Well, we all knew that it would come sooner or later. Eamon’s always been a curious boy, and now that he’s almost 19 months old and has discovered that other people have buttons, he can’t help but see what happens when he pushes them.
My mother, who watches Eamon each day, had been making noises about his occasional defiance for about the past month, but I never saw it. It wasn’t until summer started and I was home more that he started really learning what annoys me, and could therefore capitalize on it. Over the past week, it seems, Eamon went from wanting nothing more in life than to please me and make me happy to wanting to see what happens when he smacks me in the middle of the Bed, Bath, & Beyond (he was angry because I had the audacity to move his hand away from some knives that he was reaching for).
We’ve certainly had our moments at home, but the Bed, Bath, & Beyond episode was new. He hasn’t tried those things in public before; he’s usually a darling too busy trying to get everyone to love him.
And, of course, the question is: what do you do? My 19 month old just hauled off and smacked me. And there are people watching.
Well, there are probably a hundred different reactions, but I went with one somewhere in the middle: I leaned in really close to him and explained in no uncertain terms how there was a corner, right there, that corner, where he could go sit in Time Out if he ever hit Mommy again, and Mommy didn’t care who was watching, do you understand me, young man?
He was strangely well-behaved the rest of the time.
So I guess that solved the problem. This time.