Hit Me With Your Best Shot

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Ah, Pat Benatar, how I always loved your song, "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"-until it became my unofficial First-Time Mommy theme song. Benatar is still quite the rocker with some serious pipes for someone just 5 feet tall. But I would probably put my money on my almost 9-month-old daughter coming in at 2 feet tall (she's standing on her own, folks!) if she were to take on Benatar in a girl fight. Months ago I joked about my daughter's many fighting techniques in my post, "When Babies Attack," but I'm not laughing anymore... It was cute when my daughter was a squishy little newborn who didn't have full control of all her extremities. She didn't quite have command of anything but her sucking reflex. But from powerful pincer grasps to flying kicks, now I can see it in her eyes that she darn well knows what she's doing. And at almost 20 pounds, she packs quite the wallop. Which brings me to her newest moves which have forced me to take cover:

The Steamroller: This is a classic move, we all know, I just thought that when she mastered rolling, it wouldn't be to smoosh my face. Thanks, baby. Battering Ram: When Little D has problems falling asleep, for some reason, her old Head Butt move will no longer do. She now launches her whole body head first into pillows at first, and then goes for me. I think we may have a mini Juggernaut on our hands. (I hope you comic book dads appreciate the reference!) The Slap Attack: It's part tantrum, part "you're making me really mad, mommy," when she sits up, frowns and starts flapping her arms up and down in sync, like she's going to fly away. But instead of taking flight, she bounces on her bum, closer and closer to me until those hands land on her target.  I can't help thinking, is this my fault? Has teaching her to do high fives with conviction evolved into this? People told me about this thing called the Mommy Stage; when babies are 7 to 9 months old all they want is their mommy. I imagined it would be all gooey sweet and I'd feel so loved, not this. I understand that babies often have a shorter fuse and can be easily frustrated, and I've done my part to try to calm our little dragon and to encourage her to express herself in other ways. Like, for instance, directing her attention elsewhere: "Where's Papa, baby?" I've talked to my husband at length about this new hitting stage. (And don't get me wrong... our daughter is a total sweetheart, 95% of the time.) I've told him, in all honestly, "There's this knee-jerk reaction to hit back-or bite her." Which, of course, I don't! And then he said something to remind me why he's the man for me: "We don't hit in this family...we block," he said, showing me how it's done. "Hee-ya, whaaaa, yaaaa!"

How do you calm the fighting spirit in your baby?

Calm the raging waters in your household with a sweet lullaby. Here are some releases that will turn those cries into coos.     

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