Congratulations on your purchase of our revolutionary new product, Wresting Infants Without Injury (WIWI™)! If you have recently acquired a human infant, you may be experiencing the usual joyous spasms of parental sentiment. Do not let a warm emotional glow blind you to the dangers you face. In subsequent chapters, such as “Strollers: The Menace in the Trunk,” we will explain these in more detail. But for your protection, please read this introduction as soon as possible:


Infant throughput management poses many hazards. Many inexperienced caregivers are squeamish about foul-smelling offal and urine geysers, but most are unaware of the real perils of diapering.

Instead of succumbing to the changing table, infants commonly use a defense called the Spread Eagle, splaying out their arms and legs to keep themselves upright. Many neophytes try coaxing the child into submission with smiles and soothing words. This is a mistake. The platitudes will only amuse them, and you’ll be vulnerable to a Torso Kick. Better to use a Chest-to-Chest Pin on its torso and then attempt a hold—any hold—on its flailing legs.

As with many wrestling moves, infants have a number of counters. In this case, since your hand defenses are disabled in the nether regions, your head is vulnerable to the Eye Gouge, the Hair Yank, and the Ear Twist. Though such dirty tricks are illegal in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, babies are notorious for brazenly ignoring proper rules of engagement.



Our research has shown that one key reason for children’s combat effectiveness is their unpredictability. For example, during playtime, many parents are lulled, even charmed, by youthful curiosity and a toothless smile—until the face is in range, and the child strikes like a viper with an Open-Handed Smack.

“I fell prey to this early in my career,” one chastened parent admits. “He smacked me so hard my brains jiggled with pride at his wily cunning and hand-eye coordination.”

Also beware of the Fish Hook. This move presents as a smile and a pointed index finger, duping the unwitting adult into letting the child to explore his teeth. Once the mouth is open, the child curls his finger and hooks the adult like a mackerel, then drags them across the floor in dental agony. Be vigilant! The best defense is to close your bodily orifices and present a blunt, less sensitive body part.



Carrying a young child is always dangerous, as your hands are frequently full of groceries, keys, or parenting detritus. Alexander Karelin, the legendary Russian Greco-Roman wrestler who went undefeated for 14 years, was rumored to train by carrying a surly toddler in each arm—but he was an Olympic champion in the super-heavyweight division. Though you aspire to Karelin-like child-manipulation mastery, new parents are often in a funk of atrophy and sleep-deprivation, and must practice for years to reach his level.

One effective training regimen is to work in the yard while wearing a hockey or football helmet, while a spouse or friend lurks on the roof, launching surprise attacks by dropping 10-lb. bags of kitty litter. Attempting to evade or catch the heavy bags builds remarkable strength, agility and toughness. Also, in-laws and bosses are abnormally forgiving of concussion symptoms, mistaking them for the after-effects of toddler TV like the Wiggles or Teletubbies.

Many parents wisely fatten their midsections to pad their vital organs. But if you fall short of your obesity goals, try Baby Got Flak™, our military-grade protective vest with pockets for wipes and pacifiers. Men, if you’re concerned about a dreaded Groin Stomp curtailing your sexual career, try WIWI-Safe™, our heavy-duty athletic supporter stylishly combined with adult casual wear.



The car seat is the ultimate test of child-wrestling prowess:

“When I picked up my son he immediately went for the Toe Dig,” said our founder, describing a recent encounter. “I countered with an Abdominal Twist. But he connected with a Stiff Arm, and I could only stumble blindly toward the car. When I tried to drop him into his car seat, he countered with a Torso Bridge, a variant of the Spread Eagle. I forced his stomach down with a Shoulder Drive, and bound him in straps as he tried to detach my ear. I attempted Head Evasion, but he ripped the sunglasses off my face and used them as a projectile. After an invigorating struggle, I latched him in. He smiled at me with his baby blues, and I smiled back, marveling at his acumen through my non-blackened eye.”



As children age, the danger only increases. For example, Ochwat relates a harrowing account of wandering into the den, expecting to find his son watching Sesame Street. Instead he was watching the Karelin grappling a lesser behemoth, and absorbing the master’s moves like an overnight diaper sopping up piddle. The child was practicing Karelin’s moves by trying to behead a stuffed sea turtle. We hope this manual will help reduce the danger. Look for our sequel, as soon as Ochwat gets over the concussion symptoms from the kitty litter.


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JOHN OCHWAT is a recovering journalist, the co-author of one of the most obscure academic books of all time, and winner of a dishonorable mention in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. He was a columnist for the publication the Columbia Journalism Review called "The Worst Newspaper in America" (regrettably, he was not singled out for mention). His work has appeared in McSweeney's, Soma, and Forbes ASAP, among other places. He's also a dabbling musician, an intermittent blogger at First Person Irregular, and procrastinator on Twitter.

2 responses to “What to Expect When You’re Wrestling Infants”

  1. ‘Many parents wisely fatten their midsections to pad their vital organs. But if you fall short of your obesity goals, try Baby Got Flak™, our military-grade protective vest with pockets for wipes and pacifiers.’ Hilarious and horrifyingly familiar. I look forward to subsequent chapters (‘iBite: Just when you thought baby teeth were for fairies.’)

  2. JohnO says:

    Thanks! Subsequent chapters must also include the dangers from children’s toy’s, such as Psychotically Talking Schoolbus, as well as The Toy that Takes All Night to Assemble. And you’re right: maybe iBite could be a combination bite guard/set of training braces …

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