The Rules of Hand-to-Hand Combat with Toddlers

We Don't Use Helmets

A couple of weeks ago, we got a call from a parent, whose child is in our daughter’s pre-school class, letting us know that our innocent, sweet-thing of a girl may have gotten a bit too rough with her son, scratching his neck and later pushing him out of the classroom. 

What?!  Would she do that?  Really?!  C’mon.

Worse: is she being a bully?  Oh, no.

On second thought I thought, well, sure, she could have done it.  She’s gotten a bit rough with me in the past, clawing at my face with cat-like paws, smooshing up my cheeks and lips with her pincer-like hands, smacking me on the legs, and high-fiving over enthusiastic high-fives.  Even though rough stuff, hitting, biting, kicking, pinching, poking, smacking, are not acceptable in our house, and we try to teach her these are not acceptable ways of touching, I still could see that she could have been rough at school.

I do admit to having rough-and-tumble time with her, but those times aren’t exactly free-for-alls where anything goes.  We’re not an Ultimate Fight Club family, duking it out in a two-go-in-one comes-out cage match.  There’s a certain protocol to be followed in our tumble time, rules to play by, and she is beginning to learn.  Here are our top rules – not to be broken unless by me.

For instance, although sneak-attacks (popping out of closets, jumping out from behind doors and corners) are allowed, even encouraged, there can be no casual destruction of walls, floor, ceiling, or any fixtures that could devalue our condo any more than suffered over the last two years.

We also don’t allow the use of rope, wire, shivs, kukris, slim-jims, wood shampoos, or any kind of metal weaponry, such as brass-knuckles.  Hand-to-hand combat is just that, hand-to-hand.  If I forget to trim her nails, that’s pretty much my tough luck.  Once clawed from forehead to eye to nose with cat-like precision, I no longer forget.

No tossing of furniture; only stuffed animals may be launched at an opponent, and even then, only within close-proximity arms length reach.  I don’t want the stuffed oversized polar bear to come flying at me from across the room.  This is not the fighting art of krav maga.  The same said bear, however, may be used as a shield.

No firearms or explosives.  That may go without saying, but these things are often best said and stated, at least in the fine print (the lawyers at global headquarters told me I had to include this).

And of course, here’s where the real rules come into play: no hitting, biting, kicking, pinching, poking, smacking.  Ever.  Unless by me.

So, okay, she may have gotten rough with her pre-school-mate.  We’ll have to find a way to discuss this with her.  Maybe while trimming her nails.


About Deeda's World

Curious world-traveller, democracy promoter, rule of law upholder (kind of), graphic novel (okay, comic book) fanboy, coffee addict, and above all else, proud father to a wonderful daughter, who calls me "Deeda". Her hip version of Dad. Full Legal-Like Disclosure: This blog is about me. My world.
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