a for apple, b for bat … r for revenge…

This is a very common scene… when a small baby falls down and starts crying, one way to console him (or her) is to exclaim “BAD floor!!” or “BAD table!” or whatever he bumped against, in a very angry tone. This kind of brings a pause in the crying… Then distract the child further by getting him to hit the object saying “atthaaa!” (baby talk for take that!). The kid soon starts enjoying this, saying “atthaaa! atthaaa!” knocking the object to glory and starts smiling again.

This seems to be a pretty tried and tested most convenient approach to comfort a child. But somehow it may well be a way for him to learn to live a lie – the assumption that something else other than himself is responsible for what happens to him. And of course one possible consequence for this absence of truth is revenge 😈 In any case, he’s going to be seeing ‘role models’ for this immature lack of any sense of responsibility in plenty of movies and media over time.

[But then of course there are exceptions which I believe is extremely important to not miss simply taking for granted – but cherish and highlight, for example the amazing case of Rajiv Gandhi’s daughter]

While bringing up my infant son, who keeps bumping into something every now and then, we do need some practical solution. (Earlier I used to feel a bit guilty that we should take better care of him and avoid him getting hurt at all, but I’ve finally learnt that this is impossible, and it seems that he would never learn without falling 🙄 (hmm remembering the movie Finding Nemo 😉 ) )

So… as a parent my wife or me need to console him somehow in that situation. Without the most convenient solution “take that!!!” solution, what are alternative approaches…?

One possible action – not very easy one, is to leave him alone and let him console himself. It was quite hard to stop myself from running and picking him up immediately, but it did work well in case of minor bumps – after a bit of crying, he’d look around and see that everybody’s minding their own business, and then get back to his playing. But a bit harder then this was impossible (for us to restrain ourselves 😉 so we’ll never want to try that out too much :mrgreen: )

Another possible action, after of course immediately giving him a hug and showing that we really empathise with him, is to ask him “yelli yETaitu?” (“where did you get hurt?”)

This seems to work pretty well – over time as he’s starting to communicate better, he stops his crying and says “DUM!” to indicate that he had a bump, nowadays points to where he got hurt, and kind of rationalises the whole thing in a pretty cool way 😎

Any other ideas or experiences welcome.

2 Responses to “a for apple, b for bat … r for revenge…”

  1. CH Gowri Kumar Says:

    I agree with you about the revenge.
    What I do in such cases is take the baby out from the place where he got hurt – to a neighboring room, or outside and divert his mind with the baby’s favourite toy.

    It also helps in the case where elders are around and try to console the baby in the conventional way. And we cannot say them, please don’t do that.

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