A caveat. My son Ben has never really ever tried to hurt me or anyone. The following story and perceptions of the world around me may be taken literally by some of my followers. These are only ramblings and fever dreams of my active imagination. Also, Benji is a very gentle boy. He is not, as my story may suggest, a violent good for nothing delinquent out to end his father. He's a loving, wonderful little person who sometimes struggles to express himself, much like any other 2 year old.
It is often the way with children that they go about plotting your demise. Mine are no exception. They are after all my children. Many was the time that I attempted to cause the demise of my parents. I took to my Dad's head with a cricket bat at least once. I was swinging it like a golf club and Dad wandered within the boundaries of my hefty swing. Or did I actively seek out his head? I can't remember.
Nevertheless, both my parents survived my varied attempts at causing their end. Obviously my level of evil genius was that of Pinky and not Brain. However, my son Benjamin has learnt more skills at the tender age of 2 than I could ever dream of at the less tender age of 33.
Just over a week ago Martha was having a lovely playdate with a school friend before they returned to school. Ben really wanted to be a part of this playdate and decided to settle directly in Martha's bedroom so as to be a part of the playdate. In Martha's words "Ben's invaded my room Daddy". It was left to me to remove the invader and prevent his return. Basically a playdate border patrol officer. Perhaps I should consider building a wall? I could leave it to Martha to build but I'd never see any bedding ever again.
I swept Ben up in my arms much to his chagrin and rushed him downstairs trying in vain to entertain him with train impressions and smiley happy faces. None of this had any impact. Not a jot. In fact I was met with 'the rage'. Ben's rage is always short lived, very rare, but always exceptionally loud, sudden and sometimes painful. This rage contained all the three standard elements but had an added element of surprise. He raised his small arms up high, pushed his knees deep into my ribs, leant back as far as my grip would allow and he flung himself into a flurry of slaps across my face. I slipped and fell down the stairs. Only three stairs thankfully but enough for me to call emergency manoeuvres into action.
I strengthened my grip of Ben, I lightly lent back to reduce the distance I had to fall and allowed myself to slide down the remaining stairs. To be honest, although it was almost certainly completely graceless and ungainly, it still felt as though I was being super smooth. Right up until Ben nutted me. With his precision timing, he'd waited for the moment that would cause most damage. He'd waited for me to lean as far back as possible. He'd waited until the force of my grip pulled him forward from the furthest back position he could muster. Then he smiled. He brandished his teeth and with full force and with the most amount of distance, he shot forward and planted his teeth into my skull. I'm not too familiar with head injuries thankfully. I fell of my bike a few times as a child and I dived out of a Tesco trolley as a 3 year old causing a few head knocks. Nothing overly drastic. This felt as though someone had taken a sledgehammer to my head. I calmly put Ben on a time out for slapping my face and applied pressure on my head.
Despite a cracking headache and a neat child's tooth shaped wound, it was not that big a deal after half an hour. Ben served his time on the bottom step, he hugged me very tightly because he knew he shouldn't be hitting anyone and I didn't have enough evidence to charge him on his head butt. Had it been deliberate, had that distance and force been carefully planned and skilfully executed? When I search my heart, I know it isn't so. However, Ben had played his hand very well. Too well. You see, as a child destroyer and seeker of the fall of my own parents myself, I could never get past the first hurdle of destruction. I could never layer my evil plans. They were always so two dimensional. A blow to the head for someone meant just that. A blow on the head. Nothing more. I always thought that was enough. Ben however, creates 3D plans. Plans that carry on for days. This is the boy who brews up his number twos for days on end, still creating enough smear to warrant a nappy change but NEVER revealing the true product until you're in the bath with him. And he'll wait too. That squidgy face that goes a shade of red the Dulux Colour describers would call Poo-face red only ever comes once you've got shampoo in his and your own hair.
Ben's 3D plan after smashing my skull in was his own creative form of biological toxin. My wound, despite cleaning and tending to it immediately in the aftermath of its creation, became infected. A puss filled lump on my forehead that oozed. I thought I could clean it. I though my immune system may get the better of it. And on the fourth day I woke up with a swollen left half on my face. My wife described me as a Star Trek monster. A kind way to soften the blow as I love Star Trek BUT.....Monster. Martha said, 'what's wrong with your face daddy', Ben smiled and went back to his trains. His work was done. We are fortunate in the UK that after only 3 hours in A&E (at the behest of NHS 111) and after expending only £8.70, I had a 5 day prescription for some anti-biotics.
I would live. Ben had failed. Somehow, I thought he knew this would be the outcome. His goal was never my complete demise, his goal was to let me know who was really in charge, who was really the senior male member of our household. I will never doubt his superiority again. After all, the cherry on the cake was when the man behind me in A&E broke out a HARMONICA and started playing classics from the 50's and 60's in a sort of lost the will to live Bob Dylan kind of way. Nice touch Ben. Nice touch. I hope you paid him union rates.