Monday, February 27, 2006

Help, I'm Raising A Hillbilly

And before there are any cracks about "location," let me just say I will virtually knock you upside your virtual head.

Now: Mommies of the internets? My 3-year-old daughter, that angelic, sweet dumpling of femininity and charm? She won't. Stop. Spitting. We are stymied. We can't come up with anyplace this might have been modeled for her, and more importantly, WE CAN'T MAKE HER STOP.

She spits on the floor. Inside the house. I'm really at a loss to add anything else to that, because it's just horrifying enough on its own. She seems fascinated by the whole process, from the manufacturing of the saliva all the way through to watching it dribble onto the floor. She KNOWS we hate it, and that if we see her do it (or find a tiny blob of spittle on the floor), she will have to go through the dreaded, "We don't do this" talk, followed by the "sit here by yourself until you're ready to have nice manners and not spit in the house" time-out, which she hates.

But I tell you, people--the dire (to her) consequences do not affect her rate of recidivism. I have probably told her to STOP. SPITTING. about 20 times today. She always apologizes, and always agrees not to do it any more, and has lately been insisting that "it was an accident."

HELP STOP THE SPITTING! Mommies--you're up to bat! Also, tell me if the name-change of Bella's preschool seems ominous to you: It's now being called an "enhancement center." I'm checking for pods.

And while you're thinking on that, visit my renter, in the sidebar. She might have something to say today that would feel good to hear.

And? If you have dogs that are afraid of thunderstorms (I have one)? Do not play the DVD "Fantasia 2000" in their presence. Bella wanted to watch it twice this afternoon (or rather, to have it on for background effect while she ran around the house spitting and writing on herself with a ball-point pen), and the whole time it was on, Delta was in high, give-me-a-sedative freakout mode. As soon as the movie went off, she was fine. Go figure.


  1. I wish I had an anti-spitting remedy for you. My 3-year-old has gotten into the mild pretend spitting, which has more bark than bite (or saliva). Reacting in any way just seems to fuel her need to pretend spit. And I will remember to steer clear of Fantasia 2000 as we don't need anything making Bailey more nervous than she already is! OH, and the "enhacement center"...that is totally Stepford! :)

  2. And it will only be about, what, six months, before that spit contains tobacco juice...

  3. That's it. You've earned your beating.

  4. I'm a big believer in experiental discipline. In my house if you spit on the floor you would then be washing the floor. With a toothbrush. On your hands and knees. Until it was sparkling clean.

    Only had to do that punishment ONCE and my little spitter still remembers it vividly, about 9 years after the fact.

    Make the punishment so danged horrible that it's not worth committing the crime. Giving a kid a dreaded talk is like watching the Peanuts teacher (blah blah blah blah now apologize blah blah blah promise you'll never blah blah blah). A total waste of time and effort, especially with a (ahem( 'challanging' child.

  5. I was going to say make her clean it up too, or else totally ignore the behaviour and re-direct her. She knows she's getting a reaction. The key is not to react. "We don't spit." In monotone followed with let's go do the dishes or whatever.

    Parker is a spitter too.

  6. I think Margalit is right on! But I didn't come here to tell you how to fix it, but to tell you that my nephew who is a year and a half is doing it all the time too, but my hubby tells me that the kid will actually spit in your face too! *shudders* GROSS!

  7. You know what? I think we may have stumbled onto something, here. We DO make her clean it up every time...WHICH SHE ENJOYS. Cleaning. Especially wiping surfaces with a paper towel! FUN! So every time she spits on the floor, I am rewarding her by giving her her favorite cleaning supplies. Hit me with a stupid stick, but I think the kid is creating mess in order to have something to clean up. Sheesh. She was doing the same thing with a crazy-straw cup and water, recently, until I took it away from her. Same pattern. Hmmmmm. This may be a breakthrough, internets!!

  8. My niece spits all the time too. She is 4. Her mother makes her clean it up her self, but that hasn't seemed to help much. Interesting hobby!

  9. *sigh*

    I am disappointed in the lack of thought you and Alex have gven this Belinda!

    You're hillbilly enough to admit you'd beat the the space ship with a stick, but NOT hillbilly enough to realize that DUCT TAPE FIXES EVERYTHING... including spitting ;)

    haha, if you actually figure out how to stop her, PLEASE let me know. I have a 16 yr old that spits, he's been spitting for a decade... I mean eventually they do chew through the duct tape.

  10. How about if she spits, putting her Dora bike in timeout? Or some other equally precious and much loved, must have toy? Oh sorry (insert name of toy) you can't play with Bella today, she spit on the (insert whatever) today. Maybe you can play tomorrow

    Good Luck. My Stephanie, 27 months, figured out how to open the jar of Eucerin Aquaphor, and liberally coated her face and hair. At bedtime. When we have to get up early tomorrow. Sigh

    P.S. Can I come beat on the spaceship, too?

  11. I think Margalit's answer was a good response, but since she won't respond to reason and chores, then she's still the corporal discipline age. When they're young it's hard to reason. Later, corporal discipline becomes a threat only and then you can move to reason. Beyond that I would venture one more thing before that though, maybe removing things bit by bit that please her, i.e. toys, hobbies, outings, etc.

  12. Eh, I think we've figured it out. But I'm keeping duct tape on hand just in case.

    And Aquaphor? Not coming out easy! I do not envy THAT bath. You're gonna need some grease-cutting dish soap, at the very least.

  13. Uh, me no have kidlets, so I don't know.

    I'm just cracking up on the idea of an "accidental spitting."

  14. Pat--everything lately is an "accident" if it looks like it's gonna get her in trouble. Pretty good cognitive reasoning, actually, since things like spilled milk, etc. and the ensuing, "Oh NOOOO...I'm SO sorry!" get soothed by the parental units with head pats, hugs, and "That's OK, Honey, it was an accident." Hmph. She learns faster than a dog now, which means we are totally out of our league.