It started with some overly-aggressive teeth gnashing during feedings. Then there was the time he gleefully flailed into Grandma while she was watching him and gave her a black eye. I kid you not. Poor Grandpa received glares from fellow grocery shoppers, movie-goers and basically the whole community every time they went out in public for weeks. Grandma’s constant explanation that “the baby did it” apparently didn’t fly.
The situation escalated when baby started drawing blood. A scratch here and there with those razor-sharp claws. Those marks are always perfectly placed along our chest or nose so we can showcase his handiwork with ease. At six months into my current pregnancy my belly started growing like crazy, and the one-year-old decided it must be his new punching bag, It makes a very handy drum. Our orifices are prime targets for investigation. Have you ever had a tiny thumb jammed up your nose? I have. It’s not pleasant. Bruises up and down my arms prompt questions from friends – typically ones who don’t have children – and nobody seems to believe that the baby beats us up!
Then, he moved on to self-infliction. Walking into walls, banging his head into glass doors, dropping heavy sippy cups onto his toes. He seems to be prepping for some sort of torturous career, perhaps as a stunt double. The way he drives his Little Tikes car headfirst into the wall every two minutes makes me think he might be aspiring to be a Nascar driver. With his inclination to inflict pain and his seeming determination to toughen himself up, though, we presume he’ll be a boxer or hockey player one day.
He steps on our toes. He throws food in our face. Once, I even saw him push a fellow toddler onto her butt and laugh like a maniacal little elf at the way she plopped. The baby beats us up. And nobody believes me.
When you became a parent, were you surprised at the bumps and bruises you and your child developed as your kid discovered their strength?