That Darn Apple…

November 15, 2008

What is it about apples that get such a terrible rep? Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the fruit that Adam and Eve ate was an apple, but everyone just assumes it was. And then there’s the saying about the apple not falling far from the tree. I guess people could use that expression for positive things- ex. “Wow, your daughter’s toots are pretty explosive” “Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” (that would be Chris’ response, with a giant grin.)

Well, my post today is a painful one. I have been wrestling about whether or not I would even post it, but this is supposed to be a look inside my journey as a parent. So here it is: I have anger issues. Or a hitting issue.

The other day ago, Lily kicked Topher in the head. Intentionally. All morning she just did not like having him around. She is usually quite sweet to him, but lately she has been extra needy when he is around. When he is in his room taking a nap, Lily doesn’t care if she is on my lap, or in another room playing by herself. But when Topher’s on my lap, she needs to be on there too. Even if that means being on top of him. So anyway, I was already getting annoyed with her, but when she kicked him that was the last straw. I didn’t even take the time to grab her chubby little hand to smack it. I smacked her in the face! What kind of a disgusting person am I? FORTUNATELY for everyone I did not connect ‘properly’ so my fingers ended up grazing her face. She didn’t flinch or cry or anything. BUT STILL. The unintentional intention was to hurt her for hurting Topher. Yikes. (I hope CPS isn’t reading this.) I then put her in time out and this is where her punishment is always felt. But it really should be the only place it’s felt. For the most part.

Chris and I always talk about the difference between punishment and discipline. We are all about disciplining by spanking, time outs, and rational conversations. We try hard to simply discipline and never punish our kids out of anger. Chris and I were punished by our dads BIG TIME. My dad was particularly big on drawing out the punishment. Report Card time was always a tense season in our house. All the sticks, and sporting gear would have to be hidden. When we got in trouble though, my dad always asked us to get a stick, then bring it to him, kneel before him while he lectured us for about an hour, all the while holding the stick in front of him and us. Oh it was not nice. Sometimes he wouldn’t even hit us with the stick, but holding it in front of you for an hour is pretty rough stuff. But, my dad also had a nasty temper when we were growin up, and I can recall a small handful of times when he lost it and would hit one of us kids in pure anger and frustration.

And that’s what I did to my little girl! What is wrong with me? And it’s not the first time either! I smacked her in her belly once too. Chris just looked at me like “who hits a person on the belly?” Well, it was the first thing that I saw. It was just sticking out there, waiting to be smacked. Anyway, I clearly have a problem. And this is something I need to work on asap-styles. Counting to five before acting on anything is a good suggestion. Not spanking at all for now is probably also another good one till I get myself in check. I could blame all this on all those bad apples out there, or the Power Rangers and how I watched them when I was younger, but I will take this one upon myself and come to grips with the fact that sometimes I am a very undisciplined parent trying to discipline my kids.

Parenting is amazing. There are moments of excruciating difficulty, like when both my kids are crying cause they equally need and deserve my attention simultaneously. And of course there are priceless moments that you would not trade for all the precious metals in the world. I realize that the painful moments should just be painful for me though, and not physically painful one for my kids. I hope you haven’t judged me too harshly today reader. Just wanted to give you a truthful dose of my life.

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