In the last few weeks the word “roughhousing” has entered Everett’s vocabulary. As in “can we roughhouse?”, “can I roughhouse you?”, “can you roughhouse me?”. We have successfully taught him that roughhousing involves direct contact but shouldn’t hurt, so no hitting. And head-bonking is something we actively discourage now that his cranium has fully hardened, although discouragement alone has not been enough to keep Chris from thinking about wearing protective gear – a cup and a helmet with face mask could do a lot to cut down on collateral parent damage. Beyond that there are few rules other than “Please don’t draw any blood”. Of course Everett has little regard for these rules because the fun of roughhousing outweighs the perceived risks of parents who have made more than a couple emergency room visit in their lifetimes.

Roughhousing is one of those activities that is so fun that there is no such thing as enough, so we have had to devise ways to bring it to an end without too much drama. Everett listens to a lot of orders and admonitions from us (he recently said to Melissa something to the effect “You say no all the time”). As a result our opinion about when roughousing should end doesn’t carry much weight. But he does believe the timer, and he is willing to accept that that roughhousing will end once the timer beeps. The baby monitor in his room happens to look a lot like a timer. So he will often pick it up, point it toward me and say “Couple more minutes of roughhousing!”

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