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When Baby Fights Escalate

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Guest blogger mom-on-the-edge writes: Why am I always the bad guy?


I was sitting on the couch reading a parenting magazine when a letter from a mom caught my eye. She wrote in that she loved watching her husband play with their 10-month-old, but was afraid that sometimes he got too rough. Could shaken baby syndrome happen during playtime?

I wondered that too! My husband loved to take our son and repeatedly drop him from pretty high up onto a pile of pillows on the bed. Although the landing was soft, I worried that the impact could be too much. I read the letter aloud.

"He likes it!"

"But he's only 11 months old. He's not completely developed yet."

"I'm not gonna hurt my son."

"Of course, I don't think you would hurt him on purpose..."

Mr. B, our couples therapist, jumped in.

"This is your first child, right?"


"Are you afraid that he could get hurt? That the play is too rough?"


He turned to my husband and said, "Your wife is scared that you might accidentally hurt your son. That you're playing very aggressively with him. Can you tone it down a bit? Is it possible to allay her fears and compromise?"

"He's a boy. He can handle it."

I wondered, "When does gender have anything to do with a baby's development?"

My husband thought I was calling him a bad dad. Once again, I was the bad guy.

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18 comments so far | Post a comment now
Annah July 7, 2008, 7:10 PM

It doesn’t sound like this husband wants to stay together…and I’ve read ALL of episodes of this story! :(

Anonymous July 7, 2008, 7:39 PM

Seriously, that guy is toxic. I’m so sorry you’re going through that.

Real Dad September 29, 2008, 12:55 AM

This is one problem with the internet, people, usually women, convincing each other that men are evil. I feel like I am just like this FATHER, and God forbid that I play with my SON like he is a BOY! Society wants all of us to turn our males XY’s into XX’s. Little boy’s need “on the job training” by your husband/his father or someday, chances are, you will be related to your new son-in-law Mr. Aiken… Sorry, but I have to differ.

Lexia November 9, 2008, 12:11 AM

Interesting take, you do make a good point “real dad”

paige December 9, 2008, 8:36 AM

10 months old, he is not a boy yet, he is a BABY. A “Real dad” should get that concept.

Anonymous December 14, 2008, 12:05 AM

Interesting to hear that you do not believe that an infant with a Peni_ is not considered a male. Last time I checked, if you have a _enis you would naturally walk into a public restroom without the sign that has a dress attached to it. But I guess life is so much more exciting when you are constantly confused. To be serious for a second though, I truly believe that the real problem is that our American culture is trying to turn our men into females with excess testosterone. Paige you need to watch a movie called “300”! That is what MALES are supposed to be more like; LOVE our wives, PROTECT our families, and MENTOR our boys. Men are warriors! The problem with your comment Paige is that you are a woman trying to explain to a man how he is suppose to act. There is something terribly wrong with that.

Real Dad December 14, 2008, 12:12 AM

The last post was from Real Dad

Ashley March 13, 2009, 4:11 PM

I play with my son rough now and when he was younger. I’m a single mom so I have to be both mom AND dad. I agree with Real Dad. There is a difference from being cruel and cold and what he is saying. I hate when a kid falls down and scrapes his/her knee and looks up at the parent and the parent freaks sending the kid into a crying fit. If my son isn’t seriously hurt I tell him to get up and he just runs off playing. BTW, I treat my niece the same way.

new mom April 7, 2009, 8:33 PM

I agree with Real Dad. And being first time parents isn’t easy with the constant nagging of strangers saying that our son isn’t warm enough and we need to bundle him up more. The thing is, is we know our kid better than anyone else, and if we did bundle him up any more than we already do he would be sweating. And when you’ve been sweating and go outside where it’s cold, you get cold. I wouldn’t consider my 7 month old a baby even though he really is. He’s a tough little guy, as I think males should be. The jobs men do wouldn’t get done if they were afraid of breaking a nail. We play rough with him and he loves it. We pay very close attention to his facial expressions and his little coos to make sure that he isn’t hurting or getting tired and annoyed. I think that only a parent can really tell how their child is feeling. If you feel that he’s not happy in any way then I think you should stop. The father should be understanding of how that would make the mother feel… and the mother should give up some control because he cares for the child just as much as you do. And for being the bad guy…seriously…you gotta stop the pity party and realize that it’s not just you in the relationship. And for another thing.. how many times have you thought that he was “saying” something that he didn’t really say?? Compromise doesn’t mean that he needs to completely stop playing rough with his son…it means that you need to let go like I said before and he just needs to tone it down a bit.

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