Hugs and The Manipulator

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a mother, it’s that my child always has an angle.   That angle is usually self-serving (aren’t they all?), but I don’t believe the intent is anything other than that of a typical child…to satisfy his wants.

Davey has known the word “no” for quite some time.   I’m not really sure he’s managed to comprehend it’s meaning, at least not until about a month or so ago.   It used to be that before he would do something that he knew was “illegal”, he would look over his shoulder at his, give us his little devious grin, and slowly start into his unscrupulous act(s).   I suppose he thought his smile, being one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen, would be a distraction and I wouldn’t see his leg slowly rising as he began to climb onto the hearth.   Truthfully, that did work once, but don’t worry.   I’m not quite so weak anymore!

These days my son has adopted a new routine especially since he has learned the word “no” means he’s not going to get what he wants.

The term “manipulator” usually has a pretty malevolent connotation attached to it.   People hear the word and they automatically assume that the person it is ascribed to is evil, loathsome, and just plain untrustworthy.   This is by no means my son and I don’t think he has malicious intent, but I must say he is becoming quite the master manipulator, or so he thinks, especially when he’s told “no”.

Just today, we sat in the floor and went through his animal flash cards.   He loves these things and immediately begins into what I’ve termed a penguin-esque sort of excitement.   Let me divert quickly and explain that.   For those of you who’ve never met Davey, we have started referring to him as our little penguin.   From as long as I can remember he has always flapped his arms and patted his legs with excitement.   It’s literally what a penguin would do, hence the penguin-esque excitement.

Back to the cards that he so treasures.   I’m not sure what the fascination is with these, but he loves to hold them, to flip them over and over in his hands, to turn them up and down.   He starts flapping his arms as soon as I walk over to the drawer where I keep them safely housed.  Recently, he’s started putting them in his mouth, chewing on the edges, and even bending the cards.   Needless to say, it’s frustrating for someone like me with an OCD personality.   I loathe his cards being bent and scarred.

Today I gave them to him one at a time.   I soon as I took one away he would reach for another.   Since I am trying to teach him about the animals (and all the necessary facts are printed on the back of the cards), I don’t want him to immediately hold them.   I tell him “no” and put my arm out.  At which point, he has started whining at me and then wrapping his arms around my neck.   At first I must admit I was deceived.   I thought to myself, “oh what a sweet little boy I have.   He just wants to give out hugs.”   That’s not exactly the case.   The hugs are his angle, his diversion, his attempt to take what I’ve told him he can’t have.   He actually let go of me with one arm today, and tried to reach around my back to grab the cards!  That little devil!

I’ll still take the hugs regardless as to what their intent may be, but it makes me chuckle to think that Davey actually believes that as long as he’s doling out the love, I’ll let him have whatever he wants.

Keep thinking that , kid!   You’re going to have a long and almost torturous life.


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