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.