spitting is gross. disgusting. abhorent. and my boy does it.
so does my husband. as part of a horrible habit called "chewing." yuck. the mere thought turns my stomach.
but timmy. he spits when angry. he spits when he doesn't want to do what he's been asked/told to do. he spits when he's put in the time-out chair. he spits. he spits!
nothing has worked to stop it, although we've been trying for months, since before any actual spittle was projected. back when, try as he might, he could only produce the sound without the spray. i tried googling "how to stop toddler spitting." hah! worthless! "try to understand that your toddler has a limited vocabulary and may be spitting to communicate his frustration." what drivel. no pun intended.
timmy's verbal skills are quite advanced. for example, as he readies himself to spit, he may say something very like, "mommy, i prefer to play outside. i do not want to come in the house. i decide to stay outside! *spit!*" of course, there are days timmy prefers efficiency and simply shouts, "No! *spit!*" so, no. he does not spit as his only way to express himself. he spits as an additional and unacceptable way to express himself.
time-outs do not work. not only does he frequently spit on the way to time-out for some other unrelated offense, but he spits when time-out is over and then when it's over again. marathon time-outs. time-out-o-rama. timmy was like a spitting junkie, unable to resist the filthy urge, even though the cost was pretty stinkin' high, in toddler terms.
vicki suggested vinegar on his tongue each time he spit. nope, he'd like that. dish soap, too. and lemon juice. her final suggestion: hot sauce. i just couldn't do it. even if it were effective, and i could force myself to squirt a drop of chalula on his tongue once, i know i could never consistently do it for the week or so it takes for me to win any battle of the wills.
my mom's idea? throw a small amount of very cold water in his face when he spits. then go about my usual business with no more attention to the matter. well, i was willing to try anything to both stop the spitting and avoid the hot sauce remedy.
saturday. d-day. when the need for time-out presented, i first poured some water (maybe two tablespoons?) from the fridge into a cup and sat it down around the corner from timmy and the offense. as i held his hand and began walking toward the time-out chair, he launched a loogie. i quickly reached around the corner for the cup and tossed the water into his face, stating, "you may not spit." he gasped and stared. i placed him on the time-out chair and walked away.
he later told tori on the phone, "i spit at mommy and she put water on my face." tori, having been apprised of the plan the night before, simply said, "oh, i bet you didn't like that much, did you," and then changed the subject.
the whole weekend? maybe five water-splashes. so far today? one. and just 3 1/2 hours until bedtime.
do i smell succeeeeeeesssssss?