How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Ninja Parent Lessons: The Ankle Claw


Ninja Parent Lessons The Ankle Claw

“Huh?” you say? Yes, that is indeed a wise question. I will explain.

If you wished to become good at something—great at something—like parenting, wouldn’t you want to know what a ninja had to say about it? They weren’t just born ninjas! They became masters of disciplined study and training long before they even got to touch a smoke bomb or knotted rope ladder.

It goes deeper though. You see, parenting is a martial art. If you don’t know this yet, then you don’t have kids. If you do have kids, then you haven’t applied cream to a rash so bad that it’s glowing, or tried to buckle your kid in a car-seat after a full day at an amusement park he/she doesn’t want to leave yet.

The Ankle Claw Ninja ManueverCharlie’s opponent, Finn, is not only under skillful control, but is pleasantly reading during the demonstration.

But, like all martial arts, you’re either good at it or you get your entire anatomy thoroughly kicked. So learn and train in the non-harmful, self-defense system of ninja parenting. Because dammit, ninjas are rad!

You’ll Never See Ninjas on Facebook
But they’re there.

More Instructional Diagrams?
Snatch the pebble, grasshopper.


37 Responses to “Ninja Parent Lessons: The Ankle Claw”

  1. Jason Feffer says:

    My son recently earned his black belt in Diaper Ju Jitsu. It has been an effective defense against the The Ankle Claw.

    • Andy says:

      Try one of those hand squeezy exercise thingies? And keep practicing. Ninjahood doesn’t come easy or without bruises and poop smears. 😉

  2. Debut Dad says:

    Haha, I’ve been doing this since day zero, but had no idea there was such a cool name behind it 😛 love the post guys!

  3. Ben M says:

    Advanced Dad’s can also use that grip to steer the child – for example, to thwart attempts to roll over onto their belly.

  4. Gale says:

    I have used this ninja skill. It worked on two out of three children.

    My second little ninja thrashed more like a tiger than a salmon. I had to resort to extreme measures. Picture this…toddler, on diaper pad on the floor. Me, facing toddler’s feet, my leg over his tummy, pinning him down (gently). Me holding his legs in a sort of choke hold while wiping his bottom.

    Really, this is only for extreme ninja diapering situations.

    The other ninja diapering position I learned is the “Extreme Rash Position.” This is actually only used to apply diaper rash cream because in “extreme rash” situations you forgo wipes and rinse baby off in the shower. But afterwards you still have to apply rash cream. So, I would take a pillow, cover it with a towel (if it wasn’t one you could wash you would be wise to put a waterproof pad in between pillow and towel), lay my baby over the pillow, face down (head at edge of pillow so he could breath), and apply cream while my other hand secured his back. He couldn’t kick me facing down and the whole thing seemed to sooth him, even though he hated the cream going on.

    • Evonne says:

      can totally relate Gale! if they wouldn’t hold still they got the feet (ours -but gently) holding down the arms technique. This position allowed our hands to focus just on the legs and behind. Stopped any ‘fishing’ too…

      Great work guys – may have to print some of these out for my brother. He’s about to become a first time dad in a few months ;oP

    • Andy says:

      You are indeed a ninja parent master! (GONG!)

  5. lucy says:

    I love this! I have been having issues with our fourteen month old while I change. I think I am going to try this technique because I don’t lift both legs at a time. I am horrible at changing diapers while dad is better at it. I do hand her a blanket or some other item while I change her to keep her entertained.

    • Andy says:

      Give it a shot! Distraction is a magician’s and a ninja’s best friend. The Ankle Claw and diversion, together, may prove a powerful strategy. (GONG!)

      I recommend smaller, more easily washed items be used for a diversion during diaper changes. The few times a blanket was used for Lucas’ more legendary poopy changes, the blanket became a casualty of war. 😉

      • lucy says:

        I have been using this technique since reading the post and it works better than what I was doing before. I was using just lifting one leg at a time. I thought about the blanket getting messy and have resorted to little bottles that she can hold in her hand. Once we are done, I have her place the little bottles on the dresser. She thinks its a game, I call it relief. Thanks again for the tip.

        • Andy says:

          Wow. Uhhhhh… it was actually useful in some way??? Uhhhh… don’t tell Charlie! It’s in our mission statement that we never publish anything actually useful! ARG!!! Just kidding, or maybe I’m not… (GONG!) 😉

  6. Yep. Nice illustration for new parents. This is what it can take. Though I’m more familiar with the ninja moves to get the child into the carseat as it’s what I had more trouble with.

    Perhaps it would also be helpful to provide illustration of the parental elbow/forearm against child’s chest maneuver to keep the child in the seat with perhaps one knee applying light pressure to the child’s legs, as both hands buckle safety straps and while maintaining an entertaining facial expression. With mention of the maximum zen mindframe required…

    • Gale says:

      You are a master Ninja. Car seats are the worst when they really don’t want to go in them!

    • Andy says:

      Oh, that’s on the list alight. It shall most certainly be covered. (Shudder) Car-seat and high-chair maneuvers are a must for any series covering the martial art of parenting. (GONG!) 😉

  7. The Fozz Monkey says:

    Hahah I’ve totally got this hand move mastered!

  8. chera says:

    This hold works great but how do you also prevent your little tiger from “helping” you as you are wiping poop from their tush. Here is what happened this morning… I have my son in the ankle claw as I am racing to clean the massive blowout that he left me. As I am wiping as fast as I can his little claws are reaching down trying to “help.” Now I am trying to distract him while wiping while dangling him from his toes and of course my hand manages to go right into the dirty diaper … as this happens he wiggles at just the right moment and his sock comes off and his legs wiggle free. Now what? #throwinthewhiteflag you win … the little ninja strikes again

  9. Erich says:

    This technique worked on my daughter but my son’s ninjutsu is superior.

  10. Monica says:

    Wonderful Lesson, I believe the hospitals should require basic ninja skills before parents leave the hospital with said opponent. =)Also, distractions are another Ninja skill that work great in some of these examples. Not all can be dealt with using distraction, but it helps. Toys that are kept separate from regular play toys work great b/c they don’t play with them all the time therefore deemed “Special and worthy of attention” Keep up the Great Work!

  11. My nephew does not like his diaper being changed. He doesn’t just “wiggle” like some kids; he thrashes like a dying fish and screams like a banshee. It takes everything I have to keep the contents of the diaper on the diaper and the wipes, not on me, his feet, his hands, and the bed I’m usually changing him on. I can’t even make my little brother change him anymore! That’s how crazy it is!
    Even a pop on the leg (not a hard one, mind) doesn’t help. He just screams more. *sigh* If he wasn’t freakin’ adorable when he’s in a good mood, I might have to send him back…

  12. Braindonkey says:

    When Ashley was born, the nurse took time to teach me while wife was snoring in an exhausted coma. It was then my responsibility to teach my wife. I did a lot of diaper changing as a result. I began to wonder if she was feigning incapability to get out of dooty duty.

    The side info of this is that babies are made of freakin rubber. You could just crank down on them and they just laugh. Like the whole routine to get the farts out if you have an extra gassy baby like we did. Even prompted an invention of mine:

    • Andy says:

      Sounds like your wife ninja’ed YOU. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

      You are skilled, my friend. Your baby fart pump technique is very advanced, it seems familiar. Are you sure you didn’t study under Hakatori, descendant of ninja master Hattori Hanzō?

  13. Lindsey says:

    We go for the yoga butterfly pose during diaper changes in our house. Apparently my baby doesn’t require parental ninja skills in the diaper-change category… We’ll see where she *does* require them!

    • Andy says:

      Beware of the baby that lulls its parents into a false sense of security. You would be surprised at how quickly Yoga can become Jujitsu. Ha ha! (GONG!) 😉

  14. Graham says:

    The fun part happens when the ‘ankle claw’ is engaged and diaper is in the process of being removed, after being ‘disarmed,’ and suddenly, the Baby strikes back, unleashing the ‘passed-water-canon’ full into the unsuspecting face of the overconfident trainee-ninja. Its a rookie mistake and one that’s hard to swallow.

    • Andy says:

      That last double meaning was not lost on me. (Gag!) At least pee is clean right. It’s the darker methods of attack involving poo that a ninja in training must truly beware of.

  15. Desiree says:

    Hahahah! Oh. Oh. (Stomach cramps. Side effect of Ninja Parenting awesomeness.)

  16. Rob says:

    This is so funny, this is exactly like what I’ve been doing from the start. As one previous commenter said, I had no idea it had such a rocking name 🙂 haha

    • Andy says:

      You got exactly why I did this one, because we all seem to do it without being told to or even thinking about it. Blam! I’m glad you liked the name I gave it. 😉

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