Friday, December 12, 2008

A Letter of Apology

Dear Fellow Mother Who Brought Her Little Boy to Monkey Business Today:

I am so sorry about K's inexplicable behavior in our class this morning.  He seemed to be doing fine, playing, laughing, singing along with the songs (albeit not agreeing to full participation and standing outside of the circle as he is wont to do) but all of a sudden he became Devil Boy. 

Poor you were sitting on the floor, playing with your son and minding your own business when it happened. 

When he came up to you, shoved himself into you, and grabbed a handful of your shirt and pulled it as hard as he could, I was about ready to melt into the floor.  You gave me a look of concern, although you remained polite, while I apologized profusely.  

Then when, as I was dragging him away, K gave an extra slap to your son (for good measure?) I became even more mortified and apologized again, but I have a feeling it didn't do anything to alleviate your concern.  And I don't blame you.  

I am one of those people who, and I hate to admit it, subconsciously judges Parents Who Can't Control Their Kids.  And look, today I was one of them!  Curses!  

Sign me,
Apologetic in Arlington

I have no idea what it is with K -- he does seem to be going through a hitting phase lately, but it's a) not consistent and b) not always associated with anger (many times he hits in response to being mildly injured, like bumping his head on a table or the sofa) and c) he's really a loving, kind, and sensitive little boy - honest!  Until today, I was only mildly concerned about it, because as everyone says, ALL toddlers go through this sort of phase as a way of exerting control when they feel they can't do anything to control a situation otherwise.  But randomly walking up to a stranger who didn't do anything to him and attacking her!?!  What the heck!?

I'm sending out a plea for advice to all of you moms and dads out there who may understand this predicament better than I do.  It's SO EMBARRASSING; I need to get a handle on it before he does something like this again.  



Sweet Pea Chef said...

R was a biter. MORTIFYING. It seemed so primal, and when he bit a stranger's child at Gymboree one day, I wanted to just wilt. Oh, and he also bit neighbor's kids, a friend from preschool (3 times!) and one of his best friends.

It seemed to last for an eternity, but he eventually outgrew it.

All I can say is "this too shall pass..."

In the meantime, just continue to do what you already are doing...telling him when his behavior is unacceptable with a consequence (time outs work great, since I was told that usually behavior like this, at this stage, is a toddler trying to begin to grasp the social order...a time out is a great consequence because it removes them from social interaction) and reinforcing positive behavior.

You are doing a great job!

julie said...

Her kid probably did the same thing the next day. Parenting is a humbling experience to say the least. I find myself doing most of the things I swore only "bad parents" did - like TV. So sue me. I'm just beginning to learn not to care so much what others think - maybe it's living with the constant (ahem) "suggestions" of my MIL for the past few months, but it's taught me a lot about ignoring things that aren't relevant.

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