Thursday, July 5, 2012


A few weeks ago I watched as Cam worked out how his hands work.

It was fascinating to watch, the tiny fingers opening wide, then closing into a fist, over and over again, Cam’s bright blue eyes watching with an intense concentration. That was level one.

Level two came shortly afterwards, little digits opening and closing independently of each other. From a fist to a flat palm, one finger at a time. Wonder in his eyes at this new ability.

Just as I do every time he does something new, I felt an overflow of pride and excitement.

It was short lived.

Because, it transpires, level three of the development of dextrousness is “The Grab”.

The Grab is Cameron’s new trick, and I don’t like it.

Want to take Cameron away from his Rainforest Gym play mat? No. The Grab means he’s clinging onto the hanging parrot toy and Freddy Firefly with the sort of grim determination I’d expect to see when being dragged to the electric chair.

The Grab means he is now able to wait until we think he’s just about to drop off to sleep, before curling his fingers around his dummy and deftly removing it from his mouth, followed up by a triumphant smile and newfound alertness.

Oh yes, The Grab is truly a great development in the arsenal of weapons at our baby’s disposal. It’s most devastating deployment though? The one which truly puts fear into my soul? His Streetfighter 2 style special move?

The Chest Hair Grab.


What begins as a lovely skin to skin cuddle, a pairing of father and infant son in unmatched closeness, descends with lightning quick rapidity into an infliction of pain.

There is no warning, no chance of taking evasive action. The first you know of The Chest Hair Grab is the sharp stab of pain spreading outward from ground zero.

Clever too. You try to pull away and The Grab inflicts more pain than if you’d just stayed still. Like a crocodile clamping down on its prey, then letting the victim’s struggles do the real damage, it is as perfect as it is simple.

You have no-one to blame but yourself for that fetching new bald spot on your chest. You battle with the shame of knowing that you have been defeated by a baby. This is the changing of the guard. The apprentice becoming the master. The end of your run as Alpha male.

Then he lets go, and smiles, and you forget it all.


  1. Well, I've never had the chest hair problem myself, but the dummy one is a firm favourite in our house. We solved the problem by putting mittens on him. A month ago he learnt to take the mittens off. We are back to square one. He is laughing at us.

    1. We have the dummy grabbing problem too. It's a game, really. Our baby is far more clever than we are!

  2. The grab I don't like is the "playing with my nose, then shoving your hand up it and grabbing most of the insides to yank out" grab!

  3. Why do you think lots of new Mum's cut their hair? Mrs L better ditch any hopped or dangling earrings!!

  4. The grab has been the cause of a few boob out in coffee shop incidents. A horrible inside nose cut, a sore eyebrow and a tablecloth bringing plates and cups to the groud while out. Lovely to watch at first, then terrifying in use.

  5. Your chest hair grab reminded me of when Bob tried to latch on to my husband! He hit the roof and from then on avoided carrying her without his shirt on! ;0) Don't worry! Next comes the pinching and eye poking! ;0)

  6. It doesn't take long for them to work out how to put their new found skills to nefarious purposes does it?

  7. As I have long hair my pain came from 'The Grab' of a small lock that was attached to the the particualarly sensitive area by my temples. An area that was already beleaguered by a daily headache from lack of sleep and too many balls in the air.

    I get the kids to pull my husband's leg hair when he falls asleep on the a treat.

  8. Our children are royalty and treat their subjects as they see fit. The Grab can be devastating. I like the Street Fighter 2 nod. Just hope he doesn't learn the One Hundred Hand Slap. Or indeed the Spinning Bird Kick. Nice piece fella. I'm now off to play Sreet Fighter 2. SNES style.