Sunday 28 April 2013

Self Defence Against Toddlers

I think I've finally found the idea that's going to make me a millionaire. The dragons will fight over me, like starved pack dogs, desperate to grab themselves a morsel of my billion pound idea. I will undoubtedly leave the den with full pockets.
The idea struck me at the same time as my toddler. There we were, lovingly playing together on the bed, when all of a sudden I got smacked in the face. With a head. I can hear what you're thinking, "Ah, a teeny toddler head, that can't really hurt." Well, let me correct you. Although the rest of her is quite definitely toddler sized, her head is not. She has tiny beautiful toes, and a gorgeous little belly button. Despite being almost 16 months old, she is still wearing 9-12 month clothes because of her small frame. Yet atop her delicate toddler-sized shoulders, sits the head of a fully grown adult.
In all seriousness, I don't know how she carries the weight of it all day. Her head alone must make up half of her overall weight. I hope this doesn't sound like I'm being mean. Remember, she did hit me with it. And anyway, I birthed that head, so I know it's big.
I was lying on the bed with Ebony, minding my own business. Without warning, Ebony's head came crashing down on me like a cartoon anvil, hitting me right in the mouth. I was immediately flattened by the sheer force of the impact, and had to peel my head off the bed to survey the damage. Let me just say, hers is not a soft, padded head covered in soft curls of silky hair. Quite the opposite. This is a head as bald and hard as a bowling ball. Perhaps cricket ball is a better analogy, because she bounced right back up. I can only assume that her oversized skull is made from adamantium, because she didn’t even seem to notice that her colossal bonce had just made contact with my teeth. 

The fat lip
And herein lies the problem. While we, the parents, roll around in a disgusting mixture of agony, self pity and under-the-breath-swearing, the toddler is planning their next move. It could be anything: a toe to the eyeball, a foot to the groin, or an entire toddler to the jugular. Toddlers, with their complete disregard of safety, compassion and the rules that hold society in place, have the upper hand. We parents are too busy thinking, “It’s not ok to slap them back.” to notice that we are about to have a heavy wooden ball thrown on our toes. Not “dropped”, as the offender will immediately claim. 

We breathe deeply, and respond with understanding and unconditional love. In our calmest, most caring voice we explain: “We don’t stamp on Mummy’s face, because it hurts and makes her sad,” while a crayon gets jammed into our ear. With shaking hands and frazzled nerves, we try to explain that it’s not very nice to shove crayons into ears. The toddler laughs at our upset, throwing their toddler (or, in some cases, very large adult) head backwards at full force and it hits us square in the eye socket.
Enough is enough.
We need to stop responding to toddler violence with reactionary measures. We need to see it coming, and stop it before someone (the parents) gets hurt. We need to get on the offensive. And so, for the mother nursing her newly blackened eye, and to the man cupping his painfully swollen testicles, I am inventing a short course in self defence against toddlers. These lessons will specialise in weapon recognition and removal, redirection, distraction and, most importantly, self preservation. No longer will parents cower in fear at the indistinguishable gunk-covered hands of their toddlers.
The exact details of the course are yet to be devised, but consider this a patent. I shall soon be a very rich woman, safeguarding parents across the country.
Based on your own personal experiences, what toddler situations would you like to be covered in the course?

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