Limits

Tonight at bathtime, Ingrid stumbled on the concept of infinity, but, like many people staring down the unending, felt more comfortable imposing limits on it:

She: …twenty eight, twenty nine, thirty!

Me: All the way to thirty by yourself! Know what comes after thirty?

She: Um. Thirty…two?

Me: Thirty one.

She: And then thirty two! And thirty three!

Me: You got it.

She: (plays in the water for a while) The numbers keep going on and on for ever.

Me: That’s right. It’s called being infinite. It means there’s no end. If you keep on counting, you just keep getting to another number.

She: I can just keep counting and counting and counting.

Me: Yep.

She: But not at bedtime.

In other news, Iris’s new trick is, when she’s mad about something, she throws herself down on her stomach and smacks her forehead into the floor over and over. This is so awful and bizarre to see, I can’t help but believe it’s the result of terrible mothering. So, naturally, it makes me feel like screaming. Which, tonight, I did, because the head banging was not only awful as usual but was the result of a long drawn out battle over whether Iris would wear the short-sleeved cotton PJs on this 90-degree night or the the thick fleece pajamas. Guess who was on which side. Guess who won. Guess who feels like kind of a rotten mama.

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4 thoughts on “Limits

  1. Ugh, I had a rotten mama night too so I sympathize. I’m sure (and I’m sure you know) Iris’ head-banging is the result of her being nearly two, not terrible mothering. And we’ve had the fleece pajama battle too.

  2. Does it help any that Vivien does something similar when she’s angry? She bends over into a V and bangs her head until I lift her from her self inflicted torture, screaming and squirming of course.

  3. My daughter sometimes bites her own arm when she’s angry. I think she’s just looking for a way to express a powerful emotion.

    I have to confess, I have been known to hit my head on a wall when particularly angry. As a grown up, I can tell you, it is not a very effective way of dealing with anger, but it seems like a good idea at the time. And yeah, I have a headache later.

    Since meeting Hubby, I have picked up his habit of saying “Naaaaah!” when I’m frustrated. It is much more effective, I think because it is a way of aknowledging the emotion but dissipating it into silliness. Pumpkin has picked up our habit and sometimes does it, too, and it seems to work for her, too.

  4. Zoe has started banging her head, too, and every time she does it I think, “oh no, not this again.”

    But of course you’re not a rotten mama, and eventually she’ll realize that banging her head hurts more than it helps.

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