Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A few months ago, I had gone to the shops opposite my flat to buy something when I was stopped by an old woman mumbling some sob story to me hoping that I would give her money. While listening to her, I saw an old man walk past me. And then, he touched my butt.

I'm not proud of what happened next, but I reflexively punched him (on the arm, unfortunately, and not his face).

Then we had an exchange of words, which ended up with both of us slinking off - me because I was suddenly embarassed by what I had done. Bashing up an old man. What next! Robbing old ladies? Stealing pacifiers from babies?

I must stress that I'm not usually this violent. (Just ask the Resident Bureaucrat, and if he dares to say otherwise, I'll punch him too.) It was just that Dirty Old Man had caught me on a day where my mood was really not that great.

So, when out of the blue, my twin asked whether I wanted to take a self-defence class, I jumped at it. It would be nice to learn how to fend off dirty old men.

The course turned out very good, if violent. In the five sessions, we learnt ways of fleeing from or fighting back attackers using techniques which included slapping the groin, digging out the eyeballs, bursting the eardrums, twisting arms and using hard objects to hit at the face. (Lethal weapons now, we are.)

With my twin and I taking turns being the attacker/rapist and the victim, we practised our moves in class.

We also took part in a sparring session which had us donning protective face masks and hitting one another with a water bottle. While two of our classmates were very gentle and kept apologising to one another with "paiseh paiseh, sorry!" everytime they struck, my twin and I were like rabid chickens in a Thai cock fighting match. Circling each other, we started lashing out blindly and mercilessly until the instructor stepped in to intervene. He said in a real situation, the both of us would have just ended up killing each other.

My twin and I evidently have a lot of inner rage. Which could be good when dealing with dirty old men.

However, no matter how many self-defence classes I take, there will always be one attacker I am unable to fend off: The Babycrat.

He, who had recently learnt that his hands can be very lethal weapons indeed, has been happily taking swipes at my face and clawing at me when I'm carrying him, breastfeeding him or wearing him in a sling in front of me.

It doesn't help that his nails are very sharp, leaving me with cuts and scratches all over my cheeks, my nose, my forehead and my chin. There are days when I look like I had stumbled into the middle of a cat fight (between real cats). A particularly vicious attack in which he hooked a clawed finger into my nostril and let rip upwards left me with a nosebleed.

(Don't even get me started about the biting.)

I have tried many ways to make him stop. I tell him "NO" in a firm voice. I stare sternly at him. I slap his hand. I grab it and hold it away from me (in which case, he then swipes at me with his other hand). No matter what I do, he thinks I'm playing with him, and this makes him laugh uproariously.

Sometimes, when he's in a mood to challenge me, he even swipes at me faster and with much more determination and strength, while staring at my face intently to gauge my reaction. I sometimes end up admitting defeat and covering my face with my arms the way I had been taught to in self-defence class.

This is very bad indeed. I may need plastic surgery by the time the Babycrat learns that "NO" is not a suggestion.

Compared to him, fending off dirty old men would be such a breeze.

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