Thursday, March 1, 2012

#74: Roughhousing

Dads have to have a high level of energy to keep up with their kids, especially toddlers. Toddlers are super-human in that they are really just a concentrated ball of caffeine, 5 hour energy, and puppies. They NEVER get tired, especially when it is bed time. What is a Dad to do in order to play with his kids, but also tire them out?? ROUGH HOUSING is the way to go.

Rough Housing (RH, RHing, etc.) for those who have been living under a rock is a term for when a Dad and his kid (usually son) wrestle around and laugh and giggle with the end result the kid pinning his Dad and “winning”. We all know that Dad strength is not used here because the kid would suffer serious injuries. However, it can be carefully channeled to create maximum resistance and therefore maximum tiredness in the kid which is the primary objective of RHing.

The arena for RHing is quite crude, but gets the job done. Simply rearranging the living room to provide ample wrestling space on the carpet is all that is needed. This is not Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and Dad is not fighting Master Blaster, but it is pretty close. Dad needs to be wary of sharp corners and the hard wood floor. The only thing worse than a hyper kid is a hyper crying kid. And above all else avoid the urn holding Gram Gram’s ashes, which would be a doozy to explain to mom.

RHing usually does not last longer than 10-15 minutes. Either Dad runs out of breath and begs for mercy, the son gets worn out and somehow “beats” Dad when he is exhausted (aka Dad wants to stop), mom yells at them to stop shaking the house, or something breaks. The last two are the most frequent as they gladiators tend to get carried away and knock over something expensive, which is followed by silence and then mom yelling. Her yelling means one thing, RHing is over…for now.

Some people think RHing may be a little violent, dangerous, and/or unhealthy for a young child as it promotes fighting. But it is important to know that it is a time honored tradition between father and son much like Dad teaching his kid to shave or Dad getting kicked out of his son’s soccer game. It is invaluable to the Dad experience. And it gets the kid tired before bed, and that is the most important part.

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