Sometimes I look at my Son and I’m amazed at how intelligent he is. I’m comparing him of course to how he was as a baby, which if we’re being honest is pretty useless! Babies are (sometimes) cute but definitely not the most intelligent creatures to grace this planet.
So when I say he’s smart I don’t mean he’s smart-smart. He’s certainly no Einstein, otherwise he’d have a few words in his repertoire.
I don’t always get to see all sides to him, because it depends how and when he decides to share what he’s learnt. Learning to walk with his eyes shut is obviously a must do experience for all toddlers!
One of those moments was yesterday, when actually I should have been shocked to my core by his terrible behaviour. But actually I was quite impressed to see that my 13 month old toddler had managed to find a way to manipulate the ladies that look after him at the crèche I take him to when I’m at the gym.
After a tough yoga class; where the mean age is about 70, I shuffled my aching limbs to the door of the crèche. Already I could hear my Son’s distinctive cry. The cry he does when he’s really upset. Unlike many Mums I don’t panic. I know he’s looked after well, but I am intrigued. Plus I thought I should rescue the poor ladies that look after him, and remove said crying child, who was creating such a racket the other children were surely clasping hands to ears. So I knocked on the door…
There in the centre of the room was my Son. All other children had escaped to the outskirts of the room and were playing together, backs towards the crying child. He was sat on the floor, big tears rolling down his red little face. He was so upset he didn’t even notice me or see me. He just continued to scream. Next to him was one of the crèche lady’s, who looked like it was the worst day of her life.
Being his Mother I figured I should enquire as to what was wrong. Did he see a bottle of milk he wasn’t allowed perhaps? (always sets off the waterworks), maybe he wasn’t able to steal another childs dummy. Perhaps he’d fallen over and really hurt himself. After all the tears were big. He was in a little state.
Turned out, he was crying because he didn’t want the lady looking after him to put his bottle of water on the floor. Her job (according to him) was to solely feed him by hand. If she tried to make him drink himself, the tantrum would start. If she tried to put the bottle on the floor it would get worse. For the past hour she was having to feed my son directly. Poor poor lady.
When they told me this I didn’t really know how to react. Was I supposed to tell my Son off? Because actually I thought he’d managed to get the poor lady doing exactly what he wanted, so really he was testing out his manipulative abilities. And let’s be honest he succeeded pretty well.
He doesn’t test those skills out on me because he knows I don’t fall for them. I’m not that overbearing Mother, I like him to find his own feet in an independent way. I try to set boundaries but encourage him to explore. Obviously working in a crèche and caring for children that aren’t your own means you will be a bit more protective and cautious over them.
The poor, exhausted lady on the floor with him handed me his water bottle. Finally my Son saw me. He toddled over to me still sobbing. But once he reached me he stopped completely. He reached up for his bottle, so I handed it to him. I wanted to see how he’d react with me (because I wasn’t going to feed him by hand- no chance!). I think the crèche ladies wanted to see how he’d react with me too. He took the bottle. Sipped some water and put it down himself and grabbed my hand so we could ‘go on a walk.’
My little 13 month old has learnt the art of manipulation. Just not with this Mother 😉