Sunday, 13 January 2013

Living with a Thrower: a mothers decent towards insanity

Max first started throwing things when he was about 6 months old. I vaguely remember feeling pleased because it was another milestone to tick off and (according to the experts) was a 'phase' which would soon pass. He is 22 months old now and there is absolutely no end in sight to the throwing phase. None whatsoever. You have no idea how much I'm over it *le sigh*.

Before you start judging my parenting or (worse) telling me it's 'normal' toddler behaviour. Let me tell you one thing. This is not 'normal' toddler throwing. I'm a frequent witness to 'normal' toddler throwing. This is pathological throwing, compulsive throwing, absolutely god damn relentless throwing.

I probably sound like I'm being a tad melodramatic, but allow me to take you through a typical day. Firstly, Breakfast needs to be served, no later than 3 seconds after Max wakes up. He yells at the toaster to hurry up and he yells at the mummy to butter it, STAT. He's recently started dragging his high chair over and repeatedly ramming me with it, whilst I'm making his toast, in a bleary eyed stupor. Bless him.
(I adore his spirit. Really I do)

He is served his toast, in small pieces, carefully rationed out very slowly. The throwing intensifies once he's had enough to eat, so this method reduces some of the carnage. He can't be served meals on plates or in bowls, unless you've gaffer taped them to the tray. He has frequent 'drink stops' during every meal (it's a brain injury thing) but the sippy cup cannot remain on the high chair when not being used- believe me, I've tried teaching him that sippy cups and slobbery toast can co-exist, on the high chair tray, to no avail.Regardless of whether I stand and wait for the sippy cup or turn my back and walk away, the outcome is the same. The sippy cup will be thrown. It's particularly infuriating, when he motions as though he's going to hand it back and then just as I'm about to take it........BAM. Sometimes, he throws slobbery toast at my head whilst I'm picking it up, those are special days those ones. There's no sense of order or predictability when it comes to food throwing. Some bits are eaten. Some bits are thrown. Some are slobbered on and then thrown. The one thing which is certain, is that I will be on my hands and knees wiping up jam/vegemite/smoosh afterwards.
(Repeat same for Lunch and Dinner, plus snacks in between.)

As it's Summer here, we are eating a lot of meals outside. I also take him to cafes semi-regularly, with the intention of paying someone else to clean up after him. Usually though, I feel too guilty to leave such a massive mess behind. That is, unless the establishment is overpriced and/or the service is shoddy, in which case, I have no problem whatsoever (Melbourne Aquarium, I'm looking at you). I apologise to any members of the general public who've been hit by a flying baby-cino or spork.

You can't afford to be distracted or inattentive when you are around Max and if you are, you best be wearing a helmet and protective armour. If you think you can pause and relax on the couch, even for a few moments, BAM. You'll be knocked almost unconscious by a flying object, strategically launched at your head. You cannot afford to let your guard down, not even for a moment. It doesn't matter where Max is in the room, he throws things upwards, sideways, backways and downways. Every day, I silently applaud myself every time I instinctively deflect a missile. My reflexes are getting very sharp. It's a bit like this.....

Note to self: need sword.

At this point, I need to interrupt myself, so I can make it clear I've tried every single darn tootin' way I can think of to curtail this. Reprimanding only exacerbates the problem, he's delighted if he elicits any type of response, no matter how angry it is. Ignoring it, has been equally ineffectual. We've tried teaching him what he can throw, where he can throw and what he can throw things at- nothing has even come close to working. A few weeks ago, I showed him how to throw things at the ground "oh look, the ball bounces, isn't that ace? Now quit lobbing it at my head". I thought I was pretty clever until I copped a few (hundred) missiles on the top of my shoeless feet. Do you know how much it hurts when a sippy cup, is forcefully thrown at your toe? DO YOU??? So now, I'm also hopping around like a member of RiverDance, trying to avoid missiles.

Bath time, leaves me looking something like this.....



You get the idea right?

Max is more likely to throw things, when he's angry. The other day, Daddy wouldn't let him play with the power points (mean Daddy). So angry little Max, grabbed the most precious thing to Daddys heart (the TV remote) and hurled it at the wall. Getting dressed, also enrages the beast, so the immediate area needs to be cleared prior. We are always the last family to leave after toddler swim class, because I have to pick up every single thing he's flung around the change room.

I'm not writing this because I'm looking for advice or sympathy. I just needed somewhere to ventilate alright? You also need to realize, I am totally aware of how petty I probably sound. Please don't even think of telling me it's 'normal' or 'just a phase' because I won't be held liable for the items I lob at your head.

I need a hug.

I love your spirit baby boy, but I think I speak for everybody when I say.....

"we're all a bit over the throwing phase".


  1. Seriously, the Melbourne Aquarium deserved to be cleaning Max's carnage for the rest of their working life ;)

    Overpriced? Understatement.

    I love his spirit, so flipping much, but then I am also not the one having every which thing lobbed at my head.


    1. Love his spirit so much. It's that, plus his ability to make me laugh which saves me from throttling him. God definitely made toddlers adorable for good reason!!

  2. Oh honey, I think I may have just snorted my dinner while reading this!

    Max - you sound like such an awesome little man, and just as passionate as your Mumma. But dude - quit chucking stuff!

    Faith - I think it's time for a mummy stack hat. I'm thinking those 80's sexy numbers we grew up with. Thoughts?

  3. Haha Jen, I've actually considered going to a Trash and Treasure market to see if I can find a suit of armor. Honestly, he's like an addict. Doesn't even realize he's throwing things sometimes, just looks really confused about why the book went sailing through the air. He's such a mischievous little imp!

  4. Seriously laughed out loud at the river dance comment!

    1. Lol Trish and sadly I'm not exaggerating!