Thursday, July 10, 2008

(Ugh! Today is Friday. Sesame Street is about the letter "p!" Someone get me my umbrella ppppplease!)

My Angry Camel! Help an Autism Mom???

Ms. Davis has asked for a photo of Bella. There she is. Bella has a new trick. You see, she learned how to make the sound of the letter "p." When you and I make the sound of the letter "p" a gentle popping sound wafts from our mouths. "Puh!" When Bella makes the letter "p" sound she becomes an angry camel, and spits. So now she is practicing. Every waking moment. (Pardon me while I wipe my screen again.) And she realizes that I become the angry mother of an angry camel when she spits - so now she's doing it to get attention.

On the flipside, she has also started putting her cheek to mine for a kiss. Truly darling. Except then she turns and spits in my face and I want to launch her to Neptune.

Oh, she's into "p" (Oops, wiping again) words too. Her latest is "pinch." So she pinches AND spits. I'm afraid the ladies at the Stop & Shop will think I'm a heroin addict when they look at my arms, with tiny dotted scabs. Bella's quite the little charmer. Good thing she's so cute.

Any ideas on how to stop these behaviors??? Please? My arms can't take the scratches and I'm running out of tissues.


Anonymous said...

Ms. Davis??

Okay, granted I'm older than you but not by much and *certainly* not enough to warrant the above salutation. (Crap. It makes me feel like that 75 year old granny that Michelle saw riding her coveted trike! Snicker, snicker Michelle thinks I'm only 30. Shhhh)

Regarding the pic. Not exactly the Bella I envisioned unless of course *you're* actually a camel incognito (which would explain some of the *hissy fits* that we all have witnessed -- think anything related to AAP, FDA, CDC)and thus, that would make her a chip off the ole' blockette.

Bottom Line: Look for the silver linings -- you're getting kisses galore and the company that makes those computer screen wipes stays in business.

Kim Stagliano said...

I was thinking along the lines of Ms. Bette Davis - not a granny! My screen does sparkle.... And long sleeves are still in this July, right? I look like a heroin addict....

Jeanne said...


I'm no Ms. Davis, but I am the mother of a son who used to spit (and bite). The spitting came first, and also with mastering the letter "p".

The phase lasted a few months. I'm not sure if it stopped on its own or because of my awesome skills (ha)... I just tried to not respond with anger (which was really hard, I promise you), but to calmly (most times) explain that spitting is gross. And spitting at someone or in their direction is mean.

I like to think that once my son understood these things and realized he didn't want to be mean and rude and gross, he quit. ;-) More likely, he just bored of it when everyone quit reacting.

Either way, we've moved beyond spitting to the charming realm of repeating certain choice words mommy says...

Kim Stagliano said...

Shit, I'm doomed.... Thanks, Jeanne!

Jenn said...

Nope, no good suggestions here either I'm afraid.

Like Jean, I have both a spitter and swearer on my hands. Just today Nick dropped the F bomb. Spilled his slurpee (outside, thankfully!) and muttered "F'in great". Huh?! Daddy's in big trouble when he gets home. He certainly didn't hear that one from me!

~Miss Nelson said...

You can reinforce her when she makes the p sound without spitting. For example, sit her down and practice it, and when she does it the way you show her, give her a sticker or some kind of small token. Same thing with pinching, you need to give her a replacement behavior like maybe something that she can pinch and it would be ok.
I hope that helps you!

Michelle O'Neil said...

I have a list of pediatricians you could take her to. You spit on and pinch. They have it coming. Truly.

BTW....she is so stinkin' adorable I can't stand it.

Kim Stagliano said...

Gianna, who is a glorious 12 today, once said, "Where my fucky blanket!" when she was around 5. She used to lose it at night under the covers and I'm sure her father or I muttered those words when helping her fish it out of the bottom of her bed many many times at 3am. Ah, kids say the darndest fucking things... Art Linkletter, I'm sorry!

Anonymous said...


I'll go with the whole Bette Davis thingy *as long* as you spell it *miss* (it has that 30something feel to it) like "miss nelson" below.

Oh, and it has to roooolllll off the tongue (no spitting) like velvet and have the zzzzzzzzz sound to it without losing the preceding i (like igloo) sound which by the way, should be sharply accented.

Got all that?

lisa thompson said...

OMG, she looks like butter could melt i her mouth!

How about trying "g..g...g...gentle" when she inflicts pain, and reinforce hand over hand with a gentle patting motion of your arm instead of a pinch?

Amanda said...

Ok, the theory is you ignore unwanted behaviour and praise to the end of the earth desired behaviour. Read that again - I said theory!

So on that score I would give no eye contact or acknowledgement of the spitting or pinching and at any time she's not doing it praise up what ever she's doing.

Right now i am practising my poker face whilst dealing with pee and poo on the floor (stress reaction to holidays starting and having extra people in the house) and things being stuffed down the loo

Anonymous said...

She's adorable! It's always the innocent-looking ones you have to look out for.
Long ago, photographers used to tell people to say a series of words beginning with the letter p so they would have a pleasant-looking expression when the picture was taken. Two of the words were "papa" and "prunes."

Amanda said...

Just looked at that photo again - how could you say such things about the child? Surely she is delight personified, an angel, a joy?

And they say the camera never lies! LOL!!

Kim in NYC said...

Henry just looked at Bella's pic and said, "Zoiks, who is that, she's cute!" (Can you tell that he is a scooby doo fan with that "Zoiks" comment).

I wish I had some great advice but all I can do is comisserate -- Henry went thru a biting phase where he bit me (and only me, thanks!) so hard I had huge bruises and Cliff made me wear long sleeves b/c he feared otherwise people would think he was hitting me (they did not look like bite marks that's how bad they were). The phase did pass and I did my best to redirect and not overreact (even if it hurt like you know what when he sank in those fangs!)

On the one hand, it is great that Bella is mastering new things and I am sure that she will move on to the next great thing and this phase will pass -- hopefully, for your sake, soon.

Kim Stagliano said...

Henry, come on over for a date! Wear your raincoat.... At this point I'll consider an elopement!

Thanks Kim. :)

Kim in NYC said...

Bella needs to be warned that he is a "Play-ah" -- I think he fancies himself a George Clooney-esque character....

Laura said...

Ok, Kim, I just spit on myself reading the "fucky blanket" comment. I'm really surprised my boys don't say the word "douchebag" yet, as I use it very frequently while driving. And yes, the other drivers always deserve it!

No help for the spitting p. Our gross thing - nose picking, followed by eating. Yum. I told Hutton today it was nasty. He asked what nasty was. I then said, "Gross." He then asked me how to spell gross, his new obsession is spelling. Sigh.

Bella is gorgeous. Sorry about the heroin arms and spit. It's all good if you get kisses!

loveconquersall said...

This just makes me laugh because my sons favorite swear word is...PINEAPPLE! Whenever he says pineapple we know he means business.
If he drops something....PINEAPPLE!
If he can't go outside...PINEAPPLE!
If he has to go inside ..PINEAPPLE!

May I just say that there are many p's in pineapple. He is proficient in every one.
Two years ago he liked saying pumpkin pie. Must be something about the p's.

I personally like the f's:)

Anonymous said...

stay calm.
spit back.
pinch back.
she'll stop very soon.
as a kid who used to bite, i can tell you that when my mom bit me back it stopped me. mostly. i still bite when i'm mad though.

Twisted Britches said...

Hi, Kim. I've written you before, via email, but have finally had a moment on register on the blog. I'm the mom who's son knock out my teeth with his big coconut head. I had six lovely crowns in their place.

When my elfishly cute seven-year-old son, Jackson, gets upsets, he butts things with his head. I'm spent a lot of money on new teeth and windows in the home. Not once has he gotten injuried, but my bank account sure has.
Oh, but what a perfect smile I have now!

Lately, if Jackson hurts me in any way, hitting or head butting, doesn't bite - I pretend to cry. He's is constantly reading my facial expressions and knows instantly if I'm upset. When he sees me crying, it usually pulls him out of whatever was upsetting him in the first place and he tries to comfort me by wiping away non-existent tears, only he does it pretty hard, which is not actually comforting at all, but pretty much a slap in the face. Then he crawls into my lap, practically crawls under my skin and we just cuddle and I tell him in a calm and soft voice that it hurts mommy when he does that. He seems to have some empathy, so I try and play on that.