There’s been myriad unsolicited advice offered to me since my wife and I announced she was with child; most of which I didn’t want or need. (Best advice I was given was ignore all advice given. Thanks, Drew).
Of all the topics broached by the well-meaning, the one I would’ve most appreciated was never mentioned. But due to my kind and generous nature, I wanted to take this time to warn you, dear reader, of a parental danger that is spoken of in hushed tones, covered in shame and embarrassment leading to it not being spoken about nearly enough.
Violence. Specifically, child violence against parents. #CVAP
My amazing and adorable 13.5-month-old child has at this point punched me in the face no less than 30 times. One of which, she hit me in the eye with her small yet hard AF brush.
On another occasion, when she was feeling especially frustrated with her precious papa(1), she tried to snatch my eye out of my face as if she was a member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad(2). Also of note about this specific incident is that I am in possession of only one eye(3).
Yes, my child has almost blinded me multiple times.
I literally, not figuratively, LITERALLY have scratches around my left orbital cavity where my child has taken swings at my face randomly and on purpose. My vision was fuzzy for days after a particularly effective attack where she scratched my cornea then followed up with the previously mentioned brush bashing, hitting me in the same eye during a terribly thought out grooming lesson.
I’d heard the jokes about babies/toddlers stomping daddy-nether-regions with their adorable hard-ass feet but no one told me that my child might attempt eye gouging.
Did I mention that she head-butted me so hard that she loosened multiple teeth? My crime against her? I attempted to pick her up from her crib when she woke up one morning. Dassit.
“Good morning honey! How are–FUCK! OW! GATDAMB IT!” *Anguished yells for my wife*
My child’s attempts at blinding and/or knocking all of my teeth out prompted me to ask this question on Twitter.
Admittedly I felt silly and a bit embarrassed tweeting this. I love my daughter and enjoy immensely caring for her, but I don’t want to have to train in krav maga to be capable of getting her up from a nap without being physically injured. The responses to my tweet legitimately shocked me. Parent after parent shared the violence they’ve endured at the hands of their tiny tyrants.
“According to (ER) physicians, pediatricians and other experts (Unintentional Parent Abuse) is no laughing matter. With unpredictable infants and toddlers, meals, bath time or even cuddles can go terribly wrong. Though statistics for injuries caused by young children are difficult to find, parents routinely suffer concussions, chipped teeth, corneal abrasions, nasal fractures, cut lips and torn earlobes, among other injuries.
“You’re dealing with wonderful human beings who can’t be reasoned with, who are impulsive, who are stronger and faster than you think they are, and don’t understand consequences of their actions,” said Dr. Benjamin Hoffman....”
Why is this incredibly dangerous aspect of parenthood not a discussion that you have with your doctor, midwife, doula, mom, dad, friends-that-actually-like-you, or somebody?! Anybody! It seems most parents or childcare workers have some sort of horror story of barely surviving an infant or toddler yet I learned about these dangers after I was already bleeding.
As I’ve said, dear reader, I write this in hopes to save your cornea, front teeth or jaw. (A friend’s kid kicked her in the jaw so hard years later it still clicks.)
You’re simply not fast enough nor do you have the Batman-esque skills needed to defend against these non-skilled yet incredibly effective combatants. What they lack in intention they make up for in randomness, misunderstood strength and a lack of fucks that we’ll never truly understand how to defend against. Protect yourselves! I’ve personally ordered goggles to protect my good eye until I’m confident that my baby girl is at a 20 percent or less chance of destroying my face.
Pray for me. I’m not religious but as the saying goes “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Or in my case “play areas.”
1. (pronounced “Puh-Pah.” I would like to think my child has a faux british accent and until she expands her vocabulary past “dadadadadada–muhmamamamamama-dah” that’s the story I’m sticking with.)
2. As made famous by the Quinten Tarintino film Kill Bill: Volumes I & II
3. Lost my right eye when I was 14 in a school shooting.
Elon James White is a writer, comedian and CEO of independent media outlet #TWIBnation. He’s the creator of #DaddyGameProper #DGProper and co-host of the #DGPOD - A weekly podcast devoted to the trials and tribulations of fatherhood. Subscribe on Itunes, Stitcher, Google Play or RSS.