For those of you who’ve been around this neck of the internet for a while know that I have been on the search for a church for…like…six years. And I finally found one on Easter Sunday. I loved it because it had a really big congregation and the minister gave uplifting sermons. But I also loved it because their children program was huge. So, two weeks ago, I noticed in the bulletin that they were having a Mothers and Babies Tea for mothers and babies born in 2009 and 2010.
This morning, I showered (an act of God itself) and I pulled Bean out of the dog’s water bowl and we headed up to the church for a morning of socialization with people other than relatives. Don’t get me wrong. I love socializing with family. I moved across the country to socialize with family! But sometimes you just need a little sanity, you know?
I got there and the minute I stepped into the room I knew I was going to love it. First, there was food. Second, there was a giant parachute spread out on the floor with baby toys thrown around and all the babies were playing in the middle of the parachute together. It was great! Bean Man kicked his shoes off and scooted on over to say hello to his new friends.
And I’m sitting there talking to other moms and we’re playing and I’m watching Bean and we’re playing and Bean’s throwing a ball and we’re playing and then all of a sudden…
Bean hit a baby.
In the face.
I didn’t really know what to do. I mean, my 10-month-old son just hit a 6-month-old baby. I don’t really know the etiquette for that situation. So, I tell Bean “no” and I pull him away from the baby a little bit.
But, apparently that baby had a toy that Bean wanted because he immediately started crawling back over to her and before I could catch him, he whacked her again! This time, the mother didn’t see. But I did. And I was so shocked! Once again, I told Bean “no,” and I took him somewhere else so he would leave her alone.
Two more times Bean hit two other babies. And each time, I felt like I needed to address the nation and apologize on behalf of my neanderthal baby.
Here’s the thing about the hitting. It wasn’t so much that he hit those babies. I mean, they’re all babies. They’re all learning. But what alarmed me more than anything was that as I watched him play so roughly with other babies, I noticed that he was playing with them the same way we play with him at home. Really rough. Lots of throwing things. Lots of banging stuff. I noticed that when he hit someone, he did it just like he does when he plays with Big Molly. He wasn’t being mean, he just smacks stuff when he likes it. Or when he wants it to move. And I also noticed that he was hitting those babies in the face. Just like he does with me. It isn’t really a hit, but its a good solid pat. Sometimes its a few good solid pats.
And at home, we don’t really do much about it. He’s rough because he’s rolling around with Chris and the dogs. He swats and hits things because he gets excited. He pats your face (hard) because he likes you.
But when you’re out in public and he starts doing those things to other people, well, it just doesn’t look right and he’s going to have to stop. I don’t think its anything to freak out about and I know he’s still pretty little so discipline now is more just creating habits instead of making a point. But it was an eye opener for me.
So, no more hitting in our house – even if we’re just playing. No more hitting the dogs or swatting at something he wants or doesn’t want. No more “patting” Mommy’s face until it hurts. I want Bean to grow up knowing that we have to be gentler with people. And that should start at home.
And now, I will leave you with pictures of Bean eating watermelon this week. They have nothing to do with this post. I just wanted to remind everyone how cute he is so that if he whacks you in the face, you might be a little less offended.