Violence is golden… according to my sons

A typical parent having their face grabbed by a one-year-old child.

“I thought you didn’t like violence. You said it was the last bastion of moral cowardice.”
“Yeah, I know…”

That exchange between Little Britain favourites, Lou and Andy, reminds me a lot of conversations I’ve tried to have with Dylan of late. The only real difference, in fact, is that Dylan only says “Yeah”.

So anyway… he gave me a hearty whack between the eyes with a hard plastic bottle a few days ago. Normally I’d tell him off, but it was an accident and it actually served two purposes.

It ensured that I was awake ahead of a day packed with meetings – well, it was a day ending in y – and also provided the inspiration for this post. Yay him! Yes, it’s about the eye-watering injuries that apparently harmless small children are capable of inflicting on grown adults.

In the past, laddo has treated me to a corneal abrasion as well as several slaps around the face. I’ve lost count of the number of times he has inadvertently kicked me in the unmentionables and almost garotted me.

Add to all of this his signature waist-high, two-footed tackle that he does while he’s on his changing mat – seriously, it’s so forceful that it would make Joey Barton look like a saint – and you will see that he is a formidable foe. I was starting to come to terms with the battering I get on a daily basis, but things have changed. Now that Xander is here, Dylan has a sidekick.

I’d forgotten how vicious newborns’ fingernails can be and Xander has been opening up a can of whoop-ass on me with his scratching and stabbing. My pain threshold has got stronger since Dylan was born.

I’ve got used to the knocks and bumps, but our youngest’s tiny fingertips seem to puncture this invisible barrier. As well as any bits of flesh stupid enough to be exposed at the time. It must be worse for Kate, of course. Her sternum looks like Freddy Krueger has gone all jazz hands in front of her after a feed.

An angry looking baby.

Then there is the headbutting. Xander, though very strong for his age, still can’t help lolloping forward when we lift him to burp him. He’s managed to nut me on the bridge of the nose a couple of times already.

Far from leading by example in his status of big brother, however, Dylan has taken to copying this popular form of assault. Naturally, this occurs when we lean in to kiss him goodnight, so bedtime has become something of a lottery.

I didn’t know how to finish this post, so I put it to one side while I escaped the violent clutches of my two little henchmen and went to play football. There, I took two hefty whacks. One to the balls and another to the face. Here endeth this post!


  1. Richy

    Sounds horribly familiar. Our youngest is terrible for face slapping, scratching and (only where her sister is concerned) hair pulling.

    I had/have the recurrent form of corneal abrasion, which flares up when I’m tired and/or dehydrated. We never quite managed to pin it 100% on Heather, but I’m pretty sure it was all down to her. Little minx.

  2. Reluctant Housedad

    My eldest scratched my cornea while on on holiday in Italy when he was a baby. I have never known pain like it. Thought I was going to need to get my eyeball removed. So you have my utmost sympathy. My solution? Bind their hands in boxing gloves until they’re 18, then kick them out. Works for me, although mealtimes are a bit messier 🙂

  3. Harley Bucknell

    Like Richie said.. Very familiar, a slap to the face is often my morning wake up call, sometimes it’s with an iPhone and a demand to play a wiggles clip.

    I have just left my job to be a full time dad, we have 2 toddlers both boys and they are just reaching the squabbling age, which has luckily for me directed most of the haymakers toward each other, but I don’t know what’s more frustrating.. me suffering near black eyes, or them constantly arguing. Good times.

  4. Tom Briggs

    Thanks for the comments chaps! We should establish some sort of support network for dads who get beaten up by their young children!

    No worries about the link, Harley. Will check it out! 🙂

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