Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gentle Touches

Olive is a hitter. It is just how she greets other children, and sometimes, their face. We have tried to get her to stop, but whenever you give her a firm “No!” she tends to laugh in your face. When you put her in timeout she greets you with giggles and kisses after the minute “punishment” is up. We try to teach her about “gentle touches” and “playing nice” and “being soft” and “babies are fragile” but she still thinks this is all a game. “Fragile” is apparently baby talk for “begging to be slapped in the back of the head.”

You can tell that she is a happy kid, so very rarely do these hits come from malice. She just thinks this is a game and, to her, the slaps and hits have no consequence. But make no mistake, they connect pretty good. Like a good boxer, sometimes the punches come when you least expect them. Just yesterday she was hanging out with her cousin Lucy. When Lucy came in the door Olive poured on the cuteness, you know, to lull her into a sense of calmness. Then she reached for Lucy with both hands, immediately springing me into action. I can’t let Olive get off on the wrong foot and smash her 10-month-old cousin in the face (and a cute face it is) two minutes after she gets in the door. But Olive faked me out. She wasn’t going to hit Lucy. She reached out with both hands. Gently grabbed her face, and gave her a kiss. A minute passed and Olive was going after her again. This time I was sure a left cross was coming. Nope. This time she grabbed Lucy, pulled her in, and gave her a big hug.

Not bad. Maybe we have turned a corner. Maybe this gentle touch shit was really working.

Then Olive, with huge smile on her face, poked Lucy in the eye, stuck her hand in her mouth and started grabbing the inside of her cheek, like she wanted to rip the lips off her face. Great.

How do I tell my 14 month old to try and remove other children’s tonsil’s gently?

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