PARENTS

Toddler Tales: Baby's Violent Streak

27/09/2011 16:24 | Updated 22 May 2015
Toddler baby Diana hitting her toysThankfully there's no baby in D's line of fire this time...

I really hope that Diana has been given a role in an upcoming pint-sized remake of Rocky. Otherwise, I am forced to conclude my toddler is becoming seriously violent. Diana hit another baby on the head last week.

Sure, she's bashed Bolshy's furry head with a toy (or three before). And wildly swatted at my face with her chubby palm. She's also displayed criminal tendencies with regards to jewellery on unsuspecting women, often grabbing silver charm bracelets from their wrists and then attempting to flee the scene.

But assault of another small child? My life as a parent just got a whole lot harder.

It started out innocently enough. I took Diana to the local one o'clock club for a change from the playground scene. You can flit between the indoors play area which has various toys, puzzles, books and a toy kitchen, and the outdoors area, where babes can climb on bikes and shoot down slides.

Diana kept trying to make her way into the indoors under-twos space, which she's technically allowed in but which was populated at the time by three younger-than-D babes. Six months younger, to be precise. Which in baby age, is probably akin to the difference between a 12 and a 17-year-old. I was wary because Diana's idea of fun involves chucking toys around, and the babies were barely old enough to sit up.

Soon D was like a mini Godzilla tearing through the centre, crashing into everything and sweeping puzzles and toys to the ground. So it's no great surprise that after about two minutes in the baby area, one of the six-month-olds was sobbing because Diana had whacked him over the head with a plastic, bead-filled shaker.

I felt myself flush with shame and could only mumble apology after apology. I tried to tell Diana not to hit other kids, but I was mortified and unconvincing. I then attempted to flee, but unfortunately, Diana escaped my grasp and re-entered the area a moment later. The baby had thankfully composed himself at this point but seemed distinctly unimpressed when D tried to "play" with him again.

The circle of mothers looked even less impressed with me. Palms sweaty, dripping in humiliation at not being able to control my child, we left in disgrace (which coincidentally, is often how I leave the park thanks to Bolshy). I was the frazzled embodiment of what parental failure, played out in a public space (in front of other, more functional, parents), looks like.

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It was awful. I take Diana out of the house because it's too stressful indoors, but if she's starting to injure children, socialising is going to become epically difficult.

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The situation wasn't remedied when my husband came home later that night and I recounted what had occurred. "You are the worst person for that to happen to," he told me. "Instead of making light of the situation and carrying on with things, you end up in hysterics and profusely apologising for no reason. That makes it seem so much more dramatic than it actually is."

OK, so he has a point. But then, when I asked him for advice on how to tame our boxer-in-training, he said flatly: "You're incapable of disciplining her. You're not an authority figure like I am."

And that's when I realised that Diana's penchant for punching may be genetic. It took all my will power to refrain from violence at that moment.

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