I’m struggling with this one, and this is not an April Fool’s Day thing, either.
What the heck do you do with a almost-nine month old kid as far as “discipline”? Lately Kale has taken to pinching me – both my breast and nipple while nursing, and my arms or legs while climbing all over me in the pre-nap cuddling – and I realize this is simply him learning to use his hands in an appropriate way, but still, UGH. I’m worried that he will pinch Mooki, for example, and that she will retaliate in a not-cool way because she’s a dog and dog language and baby language don’t jive. Also, it’s hard not to jump when someone pinches you – and this kid has the IRON GRIP OF TERROR and honestly, there have been a few occasions where I have yelped and reacted out of sheer instinct.
I’ve tried pinning down his hands, but don’t want to deny him of full mobility and exploration and HATE listening to him wail when I do that, I’ve tried the Voice of Doom and also the Face of Doom. I’ve tried redirecting his hands to other things – but when we are nursing and I offer him another object to pinch, he unlatches and then the Distractionary Object goes directly into his mouth and then I am back at El Distracto Bambino while nursing and that’s its own issue unto itself. I’ve done a bit of googling, but am a bit confused and frightened by all the “ass-vice” out there. I’ve read that when the pinching occurs, firmly telling him “that hurts mommy” and putting him down is the way to go but seriously, that will = nursing sessions that take HOURS and the current length of our nursing/chilling/going to sleep ritual is long enough thankyouverymuch. I have also read some advice that my gut says WRONG WRONG WRONG that suggests slapping your child lightly on the offending hand (yup, on an online parenting forum, sponsored by one of the main baby products players out there, can you believe that?) when he does this and I’m a big enough person to admit I tried this once and it was a big ol’ FAIL on so many levels and I don’t want to go back there AT ALL and I don’t even know why I tried it.
Like I said, I realize WHY Kale has been pinching me, but I’m starting to get done with it – as in DONE WITH IT LAST FREAKIN’ MONTH – and find myself a bit exasperated and frustrated and there have been a few occasions where I have had to put him down in the crib and walk away for a minute or two, only to collect myself in the hallway and go back in and rescue him since he is standing up and wailing because dear deity in heaven, you left me and my life is over as I know it and oh the misery! And of course although we have learned to pull ourselves up to a stand, that whole sitting back down part is still confounding us.
Trust me, I’m well aware that this is all “normal” development and to be honest I’m more whining that really looking for advice, but I have BRUISES on the back of my fleshy arms, people. GAH.
THIS TOO SHALL PASS. I’m starting to think I should rename the blog that because if I had a nickel for every time I said it, well, let’s just say that my income issues post-mat leave would be solved.