We were home after a long afternoon out running errands. She was her beautiful happy little self, giggling at everything and being as cute as can be. So I decided to lay down on the couch for awhile. Alivia starting bringing me all her books and piling them right next to my head. One at a time she'd bring one over and add it to her ever-growing pile of hard covered books.
Then she decides it would be funny to throw them. She picks up one hard covered book at a time and chucks it at my head. She does it once, I grab her hand and tell her not to throw books. She giggles, thinking of course that its a joke. She does it again, and again I correct her. Still somehow, this is hilarious. In no way am I being funny...the tone of my voice was raised, I looked her sternly in the face and corrected her. None of this is working and she continues to throw the books at me.
It was then that I took her arm, turned her around and gave her two slaps on the toosh. Of course, they weren't out of anger and they weren't hard enough to physically hurt her in any way...but I'll tell you the look on her face broke my heart. She breaks out into tears, horrified that what she thought was a funny game ended up not being so funny. Immediately the guilt overwhelmed me, I took her in my arms, told her I loved her and that we don't throw books. I cuddled her in my arms until she stopped crying, she got down and resumed playing as though none of it ever happened. 10 seconds later she is giggling again and having a fun time...sans book throwing.
I have NEVER felt so guilty in my life.
I called my dad and told him about my experience. My parent's always disciplined. I personally preferred getting spanked by my dad, because he never hit nearly as hard as my mom...haha. I told him I had to spank Alivia for the first time...told him why...and he reminded me that what I did was right. He said, "the hard part Linds, is when they get too old to spank and talk back to you...then you have no idea how to discipline them."
When parent's say their job is tough, I don't think they were talking about the "to do list". Parenting is the hardest job in the universe because of all that is emotionally attached. Sure, the "to do list" is tough too...but after awhile it becomes second nature. What's tough is when you get use to things and all of a sudden everything changes. What's tough is when your baby turns into a toddler and discipline suddenly needs to be enforced.
Alivia is a piece of my heart. She is a part of me...even out of the womb she is so clearly attached to every heart string. Everything she does...every move she makes...with or without me...effects me. Hours later and Alivia has most definitely forgotten about her first official spanking...and I'm still bogged by the guilt.
Hardest job in the universe? I'm learning that's the understatement of the century.