Friday, January 23, 2009

Who knew I'd have such a sensitive daughter?

I had no idea what a big transition it would be going from having a son to having a daughter... For the most part, I thought that I could treat them the same, at least during the baby stage with no major problems. I guess not.

Last week Tatum was nursing and for some reason thought it was a good idea to bite me. So I responded in the exact same way I did the first time Spencer bit me. I flicked her cheek very lightly and said in a firm but quiet manner, "we don't bite." Now when I did this to Spencer (3 years ago), he stopped nursing and started laughing at me. But when I did this to Tatum, she looked at me like I had killed her best friend and broke out in the most heartbreaking cry I've ever seen or heard. I felt terrible! So when she had finally calmed down I went back to nursing. She bit me a second time and being aware of what had just happened, I didn't flick, I just pulled away slightly and said very quietly, "we don't bite." She started balling... AGAIN! I really thought I had been nice about it. Guess not. So we tried to nurse a 3rd time. This time I was very aware of her feelings and wanted to be extra careful not to upset her. She bit me AGAIN! So this time, I didn't say anything, I didn't do anything, I just carefully pulled away. I even smiled so as not to show that I was upset in any way. She still cried bloody murder! But it was a delayed reaction... She looked at me kind of crooked and hurt, as I looked back smiling, then after about 5 seconds the quiver lip started and the inevitable tears... Let's just say we were done nursing for the afternoon.

So yesterday, on the same topic, we were playing in Spencer's room and he wanted to play shark. So I was shark and he was Shamu. So without thinking I did to Tate what I have always done to Spencer (and he ALWAYS laughed). I made the sharky noise (duuuum dum, duuum dum, dum dum etc..) and then pretended the shark bit her in the tummy. Well, to my surprise, at the time, seeing as I wasn't thinking clearly or remembering the biting incident of the prior week, I thought she would laugh. But clearly I was mistaken as she looked at me in utter disgust and fear. She cried and cried and cried.

Needless to say, I am now starting to realize that I have to be extra careful not to hurt Tatum's feelings. I am also figuring out that these 2 kids are going to have to be disciplined in quite different ways. I am pretty sure all I will have to do is look at Tatum crooked when she does something wrong in the future and I'll get my point across.


Kellie said...

When Ethan bit me while nursing I'd put him on the floor and tell him we don't bite and he'd howl and scream. I had to do it several times to get the point across but with Grace I only had to do it once. Every kid is different! Ethan is my sensitive one who screws his face up and sobs when I give him a stern "No" with the Mom face when he throws food from the high chair. I have a hard time keeping a straight face when he goes from mischievous grin to huge frown because it's just too cute!

joyntmadness said...

Oh my gosh. It is so a girl thing apparently. Taylor is the exact same way. Even if my anger is directed at Carson, Taylor is the one who is crying. She is SO sensitive about EVERYTHING! Crazy how different two kids from the same family can be!