Child Abuse

My son has been involved in a few violent incidents recently. And I’m not just talking about the constant finger-biting he does when we try to brush his teeth, though that is not fun either. I don’t care if you’re Batman, getting bit HURTS.

Thankfully, my son has not yet shown any signs of being a biter – it’s almost hard to blame him for the biting he has done, seeing as it only happens when we stick a bubble-gum flavored finger in his mouth.

No, the violence I’m talking about is the hand-to-hand kind. Well, the hand-to-face kind, as in my son’s hand and another kid’s face.

I don’t know how I’d react if it were my son were the one getting slapped. For one thing, we’re not talking Bolo Yeung level punches here. For another, during most of these incidents, the smile on my son’s face as he swats at his friends (or at his mom or dad) is so wide, that it’s clear that he’s not being malicious. Unless he’s a sociopath and sadist, but since we can’t know that until we see what kind of clothes and music he’s partial to, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt for the time being.

There was an incident the other day, though, in which my son clearly wasn’t playing around. In his defense, the other kid got what was coming to her. (Yes, her. My son don’t discriminate. He’s a Brooklynite after all – very progressive. Equality for all!) Throughout their playdate she had behaved in a beastly fashion, aggressively snatching his toys from him and being selfish and rude. By all accounts – including the girl’s mom! – my boy had shown tremendous restraint up until the very end, when he had taken all he could stands and couldn’t stands no more.

The resulting blow was less of a punch and more of a “I’m blind and want to know what you look like” kind of thing, like when Laura Dern met Rocky Dennis in Mask. But regardless of his strength, my son’s intentions were clear. Get away from here, California. My son’s got the upper hand.

The latest incident was more troubling, because he was not provoked, and he kept at it. I suspect he was merely playing, the way he sometimes does with me, but the other kid did not get that impression and was not pleased by my son’s aggression. The other parents were very cool about it and no one got hurt – it wasn’t with any force that my son swatted his friend’s face, it was just a recurring attack – so in that respect it wasn’t a big deal. But the last thing MomandBuried and I want is our kid to become the neighborhood bully.

So hopefully this won’t become a habit, because it’s not easy to curb kid’s tendency to get physical – especially when you can’t get physical back. Everyone knows the easiest way to disabuse someone of the notion that might equals right is for someone bigger to come along and dish out some of that same medicine. Since I’m not allowed to teach my son that lesson myself I just have to wait for my son to smack the wrong kid and hope the resulting beatdown delivers the right message.

Obviously I’d much rather do it myself, it’s safer than unleashing some neighborhood thug on him, and besides, I’ve been jonesing to tie my son’s arms behind his back for weeks now. But no, Comrade Obama and the Liberal Hit Mob will pull my citizenship if I even think about discipling my son.

What happened to this country?

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