05/30/2012 10:36 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

When Toddlers Attack

My 2-year-old son doesn't realize that gouging my eyes out will prevent me from seeing. "Don't grab daddy's face" only elicits a diabolical cackle until finally I cover myself like I'm trying to survive a falcon attack. I should probably get a canvas ski mask to wear during his prime striking hours of 7 to 9 p.m.

It's cute that he thinks I'm indestructible, but no one likes having their mouth pried open. Are we having fun, or practicing Civil War dentistry? Probably a little of both. I have to keep my mouth closed, or he'll reach down my throat like a pelican feeding its young. Given the condition of his hands by 8pm, I may as well have my uvula massaged by a gloveless bridge troll.

2012-05-29-jasongoodtoddler.jpegHe's getting stronger, and heavier, which makes his attacks all the more vicious. If I'm lying on my back, he'll often jump in the air, go into the tuck position, and land -- knees first -- on my stomach, as if practicing a new finishing move. Last night he caught me unprepared, and while it's unclear whether this is possible, I might have pulled my liver. Maybe I should know better than to rest in such a vulnerable position. At 6'6", I make an all-too-tempting landing strip. I should just learn to be comfortable in a defensive Judo stance 24 hours a day.

There's definitely some remorse when I scream in pain. He'll give me a long sweet hug, but as soon as we break our embrace, the attack resumes, as if his sympathy was one big "psych." All of this is hilarious to him, of course. The more I "oof" and "ack" and say "Jesus Christ, get the hell off me, you spaz," the more he's encouraged. My involuntary expressions of malaise are his standing ovation.

Though I fear for my skin and internal organs, the kid is goddamn adorable. He's my first choice for "People I would let excavate my throat," and "If you had to pick someone to accidentally give you a spleenectomy, who would it be?" Maybe I should teach him how to scratch my ears for me, because good parenting is about always finding a way to say "yes." Or maybe not. I clearly have no idea.

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