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Innocent Violence and Our Struggle to Avoid Concussions

We have a violence problem in this house and it doesn’t involve anyone over the age of 2. Alright so we are all involved, but those of us who are over 2 years-old aren’t administering the violence, we’re taking it. And if I were being more specific, I’d say that Casey is taking the brunt of the problem.

Vivi is a pretty demanding little baby. As soon as she first started moving, she would move towards things she knew she wasn’t supposed to be touching, mainly the satellite receiver. We’d tell her “No,” and that what she wanted to touch was “Not for babies.” She would turn to look at whoever it was who was telling her no, stare right in that person’s eyes. and she wouldn’t look away. Instead she’d tip her head down slightly and without blinking or looking away, she’d reach back with her finger and touch what we had just told her not to touch. Yep, that picture right there is Vivi giving us the look right before she defiantly did what we told her not to do. We’ve worked with her on not touching things that she shouldn’t be touching, but her behavior hasn’t improved all that much.

When I used to feed Vivi watermelon, I would place a piece of watermelon on her fork and then I would hand her the fork. She would devour the watermelon and then set the fork on the table. If I wasn’t quick enough to pick up the fork and replenish her supply of bite-sized ready to eat watermelon, Vivi would pick up the fork and then throw it on the table in my direction. The fork would slide across the table until it bumped into my arm.

That’s where the violence originated. We used to laugh when she would demand more food by throwing her fork. Bad move. Very bad move. Her behavior of throwing things has only gotten worse. When she’s done with her food, or if she just feels like it, she’ll throw her fork as hard as she can across the room. It doesn’t matter if someone’s head happens to be between the wall and Vivi’s hand, if she gets the slightest inkling to throw something that fork will be whistling past your ears.

I’m not talking about a typical baby/toddler throw where you aren’t quite sure where the object will end up, but you’re pretty sure it isn’t going to make it more than a few feet from the baby. This baby is on track to be the first female pitcher in the MLB. We’ve seriously contemplated making safety goggles mandatory for all meals. We will also be extra conscious about the baby getting a hold of any knives.

Lately her habit of throwing her fork and spoon has graduated into plates and bowls. It doesn’t matter if we tell her, “No!” she just gives us that look and proceeds to throw her plate.

The other day Casey was lying on the couch watching Sesame Street with Addie and Vivi.  At least Casey thought she was watching sesame Street with Vivi. Unbeknownst to Casey, Vivi had sneaked into the kitchen and had grabbed her full metal water bottle off the table and then walked up behind where Casey was lying. Vivi took the water bottle by the handle in one hand and threw the bottle as hard as she could at Casey’s head. Thunk. Casey was not a happy lady. She told Vivi, “No!” and then held back the tears that were sure to follow, but Vivi just ran off with a giant smile on her face as if everything was right in the world.

Yesterday Vivi grabbed a Wii remote and tried to throw it at Casey’s face while Casey was taking a nap. Luckily Vivi didn’t clear the pillow that was partially in front of my wife’s face or Casey would have had a pretty rude awakening. At church it was hymn books thrown at random attendees, followed by sidewalk chalk thrown at Casey in the evening.

No matter what we say, however, nothing seems to change her behavior or even give her the slightest idea that she’s going to hurt someone. We’ve now explained to Addie that she is not allowed to laugh when Vivi launches things across the room and we’ve been a bit more stern with our tone when we notice Vivi is about to throw something, but so far no results.

Hopefully this baby starts to mature a bit into a toddler to where she will listen to us when we tell her no, otherwise we’re gonna have to increase our health insurance coverage for when one of us inevitably ends up with a concussion.

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