A Toddler’s Defense Mechanism

You never know when afrilled-lizard.jpg predator is lurking around the corner. You’re a little thing minding your own business, and suddenly you’re presented with a threat–and it’s bigger than you, it’s more powerful than you, and it has the power to stop your fun. If you’re a skunk, you will defend yourself by making a big stink. If you’re a chameleon, you’ll blend in and hope you don’t get spotted. I recently learned that if you’re an opossum, you play dead and poop on yourself. The frilled lizard get’s all, well… frilled.

The human toddler also has a defense mechanism that has worked wonders for centuries. It entails going completely limp, accompanied by a high-pitched scream. And if that doesn’t work, the toddler twists and contorts in unnatural ways in order to confuse, frustrate, and confound the parent predator. This predator threatens to tear you away from what you’re doing to get you in the bath. Or change your diaper. Or put your shoes on. The only way out of being captured is to wiggle and slither your way out of the big person’s grasp. Ah, but this parent still has a counter move until the toddler gets bigger. It’s called “The Scoop” and as long as I can get the leverage to scoop my little guy up, I’m still queen of the jungle.

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4 Responses

  1. 😆 I have always hated the limp body thing. HATED it! Matty is 11 and still attempts to do it on occasion. He does it more because he finds it funny though. And I still hate it 🙂

  2. So True! So True! As they get bigger you can try what we lovingly refer to as “the Pretzel” where you take their hands, then deftly cross them in front of him while you move behind him (think of a Texas Two-Step turn with your partner) and then you can “control” (sort of) from behind – it gives them some sensory input, and gives you some control. Strength training is still recommended 🙂

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