Recently my son found my wife's childhood Cabbage Patch Kid and took to cuddling it and carrying it around the house. Now, as our neigbors could tell you, he's pretty comfortable with himself, and I'm not the kind of dad who would worry about my son playing with dolls so we thought it was cute. Well, until...
A few days ago I was changing his diaper and all hell is breaking loose. It was a mess, and I had to do something. He was flailing around like one of those used car lot balloons and I just knew I’m going to end up with poop on my hands or on him or both. Just the other night I lost focus and he pooped on the floor. But back to the trenches, in a blur of urine and tears, I picked up this thing, this naked doll, just to distract him, anthything to help me survive. So I go to pick it up and when I did I accidently bumped its little plastic head against the bed rail.
Simon stops flailing and starts giggling. I giggle too, and then—being the mature adult that I am—I repeat the head bump, only this time putting a little muscle into it.
More giggling. Mom is a safe distance away in the kitchen. I fix the diaper up on Simon and then add a few sound effects to the head bumping. The next thing I know we’re beating the stuffing out of that doll and laughing hysterically.
No harm no foul, right?
Wrong. Because the very next day we’re on the floor playing and Simon eyes the doll. This time Mom’s in the room, getting caught up on school work. Simon takes the doll, flashes me a little smile and then starts thumping the baby’s little head against the wall.
Thwack! Thwack! Thwack!
Then a picture falls on the floor and I hop up and make sure everyone’s okay. My wife looked at me and said, "I wonder where he got that idea?"
I shrugged, because he’s too little to have friends down the street who I can blame it on and I was a little too stunned for words.
The moral of this lesson is that I really need to watch my mouth and my actions around this little sponge of ours.