The Naked Boxer

Boys hit. Get over it.

I sometimes wonder if life was easier when I was the only male in the household.
No matter the gender split, the more Wifey and I kept breeding, the louder things got. However, the addition of another male not just changed the dynamic, the dynamic was blown apart.

All kids go through phases, in stages. They do it in their own time, deal with it in their own way, as they develop the little personalities which will make them the big people they are destined to become.
The ages vary. Some kids will be biting you before you know it, others might never do it and for some, the quartet in this house for example, it is just a fleeting thing, not allowed to last long.
There are the ‘terrible twos’ complete with tantrums. There is spitting, both of saliva and as a means to expunge food from their mouths. There is the ultra cute period where they learn what it is to make people laugh, a phase which can quickly become an annoyance.

Like potty training, kids can be trained, their behaviour moderated. In the same way you convince them placing their hand on the element isn’t a good idea, sticking a finger in an electrical socket is foolhardy and poking a dog with a stick is just plan dumb, you can slowly have them coming around from the urge to sink their teeth into your flesh.

Children learn at their own pace, dictated to by the dedication and persistence of their parents and peers. A lot of their development is look and learn, doing as others do. Much of their behaviour is a direct reflection of our own, their parents, and those around them.
Accordingly, the ‘do as we do’ theory means we have to be the setter of example, but when the dynamic can shift so dramatically between participants, that is no mean feat.

The other day I was playing Zombie with the little uns. No, not the iconic 90’s track by the Cranberries, more the Dawn of the Dead variety.
Up and down the corridor I went, groaning and grumbling, arms outstretched and eyes rolled back. A passable impression if I do say so myself. All I lacked was the gaping wound to my skull, festering bite marks and dismembered limbs.
The E-Bomb screeched, clutching her hands to her face like an award winning B-Grade scream queen and ran for her life.

Our number three is a good looking kid. I can say that objectively, because she is. Unfortunately, she can be more than just a little annoying. Too cute though, and too big a personality to be listed in the credits as little more than an extra.
Come the slasher movie, staring our little E-Bomb, she will be quite the survivor. Maybe, out of a cast of say six or seven, she will be third last to be hacked to pieces. Not bad going.
But running and hiding won’t do her any good against the zombie horde. Or her Dad for that matter. I have a particular set of skills. I will find her.

The Wee-Man adopted a very different approach.
Fists were immediately clenched, raised to the top of his cheek bones. Just below eye-line. Elbows tucked in to his ribs.
In other words, great technique.

A deep rumble.
The Wee-Man, my Wee-Man…growling at me!
Then…he charges.

The fists stay high, the face behind those protective layers of clenched knuckles set, determined. Brow pinched together, jaw clenched, he advances…

Wee-Man doesn’t stride forward confidently. He is not placing on sure foot in front of the other assuredly.
Wee-Man is not gaining steadily, moving confidently, certain of his fate and mine.
Wee-Man is charging.

His forehead dips, chin down now, below the level of his gloves. His pace is electric from the start, the first stride purposeful and clear, as is his intent.
Wee-Man gains pace, within a small number of lengthy strides he reaches full steam, head lower still, brow knitted further. Still those hands remain high.
There is nowhere I can go.
No neutral or higher ground. No diplomatic recourse. I signal him but it is clear.
Wee-Man intends to ram me.

There is plenty of warning. He has hailed me with his growl. The only thing missing is a shot across my bow, but I have the sense Wee-Man has no intention of wasting ammunition.
Everything in his arsenal is aimed at me.

It isn’t like I don’t have options. I mean, what does a nearly three year old boy weigh?
I could scoop him up and deposit him in a place of my choosing.
I could set myself, let him fling himself headlong into the solid bony mass of my hip.
Damn it, I could drop my shoulder.

You know what I end up doing?
None of those things.
Despite clear warning, I am not set. Never mind the signals, the overt display of aggression.
I see it coming, but there is little, if anything, I can do about it.
So I do nothing.
Nothing that is, except get hit with a double-fisted power punch any Marvel superhero mutant would be proud of, straight in the midriff, with enough powered to damn near knock the wind out of me.

My Mother ran a childcare center for many years. More years than I comprehend being able to cope with. At some stage, it was decide to make the facility, if that is the right name for such an institute (that sure isn’t the right moniker) a non-hitting place.
Admirable, though I am sure difficult to administer and police, given the numbers involved.
Mum had several staff members helping her out. I just duck for cover.

Seriously, I can take it. I am not a big guy, not a powerfully built man. I am reasonably well padded though. That helps.
Wee-Man can rain blows on me all day and as long as he doesn’t make contact with my eyes, nose or baby-makers, I should be able to cope.
The same can’t be said for his siblings, even the older ones having issues when struck by the violent intent of the Wee-Man.

It isn’t all a nasty, evil desire to knock his opponents to the ground in a red mist of hate fueled rage. Sometimes it is a playful thing, getting just that little bit carried away…an excess of exuberance and excitement.
Sometimes, Wee-Man is just plain mad. It is on those occasions you need to have your wits about you, your reflexes honed.

Wee-Man is disciplined. He gets told off and it is damned hard at times not to smack him. We are not a smacking family, though just quietly, the option has not been removed entirely from the repertoire, despite legislation.
Wifey and I are in accordance. Kinda defeats the purpose, don’t ya reckon?
But hey, if his sister wants to have a crack back at him, give as good as he gets, chances are he will learn a lesson one way or another.
In the meantime, we went out and purchased him a pair of gloves and punch bag, Wee-Man sized. Maybe it is just going to encourage him, maybe he will channel whatever it is inspiring him to punch and hit.
One thing is certain, it won’t hurt as much!

toddler-boxer-costume

Wee-Man hits.
Boys hit.
Get over it, because right now, he is too short to duck, bob or weave.

 

 

 

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