December 27, 2005
Hide and Seek, Hatchling-Style
It was Christmas Eve. My family and I sat around the dinner table at my mom's house, happily stuffed with enchiladas. Hatchling had been let down earlier to run off some excess energy, and all was tinted by a special Christmasy glow.

My sister left the table for a few minutes to check on her new little one, and when she returned, I casually asked if she had seen Hatchling. It would have been hard not to, given her most recent path across the house. She answered that no, indeed she had not. Exasperated, I dragged my stuffed tummy out of my chair to go in search of my precocious offspring.

I checked Grammy's room first. Hatchling loves all of the things he isn't supposed to touch in there. Next came her bathroom, the laundry room, her closet. The hall closet. The closet under the stairs. The living room. Back to the kitchen to see if anyone had seen him. Nope.

Up the stairs. My old room, the bathroom, my sister's old room. By this time, the whole family is searching. The front door is unlocked. My family members are not the obsessive door- lockers that L and I are. It's because they don't live with Hatchling. I am nearing hysterical sobs. I am screaming Hatchling's name. Everyone is frantic. And then I hear L saying the words I longed to hear.

"Here he is."

And there he was, pressed into a corner behind the Christmas tree. Apparently, he had been touching an ornament when I started looking for him. Fearing a spanking, he backed himself into a corner and waited. I was so thankful to see that he wasn't a limp, bloody shell of what he had once been, no spanking was forthcoming.

That was a mistake.

Since then, he has taken to sneaking off and hiding. Yesterday, I found him pressed up against a wall in my bathroom with what I can only describe as a sinfully mischievous grin on his face. He seems to think the punishments are worth it.

Which leads me to my next dilemma. How do you other mothers punish your children? I spank him (and I mean a swat on his diaper- protected bottom, not a beating), I give him time- out on the naughty step, and I put him in his crib with no toys to distract him. And he is unmoved. He is perfectly happy on his own, even without distraction. The only thing I can think of that would bother him would be to stop feeding him, but obviously I can't do that. Any suggestions would be appreciated. The terrible two's are almost upon us, and I suspect they are, indeed, going to be terrible.
Blogger Jill said...
So far, spanking the diapered bottom a swat or two and a look like "I know you just didn't do that" usually does the trick for my little one who will be 2 in February. However, it sounds like something a little more substantial is in order for Hatchling. I really don't have any good advice, but just wish you good luck. :)

Blogger shay v. said...
Uggh. I feel your pain. My 20 month old is EXACTLY like that. I can say no until I'm blue in the face, crouch down and deep-voice him, smack the little diapered bottom, put him in the crib or whatnot but even after a melodramatic meltdown, he goes RIGHT back to it! I'm so frustrated and I don't what to do? I'm hoping some advice for you can be advice for me as well since the terrible two's are looming angrily in the very near future!!

Blogger Broken Messenger said...
I can't wait to chase around my six month old son as you do with your little one...wait, on second thought....

Blogger auntdaisy said...
You can put them in a chair and say don't move in that sarge voice and see if it worked like it did on you girls when u were little..:) inside joke friends...the love of an aunt to her nieces...hehe shower him with love love love!!!

Blogger desertUndine said...
Oh the Christmas tree dilemma. The littlest one likes to redecorate the tree for us, which is just lovely. Actually, I let her hang all of the cheesy plastic ornaments on the bottom and she doesn't touch mine - something we came up with when B was really little.

That's really freaky that he hides from you - B used to do that in stores when she was younger. Have you tried to tell him that it scares you? Just a thought - who knows if it'll work. I sometimes tell that to my kids or when the littlest one hits me it "makes Momma sad" and I have her kiss my "boo boo". Sometimes they just don't get it until they understand that it's hurting you and you're just not ruining their fun. I think a lot of times, toddlers just don't understand that you have feelings.

Sometimes when I'm teaching classes in the pool and I have a wandering group of 3 year olds, I tell them all that I really would like them to stay where I can see them so I don't get lost. They find that to be hilarious and actually do stay put.

However - I do have the littlest one have "time out" or "bedroom time", and I do have to say "no" to her a lot. Well, not as much as a few months ago - we're definatley out of some of the worst, I think. All I can say really is good luck, and at least he'll grow out of it - eventually!

(sorry so long a comment - I'm rather long winded today)

ps - having never raised a boy, all of my advice probably won't help - but you never know! Boys and girls are so different!

Blogger Carbon said...
Oh, I don't think it has anything to do with gender. My daughter is just as bad or worse. She loves hitting her little brother.

I use the "naughty door" and I just leave her there for 2-3 minutes. I'm amazed she stays put now. (she didn't earlier and then I held her there against her will without looking at her and now she understands not to move).

It's tough. I read that terrible two's are actually from 18 to 24 months cuz they can't speak and get frustrated. Oh what fun!