Part 1 of Raising a Future Pro Wrestling Fan: voicesofwrestling.com/2021/09/17/raising-a-future-pro-wrestling-fan
This week, on CocoMania, baby Arthur cuts five teeth at once, projectile vomits Fruit Loops on dad (Steve Case), and bottle blasts mom while trying to throw a tantrum.
When last we spoke I was a week away from piling driving our progeny out of utereo and into our G1 Climax 31 watch-fest at the local hospital’s Labor and Delivery ward, where a three-day labor made the concurrent wrestling matches look like pillow fights.
Looking back, we had had a lot of high (rope) hopes as baby Arthur gestated in the chasm that was once my abdominal wall. We turned his white Graco crib into a wrestling ring, complete with homemade ropes and turnbuckles. Unfortunately, as an experienced cat parent, I didn’t realize it would be a good six months until it would be safe to have our little bundle of joy enjoy his first solo nap match.
By the six-month mark – we’ve been told because the sleep deprivation at that point was so bad, we were in physical pain—we were ready for sleep training! We started by trying to bore Arthur to sleep. What works for adults doesn’t have the same effect on children; after reading the introduction to my dissertation to him, he was scowling at me but still wide awake.
So we decided to try age-appropriate, non-mortuary studies instead. Our last article highlighted a few wrestling-themed baby books. Once we were in that space, however, shockingly few books were available for wrestling fan parents. Steve reviewed what we could find, including Elbow Grease vs. Motozilla by John Cena, and then we wrote our own: The Sleeper Hold: Pro-Wrestling for Babies.
Tiring him out in other ways became important once Arthur was up and running around. This is where toys came into play (heh). I thought Steve would be living out a second childhood playing with his old ‘90s wrestling action figures with our son. But, as our evening routine developed, I took point at bathtime, a.k.a, “WaterMania.”
While the names of his toy characters are brightly emblazoned on their plastic bodies, as someone who doesn’t know their theme songs, catchphrases, and other important quirks, I had to make it up from my own repertoire.
So, Hulk becomes Javier, belting out “Stars” from the bathtub faucet overlooking the gray waters, not of the River Seine, but rather, of the daycare sludge that got rubbed into every crevis of my pink chubby baby. Junkyard Dog drags one of the Killer Bees slowly through the sewers of Paris to redemption on the streets somewhere up above. And then, as the water drains, the toys collect at the bottom of the tub, and my toddler stands proudly in the nude, peeing on the entire scene.
After bathtime, we have to find something that fits our little hoss. As any parent or teenage girl will tell you, “Nothing fiiiiits.” Indeed, our Brandi Rhodes’ “Little Nightmare” newborn-sized onesie fit him after his first neonatal poo, and then never again. He was a WWE “Champ” for the week he was a size 12 months, sometime early last year. And for his 18-month “birthday,” he got a 5T Sting shirt. If size determines greatness in this sport, Mr. Khan, I’ve got someone you should meet.
To that end, here we are at the 18-month check-up, envisioned as a collaboration between Gerber and Cage Match:
Also known as PLEASE GOD STOP YELLING IN MY EAR
Current gimmick: Baby
Age: 18 months
Height: Tall enough to reach tables and chairs
Weight: Heavy enough to land an elbow drop
Background in sports: Crawling, walking, and kicking ass
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A special shoutout to all of the parents in this space.
And a very happy 18 months, baby Arthur!