This old commercial has been on my mind lately, because Little Man is driving me up a wall with his pinching. He pinches all the time now, and it's starting to be a major concern for me. If he's really excited, he'll grab you by the skin under your arm (don't act like you don't have chicken wings) and pinch. Hard. He has no concept yet of his own strength and every pinch is like he's practicing for that carnival game where you test your grip strength.
We're always careful when we excite him at home, because we've been used to his biting - the precursor to the excited pinch. Trust me, one big chomp to your thigh during a tickle fest and you learn to protect yourself really quickly. But as Grandma learned from experience last weekend, even a big bear hug can be too exciting and lead to a bruise the size of a lime under her arm. Anger is the other emotion that can lead to a hard pinch, and he does not discriminate between himself or you when he gets really worked up. Today at the grocery store he ended up pinching his own neck skin in a fit of anger that left a huge red mark. The rest of the time he was pinching at me because he did not want me touching the cart handle for whatever reason.
With family it is easy to shrug off a bad pinch and/or warn them that something is about to set him off. But lately as we take him out and about more and more, I'm worried that he is going to pinch the wrong person and upset someone. Even more worrisome is that during one of his tantrums he'll hurt himself unintentionally.
So far the only solutions we have are squeals of "NO PINCHING" and/or pulling his hands away from his neck if he is trying to go for a pinch there. If he's throwing a particularly bad tantrum we use a technique called a basket hold, where we wrap his arms around his chest and bear hug him for 30 seconds. He hates it, and so it is supposed to make him not want to pinch again. I don't know how much is getting through, but I know it's been a long, tedious process so far with very little in the way of results.
So if you see me with a few bruises this summer, rest assured everything is fine at home. I'm just raising a kid who is part angry crab.