The hitting factor
The two of them came to my makeshift sick bed in the living room to wake me because HRG had been asking for his morning breastfeeding for a while. This time, instead of trying to squeeze him in, I went back with them to our bed. We all lay down, he breastfed and the two adults dozed off. HRG had been asleep for twelve hours already after all, while the two of us had only had six and three hours.
When he was done, he started playing with us. Tapping me on the shoulder, tickling Cameron’s nose… waking us up, in other words. We asked and pleaded with him to lay down and sleep with us for another few minutes but he wasn’t having any of it. He was ready to get up. At moments like this, I regret not having his own room with a baby gate set up. It would be easy to ‘lock’ him up in there and get a few more winks in. We’re not usually asleep at the same time though… Cameron tends to be an early riser while I tend to stay up later. So, it usually works out okay but not today.
Finally, we started accepting that we were all up. We tickled, played pretend, talked on the pillow and then HRG got up to get a book. When he came back, Cameron and I were talking so he not so gently put the book down on his father’s face. We both frowned, and asked him to stop doing that, explaining that it wasn’t pleasant for the person under the book. He sorta nodded and then kept turning the pages, with half the book resting on his father’s face. So I repeated that it was not okay, and then I took the book from him. So, he lashed out with a fist and hit his dad in the face.
And there it was. The hitting factor. Again. Out of nowhere and seemingly with no provocation. I just don’t understand how to get him to understand that it’s not okay. It probably doesn’t help that our reactions to it vary. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve tried everything I can think of. Mostly, I gently restrain him if necessary but usually I just sit down beside him, look him straight in the eye and tell him that I’m not okay with it. I ask the person he’s hit if they’re alright. I ask him why he hit. Usually he doesn’t have an answer. Lately, he’s started looking sad. Today, he said, ‘because…’ and he told me why. Then he said, ‘I’m going to check on daddy. I want to apologise’. My little boy is growing up, and I guess the hitting factor is just a phase of it.