Just last Friday, Jesse had gone to bed as usual at 11-ish. It was a relieve that he finally slept, as I had only had an hours sleep the night before.
At 4am, he woke up crying. He was having a bit of rash and it was causing him a lot of discomfort. We swabbed him off with Calamine Lotion and it was all okay again, except the boy decided that since he was already up, he would spend his waking hours fruitfully, with a dose of Barney.
"Just for awhile, ok?" Mae laid down the law, and our son was happy as a lark. After watching for about a half hour, Mae decided that he should go back to bed and that was when all hell broke loose. He screamed and screech and started tugging at Mommy.
Mae brought out a plastic ruler and warned the boy to shut it, but at that point, he was already way in over his head - bringing that very same head down onto our parquet flooring in successive thumpings. Mae lashed him twice on the arm and he cried even louder, protesting the injustice that was upon him. Then he started biting and gnawing at his Barney doll. And that's when I intervened.
"If you don't like Barney anymore, Daddy's gonna throw him away!" I warned. He stopped. Then he headed for the door and started yanking at the door knob. I warned him to stop but he ignored me. Then I brought to plastic ruler down on his arm, lightly but firmly.
It was the first time I ever hit him and I immediately hated myself for it. It broke his heart and he turned to his mother for solace. He cried his eyes out, and I, mine.
"Don't let your son see you like that," Mae assured me what I had done was the right thing to do. But it didn't make me feel any better. It certainly didn't make the tears stop flowing from my eyes. I felt terrible. As it is, due to my work, he doesn't get to see very much of me - and it seemed like what little time I had with him, I spent it beating him.
It took only a short while for Mommy to lull him back to sleep but for me, the rest of the night was hell.
Not my finest hour, I know. I guess this whole parenting thing is a lot tougher than it looks.