Update and Baby v. Cat
Submitted by David Wright on June 25, 2008 - 00:49
The Wed. comic is now up. Don't miss Friday's conclusion to the storyline.
Baby Wright is starting to test his boundaries, it seems. He has taken to swatting at the cats. It started innocently enough as what appeared to be an attempt to pet the kitties many months ago. However, in his excitement, the petting became swats to the cats' heads. We directed him away from the cats, sometimes taking his hand and showing him the "correct" way to pet. However, he would just get excited and swat again. Our older female cat, Sweetie, loves any attention she gets, so she takes the abuse for a bit before running away. Our younger cat, Charlie, who is also known as Jerk Cat and Charlie Monster for his propensity to torment Sweetie, is a bit less tolerant of Baby. He kinda' looks at us as if to roll his eyes and say, "Hey, you do something with this kid, or I will."
Baby's swatting has now progressed to include pulling tails. To make matters worse, he knows he shouldn't be doing it. How do I know that he knows? Here's an example of what happens:
Baby runs to Charlie Cat with hands outstretched.
Daddy (from across the room): "No...."
Baby turns, looks at daddy, smiles, swats cat.
Daddy (still across the room) "No... (and then with as much enthusiasm as daddy can muster) hey, where's the ball? Ball? Ball? Where's the ball?"
Baby (not falling for the misdirection - daddy apparently didn't sell it enough) swats cat again. Cat's ears are pinned to his head as he swats back.
Daddy then bolts across the room to get Baby. Baby sees this, gets SUPER hyper (mouth open wide and smiling and laughing), and begins to swat cat faster and faster, in attempt to get in as many swats as possible before Daddy can reach him.
Well, Charlie ran out of patience today, grazing Baby's arm which required Mommy to break out the boo-boo kit. Still, Baby continued to go after both cats later in the evening. I'm fairly certain he is not intending to harm the cats. He is only 14 months old and an otherwise good baby. He seems to think they are playing a game of "Grab the Tail and Smack the Head (New, from Hasbro)".
I'm not sure what to do to resolve the issue. I don't want to overreact, especially when everything I've read says a baby his age doesn't understand consequences yet, so punishment has an adverse effect. Yet, we don't want him to torment the cats or to get hurt.
So, if any of you parents out there have any advice, feel free to email me or post a comment back.