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.