My son is a real baby.
Of course, by developmental standards, he’s not a baby anymore. He can “walk” and “talk” and understand things like a toddler, and he’s definitely not the size of a baby, except maybe those fat asses you see on Maury Povich and Jerry Springer. When you measure by those benchmarks, he’s a toddler.
But if you measure by his ability to withstand pain? He’s a baby, through and through.
I don’t torture my child. That implication is ridiculous and if you continue to insinuate such nonsense I swear to God I will throw my son right at you.
But as a father, it’s my responsibility to make sure he’s able to survive out in the world, on his own. And that means preparing him for pain. And the fact is, I don’t need to torture my son to learn how he reacts to pain. As a toddler, i.e. one who toddles, his daily life is fraught with accident and injury, which affords me plenty of opportunity to observe how he handles getting hurt.
Dude can barely make it across the room without falling on his ass or banging his head or slipping in a ridiculously acrobatic way so that he somehow flips completely over while simultaneously twisting sideways, only to land on his head after pulling off the rare triple-axel, like some kind of breakdancing figure skater. Witnessing such stunning displays of athleticism, accidental though they may be, is like watching gymnastics during the Olympics, only a) it all happens in slow-motion, and b) every dismount ends with three seconds of stunned silence that suddenly explodes into an ear-shredding wail.
I can’t blame him for crying. He is just getting used to the idea of pain, not only does it take him by surprise every time, it’s definitely gonna take him more than his 16 months or so on earth to build up some tolerance. Hell, I’m 35 and I still cry every time I hurt myself. Of course, I “adult cry,” by which I mean I swear uncontrollably for 15-30 seconds. And my son doesn’t have a sophisticated enough vocab to pull that off. YET.
Like most people, I don’t like pain. Contrary to Dalton’s opinion, pain does hurt. But what I’ve learned in my years on earth is that the fear of pain does more harm than the actual pain itself (within reason, of course. I’m sure fear of a gunshot wound probably does less harm than the actual gunshot wound. But you get my point.) It does no good to be scared of things that might happen. Better to just get on with it, come what may (unless what comes is actually watching Moulin Rouge. That shit leaves a scar).
On that front, I’d say my son does quite well. Whether it’s because he overreacts every time he falls, only to realize it didn’t really hurt all that much, or it’s because his memory is so short he immediately forgets that he just hurt himself, the little dude is all about getting back on that horse. And then immediately falling off it.
So yeah, my son’s pain threshold remains low (I’ve yet to begin my training program), but his fearlessness remains high, and I can live with that. So long as some common sense comes with it.
Of course, yesterday I saw him eat a used tissue, so the jury’s still out on that one.