Daddy Knows Best

Changing N’s diaper (and clothes) has always been a much more difficult production for me than it has been for his mom. There’s a bureau in his room that’s about 4 feet tall with a changing area on the top. One end is taller than the other, so we have his changing pad on the lower surface and all the necessary supplies on the higher.

When J changes him, he lies down on his back and chuckles while she works. When I change him, he twists and writhes and fights and shouts and does just everything you can imagine to make things difficult.

I never figured out why, but I did figure out a way around the problem. Now, I stand him up on the changing table and take off his clothes while he’s standing. I lie him down only for the actual diaper change, and then stand him back up to get him dressed.

It works great.

One day jast week, however, he was feeling particularly playful. While he was standing up, he head butted me. Fortunately, he’s too short to actually hit my head and he hit my chest. Regardless of the pain (or lack thereof), I have learned the hard way that while some ways of being bad are okay, others definitely are not. Headbutting is one of those things that I don’t let slide by.

I said “No!” sharply and moved him a short distance away from me.

He leaned forward and did it again.

I said “No!” again.

He did it again.

Not being able to think of any convenient way to punish a half-dressed 16 month old who is standing on a table intent on head butting me, I resorted to getting louder: “NO!”

Remember I said that one portion of the dresser was higher than the other? Well, he was standing on the lower portion. At my yell, he sat straight down and then turned and headbutted the edge of the higher portion. Let me be clear about this: he didn’t fall. He sat down and very deliberately turned to head butt the edge of the table.

Because of this deliberateness, I didn’t realize what was happening until it was too late. I realized what he was going to do as he did it, and the sound of his forehead (and the bridge of his nose) hitting the wood made a pretty loud “thwack!”

There was a moment of stunned silence, and then he started bawling his eyes out – glaring at me accusingly. I picked him up to comfort him, of course, but he was too angry with me.

It probably didn’t help that I kept saying – in the most soothing voice possible – “I told you so, I told you so, I told you so…”

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