hands for effect.

The Writer Chic said...

We get spitting sometimes, but mostly when he is overtired, and just being a "boy," not necessarily defiant. A "Stop that, sir!!!" usually is enough to get the spittle to stop slinging.

But we have our other inappropriate things, and, well, we do time-out, and then if that is defied, we spank. I know spanking is one of the controversial topics, but....it's what we feel is right, in the right place, time, manner, and delivery.

Hang in there, hon. This mommy gig is harder than I think any of us ever dreamed.

Kearsta said...

I giggled when I read your taco john's comment. I always drive thru and get a large mt. dew! It makes everything better when you are having a rough day!

The Barron Family said...

Austin was so terrible at the beginning of the 2's. It was so hard. I can promise you, 3 has been awesome. So much easier!!

He has spit, hit me, yelled, threw fits, the whole nine yards. It is so hard... you just have to reason with them. I always let him know that if he does or doesn't do this or that than he can't have this or that.

It will get better, I promise. It is so hard and we all want our child to act like mr. perfect in public. ;-)

The Bowmans said...

Emily is testing all of my boundaries as well. You did exactly what I would have done in that situation. Remove them from the situation and remind them, NO SPITTING. Toddler 411 has an excellent chapter on Discipline. I used to not be a fan of spanking, but it has worked for us when time-outs just didn't. 2 great books to read on this topic are Don't make me Count to 3 and Shepherding a Child's Heart. You can tell that I am frantically reading trying to figure this whole 2 year old thing out. Luckily I have good mentor moms that have been there and done that! Miss you!!

Sara said...

I'm sorry you're dealing with that. I can't imagine how sad I'd be if there wasn't Austin Tex-Mex right around the corner.

Oh and the spitting? Yeah, that's a tricky one, too...

Yes, Ivi does the spitting thing when she's not pleased. So far it hasn't been in public yet (thank gawd). I think removing him from the situation was spot-on.

My usual (at-home) response is to flick her in the mouth and tell her that is NOT acceptable behavior. I don't do it hard enough to really hurt, but it gets her attention. Since she's not old enough to understand time out or choices yet (though she's getting really close since she watches Drew go to time out like - all the time), it's a quick way to get her attention and show her I'm not pleased with her actions.

If she continues doing it, I'll put her by herself in her crib for a few minutes, and usually by the time I come back she's calmed down and moved on.

You're doing the right thing. A-bug is lucky to have such an awesome Mama!

Sarahbaby said...

It was hitting in my house that made me want to sell my naughty child on ebay. She literally slapped me across the face soap opera style in public and I about lost it. She used to get a warning about hitting before she went into time out, but eventually hitting earned her an automatic 2 minutes in the time out chair and it seemed to work. Took a couple weeks, but shes stopped the hitting and taken up other habits. Not sure if you're doing time outs but they work most of the time in our house. I tried the 123 magic technique because so many people raved about the book. But she will just count with me an smile her devilish little smile, so we put an end to the 123 magic routine.
Good call ending the playdate right away rather then trying to negotiate. Hang in there - its not easy, but you just have to stand firm and hold your ground make up or not :)

Michelle said...

My son, Silas, doesn't spit. However, on Saturday when we were trying to have a special little day out with him, he screamed at the top of his lungs and hit me repeatedly in the face in front of about 10 strangers in Barnes & Noble. One of the sales ladies came over to chat him up and distract him because, I assume, she could see I was dying of shame and mortification. As for how to handle it, I waited for my husband to finish buying the books Silas had picked out, hauled arse to the car and cried. He's 16 months old, and I have NO idea how to make him understand that behavior like that is unacceptable. I do time out for one minute (because he's one), but I'm not sure he's getting that just yet. Anyway, just wanted you to know that you are certainly not alone, and I feel better knowing that I'm not alone either.

Mandy said...

Oh no he didn't! :( I'm sorry girl...the boys both spit also. I think it started with watching baseball players do it (and their dad...) but they will both just stop in the house and spit on the floor. They don't usually spit on other people though - that definitely takes it to another level. And in public. Oy. You definitely deserved that mountain dew. If I find a magical spitting cure, I will let you know.

Sarah said...

My sons haven't spit on me yet but my three year old loves to show me he is mad by taking his pants off. It doesn't matter where we are if he gets mad enough the pants are coming off! He has also been known to go in the garage and pee on the floor. I'm not sure why he does this but he does. I hope it gets easier. My oldest is almost five and it has gotten easier with him so there is hope!

Katie said...

Oh no he didn't! While I have never dealt with spit I have had my daughter smack me before. In the face. I removed her immediately from the crime scene and put her in a time out. Another way I got her attention at two was to take away her beloved lovey aka froggie. I know it sounds harsh but it totally worked. We never took it away permanently but long enough for my message to sink in. Once she got it back she was almost always much more cooperative and if she started acting out again I would just give her a friendly reminder about the froggie and she would totally shape up. Good luck! You are not alone :)