Shouting at my newborn and social perception

0145hrs: I had raised my voice once at our darling with intention, to test if she responds in our favour. This was during diaper changing and my girl was bawling relentlessly, and I was furthermore restraining her to the point we fear I might break her leg. I was anticipating the “ENOUGH” I blared to jolt her, perhaps, out of her crying.

But by golly, am I proud of my strong little girl to put up a fight with her daddy-O.

One lesson I learnt was that it quickly descends my position into one of the bad guy, creating a space for Wifey, mother-in-law and the father-in-law to swoop in quickly to become the good people, eager to soothe her crying by cradling her, but only at the end after I had been the one physically hurting my daughter trying to clean her bum. If no one had been around, I would have been the one equally cradling my darling after the bloodbath to soothe her for the distress I caused her when changing her diapers.

Second, the discourse shifts from experimentation, to propriety of parenting “styles”. And the discussion is of a clear black and white dichotomous nature. Some styles are necessarily right and some are wrong and the actors fall into their respective categories with no room for grey. Raising my voice was immediately associated with frustration and an incapacity for love.

In case the point gets lost, it was about experimenting if my darling could jump out of it, but the point had collapsed, giving way to judgement instead. Perhaps a thunderous “Boo!” would have been a better choice of word.

Third, explaining my course of action merely descends my position further into one of defensiveness. It would easily become a futile debate about railing at one’s child in which I, the antagonist, would be morally incorrect. Any amount of explanation would be fruitless. Glad I recognised this and I immediately walked away from this one.

Last, the practical solution on hindsight would have been to defer cleaning my darling to anyone around me. It would have been easier, but I would have lost the opportunity to experiment at that moment. I did experiment and the result was as above.


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