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Mortified Mommy

16644_173347471601_501646601_2796186_4048909_n I'm really lucky to have such wonderful children that are sweet and loving. I hardly ever have a problem with aggression in my household, which I chalk up to Time Outs for discipline instead of other aggressive acts that I know some parents are in to (to each their own, I suppose).

Other than the occasional argument over a toy which is usually resolved quickly and painlessly, we have never had one of our little boys "attack" the other in retaliation. Except for yesterday, when I became the most mortified parent in Ladera Ranch.

It was a seemingly normal Sunday afternoon, and the boys had just gotten up from their nap. The rain had let up, so it was time for them to get outside to play. My eldest has been my "Cabana Boy" lately, which is great. That means I can check on them periodically to make sure everything is OK while I do things like prepare dinner, clean the living room, etc. The "Cabana Boy" also comes in handy when "Pregnant Mommy" is hugging the toilet.

On this Sunday, I was preparing to grill some chicken for I was not in the mood to have to clean a pan or wait for oven time. As I was setting up my stuff, I noticed that my youngest had moseyed over to the neighbors patio, so I asked my "Cabana Boy" to go and retrieve him. Apparently this was the wrong decision, because I walked in the house to get the chicken and then walked out and the "Cabana Boy" was holding the "Baby Boy" down in a puddle and repeatedly punching him in the back... in front of the Neighbors!

I've never screamed so loudly in my entire life. In fact, I'm certain some poor person in San Diego heard me demand that the "Cabana Boy" stop punching the "Baby Boy." I immediately put him in a time out so that I could tend to the injured, and my husband came downstairs and immediately put the "Cabana Boy" in his room.

What just happened? HOW did that happen? WHY did that happen? WHERE DID HE LEARN THAT?

Those questions were racing through my head. We don't watch violent Television (we are fans of Little Bear and Oswald, if that helps you out any), we don't spank our children, and we are not friends with anyone that displays aggressive behavior. So where does my mind wander as to where he's learned this behavior?

My money's on Daycare.

As if I don't feel guilty enough already for having to work to support our family and not spending enough time with "Cabana Boy," now I have to feel guilty for him learning inappropriate tactics to deal with situations such as, "Brother wouldn't hold my hand and walk away from the neighbor's patio with me so I decided to teach him a lesson." And you know, this could very well not be from Daycare but I can't help but think that it is for I am not friends with all of the parents of the children that attend the establishment. How do I really know what their children are like? Something could be going down in the Playhouse in the Backyard that none of us are aware of! 

So now it's time to regroup. Rethink all of the things that I am doing and saying (this could still all be my fault, you know- I'm not trying to scapegoat this all on daycare!), and try and spend more time talking to the "Cabana Boy" about how we deal with situations that don't go his way. I know that some people say that "Boys will be Boys," but in my house there shall be no violence from anyone. I refuse to perpetuate the age-old cycle of Boys that are hit for punishment going on to be aggressive to their children and spouses. If I can't give my children the tools to work through a situation with logic and grace, then I'm obviously not doing my job as a parent.

As I reflect on yesterday, I can't help but think that I'm failing as a parent. Hopefully tomorrow will be a new day, and my "Cabana Boy" will go back to his usual sweet and loving self.

Original Orange County Moms Blog post

Jennifer is a mother of two little boys, with baby number three arriving in August! Being a Full-Time Mom with a Full-Time Job certainly keeps her busy, and she tries to find the silver lining in every mortifying, embarrassing, and difficult situation she encounters. You can also follow Jennifer at her personal blog, or tweet with her on Twitter.


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