So my son Alex had a new trick tonight when I got home. He's trying to taste the door to the entertainment center in the living room. It's made of wood and is quite large and flat, and because he really can't sit up by himself yet, or crawl, he sort of squirms over to it, lifts up his head, and trying to get it into his mouth - the whole 2 x 3 foot door (you gotta admire his ambition) he ends up head-banging the door. Smart kid.
The thing is, he doesn't let that stop him, so I'm in our kitchenette and I hear BANG, BANG, BANG, etc. so I walk over thinking he's kicking the door, and see that in fact, he's actually banging his head into it. Over and over again. What moxie!
So there's the dilemna. If I walk over to him and explain that this isn't very good for his health, it'll actually sound like "blahblahblahblah" to him since he doesn't speak yet and even if he does get the message (Dad doesn't like this door so don't touch) he may not really learn that this is an impossible thing to do (putting a 6 square foot flat piece of wood into his small little baby mouth) which he really should and on his own. Yet, if I continue to allow him to bang his head into the door, he'll have brain damage (which I'm sort of wondering hasn't already occurred, thus the banging in the first place). What to do, what to do...
Now imagine you're a third person watching this from afar (my wife, for instance) and you see this grown man in slack-jawed bewilderment scratching his head while watching a seven month old baby bang his head against a cabinet door, and you have to think: Now THERE'S a couple of creatures right out of the shallow end of the gene pool. (I'm thinking that Ana's wondering what she married her self into right about now).
Ana, of course, being the wise and caring woman she is, decided that repeatedly banging one's head in a bold attempt to eat a door was not a constructive learning experience, and thus intervened while I continued to weigh the most appropriate parental action. Ana also continued by stripping the cabinet of almost all knobs within striking range of our little headbanger.
It was a learning lesson for all, really. ;-)