"By now the crowd of onlookers is staring in a mix of confusion and horror. I can feel my face going flush red as I try and delicately remove Russel the Love Muscle from the firm grip of my tyrannical toddler."
I'm an awkward dude.
Sometimes it's by my own design, other times it's through my own misfortune, but I tend to have this incredible ability to bring shame and embarrassment upon myself.
With the kind assistance of my two-year-old however, I've been able to take this to the next level and basically had my entire character blemished to the point I may find myself on some kind of most wanted list.
How to raise resilient kids
How to raise resilient kids
"Tales of the todger-touching toddler"
Allow me to regale you with 'tales of the todger-touching toddler'.
My youngest daughter is obsessed with zips at the moment. Legit obsessed. Everywhere we go, if she finds a zip then she will be occupied for anywhere up to 30 minutes just zipping it back and forth.
Given the level of peace and quiet this tends to provide me, I'm fully supportive of this new interest and encourage her to go to town.
"Everyone should have kids. They are the greatest joy in the world. But they are also terrorists. You’ll realize this as soon as they are born and they start using sleep deprivation to break you." - Ray Romano
Pencil cases, kids' toys, clothing – she's all over it. She gets entertainment and I get peace and relaxation.
That was … until the other day when we were out and about.
You see – I happened to be wearing shorts.
Shorts with a zip-up fly.
"No Lucy, you can't play with that zip"
As we're standing near a cafeteria I hear the thunderous yell of a demon hellbent on launching its attack.
Her words echo around the café with enough pitch to draw everyone's attention just as she lunges for my crotch.
Her words had barely resonated and echoed around my ear canals when she manages to start pulling down my fly.
I hurriedly try to release her vice-like grip from the zipper on my pants.
"No Lucy, you can't play with that zip," I try to say as loudly as possible.
It's at that point I realise that a crowd of roughly 20 people have all stopped what they're doing as they now stare intently at the grown man with what appears to be a two-year-old grabbing furiously at his python.
"NO HONEY, THAT'S DAD'S ZIP – YOU CAN'T PLAY WITH THAT. DAD'S PANTS WILL FALL DOWN."
Turn taking. Help all members of the family take turns talking and listening. Children find it much easier to talk when there are fewer interruptions.
'Dad Minus One' and the cutest looking testicle-crusher you’ll ever encounter. Image: Facebook/ Dad Minus One .
"She doesn't take the word 'NO' overly well"
I'm practically yelling my objections in the hopes people will realise that; 1) I'm actually the father of this child and; 2) It's not as horribly inappropriate as it seems.
Now, my youngest is a headstrong little human. She doesn't take the word 'NO' overly well.
Not only that, but her communication isn't quite as perfect as you'd like it to be.
Instead of complying with my instructions she decides to firmly grab hold of Richard and the twins and proceed to start wailing, "MORE DADDY MORE DADDY I WANT MORE."
My situation has now gotten dire.
By now the crowd of onlookers is staring in a mix of confusion and horror. I can feel my face going flush red as I try and delicately remove Russel the Love Muscle from the firm grip of my tyrannical toddler.
The more I attempt to manoeuvre her away from my disco stick, the firmer her grip gets.
Her volume goes up to eleven.
She takes an even firmer grasp and proceeds to grab a handful of testicle, twisting it in her tiny hand.
Uncertain if I should cry, vomit or scream I begin contemplating if this is how it all ends.
The most adorable terror we ever did see. Image: Facebook / Dad Minus One
"There are now roughly 25 strangers in stunned silence"
My wife emerges from around the corner to see her husband bright red and grimacing, trying to remove the toddler clutching onto his crown jewels as though they were literal crown jewels.
With a swift look of horror, she grasps our daughter and begins pulling her away.
‘I told my parents how I died'
My daughter holds on for dear life as I feel my soul draining from my body one crushed plum at a time.
"ZIIIIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE," she wails as I begin assessing if anything has been forcibly removed from my body.
I assess my surrounds. There are now roughly 25 strangers in stunned silence at what they've just witnessed.
I decide it's for the best that we leave and I detour to the toilets for a quick inspection of my manhood. It looks swollen (good) bruised (bad) and feels like it's been smashed with a hammer (not fun).
Pay attention at age 14. That's when most kids start to resist peer influence and flex the think-for-myself muscle, rather than simply following the leader, according to a study published in Developmental Psychology. Want to help strengthen that muscle at any age? Put screens aside and circle the wagons every night. Ask, "What's new with your friends?" This will (here's hoping, if he talks) give you a chance to decode what's happening behind the scenes and offer support.
As we speak I'm currently scoping out new shorts online and contemplating wearing a protective cup for life.
-A bruised and battered D-1