It Runs in the Family

My nine month-old beat me up this weekend. It was only for a moment, but in that brief time I was clearly on the defensive, and he bringing the pain. He didn’t mean any harm, he just likes to get rambunctious. I think it’s the influence of his three older brothers.

He was on my lap, trying his best to bite my nose, when next thing I knew he did this little baby judo move, slipped under my arm, and clamped down on my nipple.

This is the same nipple that Caleb once latched onto as a baby. I don’t know what my sons find so alluring, or perhaps threatening, about this nipple. It is basically the same size, shape, and configuration as your average man-nipple, although much more abuse and it’s likely to get deformed. I’ve got a mild case of cauliflower ear from my unaccomplished wrestling days; I know from whence I speak. This nipple never hurt anyone, but still it’s been a target of abuse from my children. I’m thinking I’m going to start duct-taping it until they’re all well beyond nursing age.

So there I was, with a baby clamped onto my nipple. And the thing is, you don’t just yank his mouth away in that kind of situation. For one, he’s a baby. I’m beginning to think he’s impervious to pain and dissuasion, but still. Furthermore, that thing he’s clamped onto? It’s my nipple. If you’re having trouble getting the point, I suggest you clamp a vise-grip on your own nipple, and then keep reading.

I began to negotiate the release of my nipple, which only made the boy giggle, because it involved my fingers under his chubby chin. That’s when he pulled his second kung-fu move; he reached up and grabbed hold of my bottom lip.

I know a thing or two about fighting. I can name you several places to inflict inordinate pain on someone’s body. In all my years of training, however, I never covered the bottom lip pull. Thumb to the underarm, yes. Fist to the temple, all over it. But this lip pull maneuver is still relatively new to me, even though his older brother used to do exactly the same thing.

Now, those of you with vise-grips on your nipples, imagine trying to dislodge your tender bits while your lip is being stretched to your belly button, and you get the picture. I fought him off, and I only talked for half an hour like I’d been injected with Novocain, but the fact remains that my baby beat me up. I knew the day would come when they would be tougher than me, but I always thought I would have a little more time.


  1. Jim

    I’ve been subjected to the lip-pull on numerous occasions, but never the nipple chomp. From experience, the best defense is to vigorously tickle the side of the offender’s neck while voicing guttural monster noises.

    This generally achieves immediate release, but be aware that your assailant may be amused and attempt to repeat the experience.

  2. MMM

    Duct tape will only make it more chewable. He may permanently latch on for the new texture thing, and spend days or hours working it loose, because you KNOW ALREADY, you won’t just be able to patch, you’ll have to wrap.
    I won’t even mention the price you will pay in chest hair.

  3. Patrice B

    I think it was Erma Bombeck who used to say that if you want to know what childbirth feels like, just “take your lower lip and pull it up over your head.” So I guess now you know!

  4. Jordana

    You do realize, of course, that the nursing mothers in the audience feel very little sympathy for you. Nothing like getting bitten hard and then having to put the nipple back in the chomping little jaws.

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