It's a phase most kids go through. Hitting, I mean. Most toddlers strike out in anger or frustration at their parents, at each other, at their pets.
What's intruiging about our son's strikes, though, is that they are often unprovoked. Oh, yes, he's doled out his fair share of smacks when he feels justified (ie. when the doctor comes at him with a needle.)
What surprised me yesterday was seeing him walk up to another kid, announce politely "I hit you," in his calm voice before reaching skywards and coming down on the poor kid's arm. I didn't have time to intervene. My brain barely had time to translate toddlerspeak into English.... I was just piecing together the fact that "I hit" wasn't a memory but a direct threat when the hit happened. I immediately ran to Little Man and pulled him away from the other child. We talked about how we don't hurt our friends, used my hands over his to "be soft" etc., etc.
He just looked up at me with his giant eyes and said plainly "Momma, I hit."
And then he hit ME!
ME! His mother! What on earth?! Yes, I'd been swiped at before. For tending to a diaper rash. For scrubbing too hard at his face after spaghetti dinner. For being his caregiver when he was overtired or sick. When he got too excited or didn't get his way. But never for no reason!
I gasped. "That's naughty! Hands to self!" I exclaimed.
Again, the saucer eyes came out. "No no. Momma, I hit," he said calmy, getting his arm ready for another swing.
"Oh, no you don't," I retorted, taking his hand and giving him a high five instead.
"Okay, momma. Hit all done." He grinned devilishly. "High ten!" he said, raising both arms up in innocent expectation. And I did what all parents do... I allowed my toddler to hit me repeatedly (albeit on the palm of my hands).
Is there something wrong with this picture? Nope, as long as he keeps his hands to himself when hits are concerned, he can high five or ten me all he likes.