"That Kid"

So my two year old was "that kid" on the playground yesterday. You know... the kid who BITES other kids who try and take what he's playing with? Yeah, that kid. And I was totally judged for it.

E has recently taken to hitting, kicking and pinching other kids. Sometimes because they take something from him, other times for no apparent reason at all. I've been told it's their age. I pray he grows out of it fast... 

Whenever this happens and I catch it (or am told about it) I react the same way. I tell him he cannot hit/kick/pinch/bite his friends and that because he did so he has to sit on time out. I give him a 60 second time out in which I count to 60 while he sits down in a time out area away from other kids. After the time out is over I explain to him again why he was on time out and tell him he has to say sorry to the person he hurt. He usually does this with no prompting other than for me to tell him to say sorry and even adds a hug in the end (if he hurts Joseph or me he usually kisses the place that got hurt).

So yesterday we were at the zoo and E was playing at the Children's Zoo playground. A few minutes earlier a child kicked him in the face. He started crying but I couldn't quite get to him since I had Molly in my arms and he was up in the play structure. Another mom assured me her husband was up there and would bring him to me. Thank God for the help of other parents! Turns out the mom and dad helping us out were also the mom and dad of the little girl who kicked E.

I consoled him, asked him what happened and he just said "knee hurt" so I kissed it hugged him a bit more and let him go on his way. A few seconds later I see a little girl run up to our stroller and say "sorry baby" and than I heard her father say "I think it was our daughter who kicked your son, she'd like to say sorry." I told him it wasn't a problem, and called E over so the little girl could apologize. I than looked at her mom and said, "It's totally the age, no big deal."

Then a few minutes later I heard a scream in Ethan's area. He was playing with a periscope type toy that swiveled and a little boy had put his arms and body in between E and the toy trying to take a turn. I guess my child decided at that moment that he may be a cannibal and just went in for the bite. The mother of the child raced over and I walked over as well. The little boy cried out that E bit him and sure enough there was a bite mark on his arm.

I picked E up out of the area and told him that we didn't bite other children and that he needed to go on time out and apologize to the little boy and that after that we had to go home because we don't bite other children at the zoo. I apologized to the mother before I went to take E to a quiet spot. She than proceeded to give me ugly stares while getting out her antibacterial wipes to wipe the superficial "wound". As soon as 60 seconds were up E raced over and said "I sorry, no bite" to the little boy and than said "hug?" and hugged him.

We packed everything up and headed to the exit. The whole time we packed up to leave the mom (and her mommy friends) gave me dirty looks. I don't understand that. Her kid had to be either the same age or older. Hadn't she experienced this in some way or another before? I'm pretty darn sure that my kid isn't the only one who bites/kicks/hits other kids at this age and I'm also pretty sure it wasn't a malicious act. Your kid was trying to take something from my kid. And yes, my kid should share but still... it's the age!

I don't understand the nasty, blatant judgment. Sure it wasn't verbal but the reaction to the situation and the glances I received definitely showed her opinion of me and my child. When another child hurts my kid I try my best to not show my initial reaction because more likely than not it's not very nice. Sure, in the heat of the moment, I think bad things since they just hurt my child but they're kids! If it was a 5 year old beating up on a two year old, that's one thing. But it's usually the 2-3 year age group that my child hangs out with so we all kinda know that this happens.

So how would you react? How have you reacted in the past? Did I do something wrong? I really don't think I did in either situation.

3 comment(s) with love:

MeghanB said... Reply To This Comment

It's not your fault and you shouldn't be judged - it's definitely the age...2 year olds don't have the capacity to express all of their feelings/frustrations with words, nor do they have the ability to use self control in situations like these. Sophie is 1 and bites me when she is frustrated at me- I am trying my best to nip it in the bud, but I fear that she will be THAT kid at some point too. Hang in there, mama. You were the bigger person in that situation :)

Randi Moncur said... Reply To This Comment

Pika has bitten pretty much everyone who lives within a five block radius of my parent's house.

And my cat bites me basically every day!

Don't judge me!!!!!


Ann said... Reply To This Comment

After raising 3 sons, this is just the beginning for you of the dirty looks from the Mom who thinks their little "Johnny" is the "perfect child" and behind the parent's gaze "Johnny" is truly a little bully...and no discipline of any kind or "teaching moment" is afforded that poor child, "Johnny".
Luckily for Ethan, he has parents who care enough to take the time to teach him behavior in a society that includes other people.