Friday, May 07, 2010

Say it ain't so, Mad Dog

With the exception of some stories here about sleep, I've written overwhelmingly positively about the Mad Dog. Parents are wired this way. I am compelled to believe that my kid is dashingly handsome, physically gifted, well-mannered, way ahead on all his milestones, exceptionally sweet, and a saintly friend to all at his day care.

I concede that Mikey throws the occasional tantrum. Bystanders would be prudent to watch out for flying food. I have heard the sentence, "NO, MINE!" followed by ear-splitting screams more than once. Mad Dog is not afraid to flop on to the floor if he doesn't like the direction he is being herded in.

I'm OK with periodic tantrums. They make sense, even to me, a parent of the best kid in the world.

Imagine my surprise when I hear that is a bit of a tough-guy at day care. He's apparently served some hard time in the time-out lockup. I'm assured that what he has been doing is completely normal and common for a day-care setting where kids squabble over scarce resources like Lightning McQueen cars and such. Apparently, Mad Dog is not afraid to mix it up a bit when things start getting ugly.

Here are a few of Mad Dog's toddler fighting moves:
  • The Stiff-Arm, aka The Toddler Tumbler: Encroach into Mikey's personal space or try to snatch a toy, and you just might find yourself on the receiving end of little chubby baby arm delivering a vigorous shove. This move is ineffective against high-mass beings like adults. Applied to a poorly balanced 30 pound toddler, the results are typically "Down goes Frazier."
  • The Hair Pull:  Mikey's sometimes nemesis Omar is a specialist in this move, and Michael has been dabbling in it. Grab, pull, and listen to the lamentation of your enemy has he screams and cries while clutching his stricken scalp.
  • The Slap:  The slap is a mainstay in any classically trained toddler fighter's repertoire. It couldn't be simpler. Crank your hand back using the elbow as a force increasing fulcrum. Apply hand liberally to adversary. Prepare for a counter-attack, because it's about to get real up in this day care.
  • The Bludgeon:  A relatively innocuous toy becomes a deadly blunt force weapon in the right hands. It's all fun and games till someone takes a sippy cup upside the head.
Michael is a pretty big little guy, and he's not afraid to get in a scrape. That said, his cellmates are not exactly pushovers. They have a few tricks up their onesies:
  • The Talon:  A favorite of the females, a practitioner of The Talon grabs delicate, pliable baby skin in a vicious pinching attack. The resulting bruising and crying sends a stern message that says "I am woman, feel me pinch!"
  • The Take-Down aka The Deadliest Hug:  What initially appears to be a loving hug takes a sinister turn as the attacker throws the hugged victim down to the ground. The Slap or The Talon are often deployed on the now defenseless adversary.
  • The Bite:  The dreaded bite attack is the most lethal weapon that a toddler can deploy. It is the nuclear option that will end almost any altercation, leaving teeth marks, bruising, and a defeated enemy in its wake. Biters are not to be trifled with.
A day care is not for sissies. The whole situation is a powder keg, rife with potential territorial disputes, tense diplomatic relations, and unstable toddlers in the throes of the terrible twos. It would be nice to hear that Michael is a sweet angel and pacifist, but that's not the world that he lives in. A toddler's got to do what a toddler's got to do to defend his way of life. We'll just keep working with him to make sure that he applies force justly and only in self defense.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

One of the best yet, Chris! Hahaha! Should I be worried tot bring Moose for a visit? :)