i can count on one hand how many physical fights i’ve been involved in in my life so to be struck on any part of my body is quite a jolt to my system. but somehow my body is becoming accustomed to being hit. you know, a quick knee jab to my chest, or a sippy cup thrown at full force that lands square on the nose, or being smacked in the face (accidentally or not). over the past several months i’ve been jumped on, kicked and climbed like a freakin’ monkey bar.
i’m talking life with a toddler boy.
dutch has gone through several phases of what i would categorize as parent abuse. there was the biting phase that came about while he was nursing. i don’t think i need to go into great detail on this one. my baby had four teeth at four months and those suckers keep on coming in. i nursed for a year. so you can do the pain math. i suppose since he had new chompers he figured why not try them out. on mama.
i suppose i forgave him for all the bites, but then he graduated to trying out the chompers on any body part that was readily available…like an arm or a thigh. these weren’t exactly good times here.
then came the pinching phase. i guess he was learning about textures and the cause and effect of squeezing his fingers together tightly with a piece of human flesh between them. this phase was short-lived, thank goodness, but still painful and oh-so-annoying.
next up, the smacking phase. this one lasted a bit longer than the others. we’d be out and i’d be holding my oh-so-cute son and we’d be having a grand time until he’d start to reach for something that i felt he didn’t need to have, i’d say no, and then i’d get smacked. in the face. you know, in public with people watching.
when you’re child is under one and this happens, there’s really no recourse. i mean, really, what can you do? put him on time out? in his crib? and if your child’s age is supposed to equate to the amount of time that he spends in time out, what do you do for an 11-month-old? sit him in his high-chair for 40 seconds? this whole thing was lost on me.
now most of the abuse that i endure from dutch is more accidental. like when he climbs on me and i get an elbow to the eyeball. or the head butt that occurs after he rushes over to me, climbs over the couch where i’m sitting. but we’ve taught him well, so whenever he causes me a bit of pain (which tends to happen several times in a day) he says, “i’m sorry, mommy…i’m sorry…i’m sorry.” and he’ll give me a little kiss wherever the throbbing is happening in that particular moment from the matchbox car that was accidentally tossed. at my nose.
but no apology he’s given yet can match the one i got yesterday. we were laying on the bed watching shrek and he pulled my neck over to him so that i could rest on his itty bitty shoulder. he tugged my neck so hard that i thought he pulled something and i yelled out “ouch, dutch!!!”
dutch: “i’m sorry, mommy.”
mama: “it’s okay.”
dutch: “i love you, mommy. you’re my best friend.”
it’s hard to feel pain when you’re feeling all warm and sunshiney from the love of your 2-year-old son.