Last night I googled "my 13 month old hits me". I don't know what I was expecting to find - a pill, a support group? Some BabyCenter article on baby brain and why it thinks it's OK to pummel me? Some baby therapy options in my area? A way to deal with it that has GOT to be better than mine, since it isn't working?
What I found instead was reassurance. Turns out I do not have the only violent baby on the block. There are others. True, most started at 20 months old and not 4, but whatever, I won't split hairs. For an hour, the husband and I wondered HOW she knows to pinch us. It's crafty, and it hurts, and it seems like quite a feat for a baby brain that doesn't understand you can't just walk OFF the bed/couch/playground tower to know that squeezing two/three fingers over a small amount of skin hurts like a mother.
I was super relieved that other babies know this too. Many don't employ it, but they probably also know,and keep it on the back burner, if ever confronted with a bed time they don't like. or a brown rice pudding. On the other hand, that means she's not a prodigy, or a genius. Bummer.
Which brings me to my beef with BabyCenter and some of its articles. This month's edition was about violent toddlers, and for a second I was excited. Until I read that baby brain at this point doesn't understand pain. And, that putting down an angry toddler is not good for their mental health. Something about abandomment. And, my absolute favorites were about anticipating the situation, and lots of hugs DURING the beatdown.
Listen, BabyCenter. She understands pain. The glee in her eyes when she's twisting my skin away is unmistakable. She knows full well I don't feel like a million roses right then, and that is the point. If she was tall enough to kick me in the shin, she'd do it.
I GUESS I can get behind 'anticipating' a situation, but what can I say, sometimes, I am just not fast enough. And when I have to wrestle away the dirty week old Doritos package she found under the playground slide, I AM the situation. It happened, like, 4 times yesterday, old water bottle caps, straws, slimy baloon remnants, and by the time the Doritos package came, I had sworn off playgrounds, and she was in a kind of rage you don't want to get near, let alone hug. I dare you, BabyCenter, to try and hug her after the last slimy bit of trash just left her hopeful, angry little hands. I. dare. you.