Sunday, August 19, 2007

Horrible Horrible Ma

When sonny was born, hubby and I made a pact - no raising our hand on the child. Both of us had parents who believed in 'spare the rod and spoil the child' philosophy and we both knew and understood how humiliating and frightening it is for a child to be caned or slapped.
And one of hubby's friends put it best - You dont need to prove your adult status to your child by showing how physically strong you are, by beating him/her. When you raise your hand on your child you are just taking out your pent up frustration on a lil person who really does not understand why he/she is being so punished.

Well said. And I am writing this down - just to remind myself of the pact I made with my husband and myself.

The last few days have been a whirl of activity. I had to get the furniture from the house we live in picked up. Our own stuff (a 110 pieces - all cartons and furniture put together) got delivered. We had to supervise the unpacking, make note of the damages if any. And even after the packers left we still had about 30 boxes - which contained clothes and kitchenware, etc that needed to be unpacked. And I was full-term PMS-y.

Sonny has been strictly forbidden from touching the AC control panels. Since the ACs are located at his level, he thinks its his God given duty to either shut it off or re-adjust the controls. And so while all this crazy activity of unpacking and putting away happened - he just walked over to the AC and shut it off. So once I reprimanded him "no touching the AC, ok?". He looked at me - and walked away. 2 mins later - AC is off again. Again he was reminded not to touch the AC. The third time he walked over to the AC and was about to touch the off switch, I reached out from behind him, yanked him away and yelled like a maniac, "how many times am I to tell you?......" blah and more blah which I dont remember, but I figure it was on the lines of me being sick and tired of having to put up with him, etc, etc. As I yelled, I saw he yanked his hand free and took his lil chubby hands and covered his cheeks and said "nyah nyah". Which is sonny speak for "no" and just ran away with huge tears in his eyes.

I was stunned at his response because he is quite used to hearing "no" from me - all the time. Mostly, he just ignores me (thats what happens when you say no - way too often). I surmised that perhaps in the past few days I may have slapped him on his cheeks for touching the AC panels. And while I dont even remember it - he remembers it so vividly, that the memory of it brought on the tears. And the urge to cover up his cheeks to prevent another hit.

And now, I feel like crap - even worse. One for raising my hand on my child. And more importantly two - for having no recollection of it.
And I am writing this down - so that I never ever forget this.



At 11:58 AM, Blogger ~nm said...

No you are not a horrible mom. Not at all.

We all are human beings and we also tend to reach our saturation points at some point or the other. But what you have said is also right. We have to try and restrain us so that we don't do it frequently.

I believe in once in a while reprimanding including light slaps. Although I try to avoid hitting on the cheek.

Just hug your lil one and be happy!

At 2:09 PM, Blogger Poppins said...

Don't Don't Don't feel so horrible. We are all in the same boat ! Don't make it worse for yourself and him.

I usually hit poppin on the butt, and it does hurt her but she pretends it does not (and that makes me feel like a piece of shit too).

Have you tried Timeouts? It helped me a little atleast to distract her from a certain activity.

At 2:17 PM, Anonymous aargee said...

You are not at all a horrible mom. Once in a while it is just fine. I tap on kiddo's back, but he doesn't even react. He just does what he wants, that feels worse.
One day, I told him that I am not going to talk to him and just went away with a frowned face, then he kept coming near me, laughing and was trying to make me laugh. May be that would help if you reach saturation points. Don't worry at all....You didn't commit any crime :)

At 8:20 PM, Blogger noon said...

Looks like we are all going through similar things - at least one thing to draw solace, Tharini, you - have posted along similar lines.
I totally understand your guilt. And justified too. It is bad to spank or get physical with a child in anger - because they do realise it when you are that* angry - not just reprimanding them for doing something wrong but really venting out your fatigue and frustration at that moment... I am guilty of it too. Of course that doesnt' make us horrible moms - clearly not. I keep telling myself never to loose my temper to the point of crazy yelling - but to each person there is that one thing that makes them go nuts - for me it is when my son refuses to eat - I get so anxious because I dont' have the time to battle him because most often his meal time clashes with my second baby's feeding - no matter how I try to stagger it - and he is as it is thin even if healthy - so I feel terribly anxious if he skips a meal - and I sometimes loose it when he fights me hard...I don't know how to make sure this will never happen again - but we have to keep working on ourselves in this regard. There will be many more and many new challenges that will crop up in the years to come and we will have to keep working on ourselves too...

At 4:07 AM, Blogger Just Like That said...

STS, don't be so hard on yourself.

Maybe you didn't hit him... I don't think you having such strong feelings on spanking, would have forgotten a slap to sonny's face. Maybe he was just upset at your yelling at him, and held his hands up in distress..

And don't think you are so bad. with all those crates looming and Sonny boy playing up I would hav freely spanked him a couple tho' not on his face.
Give him a hug and cheer both of you up. :-)

At 6:00 AM, Blogger Swati said...

Don't think like that. We all have different patience levels and I do think that hitting in anger is not good. But then sometimes , we are left with no better option. Just dont make this often.
A warm hug from you will cure the damage :)

At 7:10 AM, Blogger iz said...

Are you sure? Perhaps a maid or someone at the park hit him. I would suggest you ask him gently.

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Kodi's Mom said...

oh no! sorry to hear abt sonny's reaction. it looks like almost all moms- nearly all the ones who I read- battle with this.
take heart, I sometimes find that the more I tell K 'no', the more he does. there is no easy way out. just have to play it by the ear.

but you're most certainly far from being a horrible mother...

At 10:04 PM, Blogger DotMom said...

uh-oh.. don't blame yourself.. these things happen!!!! Trust me I have been there many, many times!!! Cheer up!

At 12:32 AM, Blogger karmickids said...

No, we are all horrible moms. Just gave the brat a hard whack this morning for emptying his cup of milk on me, and then throwing a jug of water on me. Am I feeling guilty? You bet. Its eating me up. Dont be so hard on yourself... you are a great mom.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger WhatsInAName said...

:( I feel bad too! Its OK, STS. We are humans after all. We do have our ups and downs!

At 1:48 AM, Blogger the mad momma said...

okay i dont mean to sound breezy but its the rare mother who doesnt smack her child. and being a full time caregiver makes it that much harder - its very hard to 24x7 be gentle and patient. mother is not equal to God. i had threatened the OA with murder if he raised his hand on the kids and nowadays he has to rescue them when they are in trouble with me - so all my good intentions have gone to hell. a whack on the butt is common for the brat and in terrible situations a locking up in the crib or a light smack on the cheek. i am not advocating it. simply telling you that we've all done it. chin up. you're a terrific mom.

At 3:46 AM, Blogger Usha said...

Hey don't punish yourself too much - the fact that this upsets you so much is enough to make you desist it from doing it again. And that one time is obviously enough for him to know his limits now. So he may not provoke you to it.
My god 110 cartons is a LOT of work. Take it easy.


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