My nosy neighbor picked the wrong day to judge my child, my parenting, my life. This neighbor who lives next door to me, she is 73 and has a tendency to come and overstay her welcome in my house. She comes during nap time, breakfast, always for more than an hour. Let me just put this out there, I have told her repeatedly to only come over once a week on Thursday because the rest of the week I have extra kids and we have a schedule/routine that I don't like disrupted. She is constantly telling jack and emma what to do, what not to do and I have told her that Emma has SPD and is very sensitive to other adults correcting her. She also has become attached to one of my daycare kids. A little girl who just turned 2 and is very high energy, curious and can be a little aggressive. This toddler and jack have been hitting and pushing each other all week and I have been dealing with this in a gentle way by just reminding to have nice hands and redirecting one or both of them. Well jack has been sick, tired and just not his usual happy self and this morning after only 5-6 hours of sleep last night he is out of sorts to say the least. I read a blog a few months ago that was great about this http://blog.positivediscipline.com/2007/05/toddlers-and-hitting-stage.html. So yes toddlers hit, especially toddlers that don't talk yet, they simply cannot put into words their frustrations so they hit, push, etc..
So this morning she came over while I had one child arriving, jack just waking up needing his boob, and 3 other toddlers waiting for me to make breakfast while I am trying to wake up after my big 3 hours of sleep last night. I can hardly form a sentence much less hold a conversation with anyone older than 5. It was chaos and I was polite for a little while and she played with the kids. Then Jack finished his boob and got down to play, he immediately went over and hit this little girl. I reminded him to have nice hands while she said "don't do that, that's not ok". She then proceeds to tell me he needs a time out to which I respond he's a little young for that and I don't use time outs until about age 3 if needed. I then explain that jack is tired, sick and just reacting to other kids in his space. He usually is much more receptive to the other kids but is not himself. Then I went to make the other kids breakfast and I walk back into the room to her sternly telling jack something I couldn't make out. I picked up Jack, opened my door and asked her to please leave, she said that I didn't know how to raise my children, I was mean to the little girl and that Jack was going to grow up to be an abuser because I just let him hit whenever he wants. Now I have 5 small sets of eyes/ears watching to see if I am going to freak out on her. I simply looked at her and said " Thank you for your opinion but I am sure my children will grow up to love and respect others". She left and I did slam the door as hard as I could and was so mad I was shaking but was so proud of myself for not losing my shit and telling her what I've wanted to for the past 2 years she has been giving me her unsolicited opinions. We went about our morning and Jack woke up a little more and was almost his usual self. I firmly believe that toddlers need redirection, reminders and assurance that we are hearing the needs they are trying to communicate without words.