Recently we’ve noticed something about Little Z. He now tries to be naughty more subtly than before. Flinging things across the room or having a massive public tantrum has lost its appeal and no longer gets what he wants. No matter. He has decided to step it up a notch and turn the charm up.
He has become a little story teller.
This week, any time he does something he is not meant to (flinging cereal about once he’s bored / throwing Elmo on the floor and then telling Elmo to “be careful” / crushing crisps under his little trainers etc.) we go through the usual telling off ritual of the telling off and the stern “maintain consistent eye contact” but in a not too harsh manner. Followed by a big hug to disperse of the rush of motherly guilt. The eye contact has always worked reasonably well on Little Z. Except of course for the times when he is too busy having a diva like tantrum on the floor and is too busy to make any type of eye contact.
This week though he has deployed his next weapon of resilience. During a recent telling off he changed his tactics as if in a game of toddler chess. The OH and I instantly put our stern faces on and Little Z swiftly glanced from one to the other. Neither of us cracked (thankfully, as we have been known to giggle on the odd occasion) and maintained our steely expressions. You could almost hear him thinking …”Hmmm…what to do?”
And then he stepped towards me and crushed the crisps, purposefully, with his little feet. Grinning as he did. Waiting to see our reaction. Waiting for us to crack.
We held our expressions still with a firm “No. That’s naughty!”
Little Z’s grinning wavered as doubt crept into his mind. This may be, in fact…naughty?
The he deployed his next weapon of resilience. He proceeded to tell a story about my niece and a hoover. This is a story he tells us repeatedly. Usually when he doesn’t want to sleep, and sometimes when he wants us to laugh with him. He rattled off the story with an animated face as if to create a diversion….whilst crushing his crisps.
(The OH caved at this point and started secretly giggling behind the laptop!)
Another telling off and clean up job later we pondered….are Toddlers geniuses?