Hey peeps, check out my brand new Life at Thirtysomething blog design! Do you like it? I figured it was time to change my old tagline “Diaries of a soon to be baby mama” since I have a toddler verging on two! I like cleaner white spaces for a blog, so I feel like this new design reflects that and I love it. If you’re in need of a new blog design, check out Laura at Laura Jane Designs, she does a great job!
Let’s talk toddler hitting
As my 21 month old toddler Annabelle is on the downward slope to her second birthday, we know that the rough patch called the terrible twos is not far off. But let’s be honest, some of that trying toddler behavior that I hear about has been rearing its ugly head for months already, such as hitting, showing frustration, the nonstop “NOs”, defiance, crying during the night, etc. Recently the topic of hitting and discipline was brought up on the Facebook page of my mom’s group, and I was sort of relieved to see that I’m not the only one dealing with this stuff, namely, hitting.
When I brought up the subject of hitting to my pediatrician, I felt myself whispering it, sort of wincing at the notion of admitting that my sweet little angel had a dark side. A few months ago when Annabelle was still in daycare I was told that she smacked one of the teachers in the face when she leaned down to talk to her. I was mortified. And then sometimes when we’d get together for a play date I’d notice Annabelle seemed to be the aggressive one, swatting at the other kids if they tried to play with something she was using. I was worried that this meant something. Where was Annabelle learning this aggressive behavior? I felt like it reflected poorly on me as a parent. The pediatrician assured me that this was very normal behavior for a toddler as they’re not able to really communicate their emotions yet, so sometimes it results in hitting. She said if Annabelle was 3 and still hitting she should know better at that point, but at this age, she doesn’t. All we can do is redirect, try to explain the word “gentle” or reinforce “no hitting”.
In the last few months that I’ve been home I do feel like she’s gotten a lot better about playing with other toddlers at the park or wherever and no longer hitting or pushing if someone takes one of the toys she’s playing with. I’m hoping this is a sign that she’s learning how to share better and play nicely in the sandbox with others. But at home she still sometimes hits mommy and daddy (or the dog) if she is frustrated. We put her in time out or threaten a time out and she knows she did something wrong and stops the bad behavior. The other day I asked her for a kiss so I leaned in for it, but instead of a little pucker from my baby I was met with a head butt right in the nose. It instantly brought tears to my eyes because of where she hit my nose, but the tears just kept coming because beyond it hurting my nose, it really hurt my feelings. I put her down and just walked away from her and sat down to fold laundry in another room. I had to be away from her for a couple minutes to get over it. She followed me in the next room and knew I was upset. I told her she hurt my feelings and that she should tell mama sorry. She said “saw-eeey mama” and gave me a big hug and kiss. My hurt feelings instantly melted away at her sweet gesture.
What I’m realizing is that this is just part of having a toddler and learning how to teach, redirect, and discipline when the behavior is unwanted. I do feel like Annabelle understands which behaviors are good and which are bad, and yes, she still tests me and Jeff daily to see what she can get away with, but I just try to be consistent. My friend said she felt really bad about a recent situation when her little one was hitting her, so I shared my head butting story (it sounds sort of funny when I say it that way). I think we’re just going to have to grow some thick skin as parents and remind ourselves that it’s not personal, the kids are just expressing themselves and it’s not always hearts and butterflies. Once they can learn to talk hopefully the hitting will subside and a conversation will take its place – albeit it, a whiney one, I’m sure! One step at a time though, we’ll get there eventually!
Baby bump watch continues – week 18!
Just as I did in my first pregnancy, I think 18 weeks is when I’m starting to look noticeably pregnant to the outside world. I still feel really good, but I do notice my exhaustion levels have increased at everyday tasks, making me want to take more frequent sitting breaks. I’ve been reading that now I should avoid lying on my back at night and sleep on my side instead. This is one of the things I hated about pregnancy the first time. I’m both a side and back sleeper, but I hate having to sleep on my side the whole night. My shoulder starts to hurt! But I do feel a slight upset stomach when I lie on my back and I’m wondering if it has anything to do with my uterus weighing down on that vein that pumps oxygen to the baby. Who knows, but this is def the start of some of the pregnancy discomfort that I’ve been dreading.
Because of a work trip Jeff scheduled during my big ultrasound/gender reveal appointment, I was able to move it up 3 days to Friday the 17th! I’m so excited that I find out what I’m having a week from tomorrow, yay! The closer I get the harder it is to wait. I don’t know how moms go 9 months without knowing, I’d go insane with curiosity! I wonder what will come first, finding out the baby’s gender or the first kick. We’ll see!