Friday, July 21, 2006

Don't Hiss At Your Brother!

Before I became a mother, there was a world of things I never thought I'd ever have to even consider, much less say. For example, "No, sweetie, the Easter Bunny does NOT want to see your girl parts," (as we are at the mall, fearfully dodging the 7-foot pink rabbit who wants to give my children a bath toy and, most likely, nightmares). Yes, my daughter is a flasher, but that's another story. I've already had to explain to her where babies come from (see Mommy's c-section scar?) and why wine is inappropriate for her sippy cups. Most of the time, I don't put much thought into how bizarre our conversations are, or how far from my parental ideal I have had to venture. Yet today I happened to take notice. Why? Because as we were riding along Interstate today, I heard my daughter hissing (yes, HISSING) from the backseat. This was not a "let's pretend we're a snake" hiss, as I've heard that one before. This was a gutteral, growling, let's-call-an-Exorcist-quick-stat-stat hiss. Trying to sound nochalant, I asked, "Sweetie, are you hissing at Sutton?" The hissing stops. "Yes, Mommy." "Ummm...why are you hissing at your brother?" "'Cause he's looking at MY HAIR!"

Yes, folks, my daughter was hissing at her brother because he was looking at her hair.

Now, Sutton is 8 months old. He doesn't even know what hair is--just that he likes to pull it whenever he can get his hands on it. Most likely he was looking at Bellamy's hair from his rear-facing carseat thinking, "If only I could get my hands on THAT stuff...." So I can understand why she doesn't want him looking at her hair. Sort of. But why the hissing? What makes a 3-year-old hiss like something out of a Wes Craven movie?

And, more importantly, what does one do when one's child hisses at her brother for looking at her hair? If you happen to know a definitive answer on that one, please let me know. WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE TODDLER YEARS does not have section on either hissing or demonic possession (trust me, I've checked and rechecked). And until T. Berry Brazelton or Ferber or whoever the "in" baby guru of the moment is writes one, I guess I'll just keep telling my precious, gorgeous, demon-possessed baby girl, "Don't hiss at your brother!"

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