Day 337: Throwing Biting and Pulling

Throwing, biting and pulling. It sounds like I’m listing the behaviors of a pissed-off horse, doesn’t it? My 2 year old son, Arlo, is the thrower, bitter and puller. When he’s done with a meal (and I use that term as loosely as possible – maybe “eating session” is better) he throws whatever is left onto the floor, piece by piece, like he’s challenging us to find it all. “I’m gonna throw some of this under the fridge, then some under the radiator, and I’ll gently place this half-chewed wheat thin right here on your knee so you don’t think I’m a dick.”

Any discipline is met with smiles and laughter, which is the most adorably psychotic way to respond to negative feedback. If you could see how cute this kid is, you’d understand how conflicted we are. I think the cuter the child, the more mercurial he is. It’s the same in adulthood – hot chicks don’t have to behave or work.

He also pulls his older brother Silas’ hair, and laughs while his victim screams. It’s partially Silas’ fault because he refuses to defend himself. I think calling attention to Arlo’s transgressions is a little more important to him than not having his hair pulled. “Arlo! YOU DO NOT PULL HAIR!” we say, firmly. He responds with another shriek of sociopathic delight immediately followed by another attempt at weeding his brother’s head. We know it’s because he wants to get Silas’ attention, but really, that method is better used in 5th grade to tell girls you like them.

He also bites people very occasionally. He just gets excited and chomps on their arm. He did it to his little friend yesterday and actually broke skin. Everyone reprimanded him, but again we got only giggles from the burgeoning cannibal.

All PR is good PR in his book, I guess. It’s not like the kid is starving for attention; he gets plenty. He just thinks he’s playing, and no matter how much we tell him that he can’t run full speed into the fireplace doors, he does it again and again. But holy shit is he adorable while doing it. If Stalin looked like my kid, no one would be mad at him.

We know the right thing to do is ignore the behavior so he learns they won’t garner him any of the heat he’s been so oddly enjoying over the past 2 months. My mom and dad are coming in a couple days and I feel like we’ll have to prepare them. “Hey, listen. Arlo is gonna do some really ridiculous stuff, and it’s gonna seem like we’re not doing anything, but we’re attempting a “less is more” method here. So, if you don’t mind, if he happens to bite you, could you try not to react? Thanks.”

P.S. No parenting advice needed here. We have it all under control and we don’t do timeouts.
 
 

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Callie says:

Oh my hell. You just described my boys perfectly. I laughed until I cried, then I kept on crying because I realized that no one has any answers on how to keep Mitch from going beserker on his brother Jack.

molly says:

I love this blog! You make me laugh EACH TIME I read you. Thank you. Please keep writing.

Amanda says:

My 18 month old daughter does the same crap when she's done eating. If she isn't casually dropping it, piece by piece, she takes her entire arm and sweeps it across the try in one quick sweep like she's a goddamn zambonee (sp?). She knows how to say "all done" in sign language and verbal speech, yet she uses other methods to get her point across.

Vickie says:

Just wait…you are going to turn around one day and someone is going to be telling you that he needs to figure out what he wants to do with the rest of his life and talking about college and stuff like that. You will try to remember when he was tiny and adorable and it will seem like a faded yesterday that happened a heartbeat ago.

Jason Good says:

Luckily I'll have this blog and hundreds of hours of video.

Angela C says:

My son (now 5) would bite when he was feeling really happy or to show he loved you. Like how adults say "the baby is so sweet, I just want to eat him up", but he would actually give it a go. So, while it was unpleasant I knew that it was just that he loved me so much he had to take a chomp.

Stacey says:

Biting is totally normal at his age. It's a way to express emotioms that he can't understand yet. He can't verbalize "hey Dad, you just pissed me off and I hate you right now and want you to stop that." So he bites. And he can't say "Silas, I want you to play with me." So he pulls his hair. (I worked in the toddler room of a daycare)

shannon says:

love how everyone put there 2 cents in even after specifically being asked not to.

Julie says:

I like the no advice needed caveat at the end, smart move.

shannon says:

sometimes you just gotta put a disclaimer

Jenn says:

Mine used to throw food on the floor until I started making him clean it up himself. Took 2 days. That's not advice; I'm just bragging about my awesomwe skills.

Kim says:

I completely relate. My now 2yr old was such a biter last year that I dressed him as a vampire and I went as Sookie Stackhouse. My husband went as a member of the Fellowship of the Sun Congregation. Please excuse all of the weird Freudian implications of our costumes.

Either way, I LOVE your blog and am so happy to have found it. You are hilarious. Please keep up the great writing.

Kari says:

So uh…your kids may be SUPER CUTE and such, and you sir are a hilarious person and I suspect both of your offspring will be too….

…but.

I kind of read this blog every day as a non-medicinal approach to birth control. Just sayin. Yeah, I'll be the crazy cat/snake lady in apartment 509 that nobody goes near….but I won't have bite marks up and down my arm. Or an aneurysm.

But seriously, I love hearing about your completely bugfck crazy life.

Jason Good says:

This blog is a scared straight program for people thinking about having kids

Phylip says:

It is ! I was already scared to have kids, now I'm terribly afraid of this.

Whitney says:

Word.

dad says:

So? Arlo can bite me if he wants to.

Brittany says:

Haha I love this.I have heard of the bite them back, had to use it with my little sister because nothing worked and she did it until she was 3,but the using fake teeth is GENIUS! HAHAHA!

Ashley says:

Oh good golly, My one year old is a swipper and thrower. And puller and picker. He swipes EVERYTHING off his tray when done, and always, always throws the sippy cup. He is find one tiny hair and pull it out and then try to pick off moles and freckles with his dagger nails. I often look like I've been caring for a young Edward Scissorhands. And he's a crazy psycho too – Says "ah ah ah" (no) and then laughs and does it.

Dude – your kids are EXACTLY like mine! My 16 month old is a lunatic, especially in comparison to my 3 year old. He was a saint, and in a 3-year-old way, sort of still is. But the little one… holy crap! Laughs his ass off when we tell him no, or pull him away from whatever he's not supposed to be doing. Then when I finally pick him up and remove him from tearing off yet another ornament, he smacks me in the face. Pure awesomeness!

Jenn says:

You can try the old, bite him back thing. Just use some plastic vampire teeth leftover from Hallowe'en so that if CAS investigates, there's no proof you did it. The dog or another kid bit back is all you have to say.