The Slugger

Let's come right out and say it: My daughter slugged another kid.

And not just any kid, but a five year old. She is 15 months old. Little Hoss has got some gumption, that much is pretty clear.

We have gone through different phases with my daughter. For a while there, she could never be put down, she always had to be carried. So I took the baby bourne thing and strapped her to my chest like she was Master/Blaster from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdom. Usually it was when I was doing chores and my shirt was off. That way, I work up a good sweat for the ladies.

So we would walk around the house like some mutant person picking up things. She would dangle and swing infront of me like a monkey. She loved it and we would stand in front of the TV and watch Star Trek. It was good time but as soon as she could walk she decided that the superdad pack mule was no longer needed. Life moved on.

It moved striaght on to the biting stage. No parent wants to hear about that. No parent wants to think that thier kid just took a big hunk out of the head of little Tommy. And little Tommy's parents think you are a bad parent. But she was only a year old, how in the hell am I supposed to tell her biting is wrong before she actually bit someone. Come on man, she can't even count to 2 yet, how is she going to understand the severe psychological harm of biting some kids ear off? Tommy's parents can suck it. This is only something that you can correct after the fact. A stern no and you move on.

That worked pretty well and she is no longer a biter. She just likes to hit people now, that's all.

When our baby sitter first told us that she popped a kid, I got all the details. What happened was that she was walking past a 2 year old who was looking through a glass door. For some reason my daughter decided at that moment to push the back of the kids head into the door, like some reminder that she was owed money for a loan shark and she needed to be paid.

So I listened to my babysitter explain this and I am putting on my best concerned father face. Honestly, I was a little shocked to hear it as she has never been violent before. Atleast not on purpose. Yea, I know she gave me a bloody nose, but that was on accident. I was asking for it, she still loves me, that's why she had to hit me.

Then my babysitter asked the required judgement question. "Do you have any idea where she is learning this from?" she asked. My first thought was it was probably some of the hooligans that I see running around this place. What! She is my little girl, of course I'm supposed to think she is better than everyone else. But there are a few kids there that are destined to be called Bubba in San Quntin.

But I was being the funny guy in the uncomfortable situation, I was embarrased that my kid just did a little Scarface action on another kid. So I made a joke. Granted, I shouldn't have made this joke, but I couldn't help it. So I said "It might be when she sees me smack around her mom." I thought it was funny and I started giving that nervous laugh.

The baby sitter did not. Any trace of a smile on her face disappeared and she stared at me. It might have been in bad taste, but come on, it was said with sacrasm. I'm not sure if she really thought I beat my wife or if I was a dirtbag for joking about it.

I had to quickly backtrack and assure my babysitter that I had not in fact beat my wife. It's the other way around, she takes a stick to me every other day or so. See, that's a joke and I bet you laughed. The baby sitter would have called the cops.

I had to sit there for anther 10 minutes while it was explained to me that my daughter shouldn't be learning how to hit. I assured her that this was not something we were teaching her. It's not like I was holding classes on how to kneecap someone and if you put your thumb behind the ear you can knock someone unconcious. But the baby sitter persisted so I listened and took my verbal lashings about how I am a bad father.

I take complete blame for my daughter whacking people. Those are the traits from my gene pool, not my wife's. My wife's family is big on talking things out. My family is big on a punch.

When we were kids, my brother fought more than Joe Fraizer. He never picked a fight but he would never back down from one either. I wasn't as bad, unless it was someone who wanted to fight me that I knew I could beat. I was more strategic that way. If I could win, I would fight it out. If I would probably lose, well then, I would go get my big brother and he would duke it out for me. I was a toadie afterall and it was in the Toadie Constitution that every little brother understands.

I never saw my dad fight but I had heard stories of the ones he got into with his older brothers. They involved 2x4s and rocks. I know my dad is tough, the stories just confirmed it. My mom, while never violent to my knowledge, can have a temper when she gets going though.

Let me give you a typical example: I once punched my little sister in the stomach when we were kids. Yes, I am very ashamed about it. As a consequence of this, my older brother beat the crap out of me. As a consequence of that, my dad gave him 3 licks. It's the circle of life.

So yes, I know that my daughter probably gets this from my side of my family. She's certainly got some hoss in her.

We started working on the appropriate way to detour this behavior. You see, this is not inline with Hossman Principles. These are the set of guidelines that run this family. My wife loves and hates that we have principles. But hey, it's a principle that you live by the principle. One of the biggest principles is that you don't bully people. That's a cowards move. It takes more bravery to stick up for the little guy than beat the crap out of him.

And what parent doesn't have the parent nightmares that thier kid will grow into a bully? Because you know what happens next--she doesn't go to college, she never leaves home and eventually I will raising her child while she works at Walmart and marries some guy named Chester who wants to open his own studio.

My dad set some very basic rules to combat this type of future behavior. 1. If I screwed up, I got licks. 2. I had to move out by the time I was 18. This was no joke. He started telling me this when I was 10. I either went to college or moved out. There was no discussion about it.

So today I pick up my daugther and ask the question I don't want to ask. Did she pop anyone today.

Why yes she did Mr. Hossman. Not only did she pop a five year old boy but she made him cry. Why did he cry? Because she picked up a toy car and clocked him with it. It wasn't enough that she had to hit him, now my little angel is walking around with a sock full of bateries.

But I have to admit, a 5 year old? Really? She had the balls to pop a five year old? She's only 15 months old and 20 pounds, what the hell is she picking fights with a 5 year old. There was a very small, small part of me that was impressed. I mean, come on, that kid weighs atleast 40 pounds and has a good 12 inches of reach on her. I told this to my wife and she immediately corrected me that it is never ok to be proud of this. But seriously, the kid was 5!

So we have now begun timeouts for my little Joe Pesci. And for those that are wondering if she understands, believe me, she gets it. She ain't happy about it, but that's really tough shit. You might also think that since I was raised with getting licks that I would also use this on my daughter to correct this thug like behavior. I won't, mostly because the idea of correcting hitting with more hitting just doesn't make sense.

Hopefully she will grow out of this and be that sweet little girl that she should be. Although if someone gives her shit, I wouldn't have to much of a problem giving her a roll of quarters.

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