That little sweetheart up there, my Braden, is now 2 years and 1 week shy of 8 months old. His listening skills have improved vastly, even over the last few months. He'll often grab my hand as he is getting out of my truck and says "hold hands in parkin' wot!"
But sometimes, toddlers are just toddlers and they can't be perfect. On our travels today we stopped to have a potty break and then were going to get a smoothie and continue on. We were on our way out of the restaurant, I opened the door for Braden, and as I was opening, I reminded him "okay, hold Mommy's hand!" And he took off.
One warning: "BRADEN! Hold Mommy's hand please!"
Two warnings: "BRADEN! Do NOT run!"
No time for 3 warnings as he's just about to the end of the sidewalk and about to sprint into the parking lot...I gave my 34 week pregnant body all it had to give and ran to him as he was about 3 steps into the parking lot.
Then...it happened. I reached out, grabbed his left arm with my left hand as my right hand swung to spank his itty bitty bum in his camouflage shorts.
I didn't hit him hard, I startled him more than anything...but then the lip came out. That little bottom lip jutted out in all it's pink moist poutiness and broke my heart.
It hurts my heart to say that I "hit" my child...but I did. I didn't know what else to do. The yelling/scolding didn't work. He kept running. It was a parking lot...with big moving vehicles that could hurt him!
A little background info...I am not a believer of spanking. I've given him little "one finger" smacks on the bum before to reiterate something I'm trying to say...but never have actually spanked him.
I'm not here to judge you if you spank, obviously I believe there's a time and a place for it, and I felt I had no other choice today. I needed something that would hopefully reiterate how SERIOUS Mommy was, because my Big Booming Mommy voice (and believe me, it is big) was not working.
I then quietly walked him the rest of the way to our truck, I gently picked him up, had him sit on my bump, and we hugged as he whimpered.
I had my first heart-to-heart with my son. I looked him in his bright blue eyes and said "I'm sorry I hurt your bum, Braden...but Mommy was VERY scared. You have to LISTEN to Mommy or you could get hurt. Mommy doesn't want you to get hurt. I love you."
"Thanks, buddy. Are you okay? I love you."
"I okay, Mommy."
We got our smoothies and hit the road. In no time were back to laughing, giggling, listening to The Lorax, and looking for trains and loaders and diggers like we always do. But I'll still never forget what I did today. Sigh.
Did I break your heart a little bit too? I'm suffering a big case of Mega Mommy Guilt. But I didn't know what else to do...??? I got a ton of support from a lot of you on Twitter today and I thank you so much for that. You made me feel loved and said that you had done it too, not that you liked it either, but that you felt the circumstance was "dire" enough that it warranted a spank.
I hate myself a little bit for it. I don't ever want to have to do it again.
Have you ever had a similar situation? I've already said a prayer that we will both learn from this situation and that I'll never have to do it again.