On The Back Side

I crossed over today. I knew it would happen. It was inevitable. I spanked Kaelyn.

*Sidebar: Now I know that some of you reading this might be appalled that I could do such a thing to our little girl. Before you go all Oprah on me, let's agree to disagree. I could easily mount a Biblical defense on spanking. It's all about how you choose to raise your children. This is how we chose to do it, so just respect that.

Anyway, Kaelyn has been fully sensing out her surroundings for a few months now. Off-limits for her is the television area, with the cable box and DVD player. Once she started crawling, she headed straight for it and we told her sternly, "no!" As she continued to progress, she realized it was wrong and would head towards it with a grin; she wanted to see if she would get away with it. We'd say, "no," she'd look at us, shake her head no, then proceed to go for it. At first, we'd just move her away.

Over a month ago, it was time that we let her know that we mean it. After the verbal warning, we'd grab her hand and smack it. It never phased her; I guess she still has those chubby hands that are pretty cushioned. But we continued to do it, nonetheless, hoping it would make a difference.

So while Kelly went to the hospital to visit a friend today, and me and the little girl were by ourselves, it was still same-old, same-old: Kaelyn heads to the TV, I say, "no," she looks at me shaking her head and does it anyway. I proceeded to smack her hand and moved her to the other side of the room. Without missing a beat, she crawled straight back to it.

I didn't plan on it, but it was finally time.

I picked her up and swatted her rear end a couple of times. She paused and looked at me and broke out into a huge cry. I held her for a few minutes, took her outside, and she was back to normal, happy and smiling.

Boy, that sucked. It's one of the worst experiences I've had with Kaelyn thus far. I always knew that this was how we'd raise our children, but I didn't know it would be this difficult.

I obviously love my little girl, so I don't want to hurt her. But I love her enough that I won't hesitate to spank her. We're at the beginning of a process to form her into the best woman of God that she can be. Even at this early stage of her life, she's learning. She's beginning to understand right and wrong. And she needs to understand that you can't get away with doing whatever you want in this world. Unfortunately, that means all of our experiences won't be just smiles and giggles. She's not going to like me all the time. But I can live with that.

This whole parenting thing is tougher than I thought it would be.