Manipulation 101 or How My Child Gets What She Wants

My cute, adorable, sweet child is a manipulator. I can no longer deny it. The last instance of this happened a few hours ago. I had just gotten home from food shopping when I saw the neighbors and their parents outside. The parents hadn’t seen her in a while. So they did the mandatory “ohmigawd, she’s so big spiel” which I always enjoy partly because I feel the same way. At some point in time, down the street, someone pulled out a bunch of balloons in preparation for a party. My sweet, innocent child who was clinging to me as if she really was shy (which we all know she’s not) opens her arms to the grandmother who is delighted. Somewhere in the depths of my brain a connection is made. It couldn’t be. I return to the very pleasant conversation.

We continue to talk. About kids, how fast they grow, they tell me stories of their own children and grandchildren. The frog princess eventually comes back but opens her arms several more times to the grandma who eats it up. Then we get to talking about how kids get into everything and I remember the story about my child and her single-mindedness in getting herself more Ritz crackers at which point in time I make a general comment that my child is a manipulator. I do this with a smile. The men smile back and say: well, you know she’s a girl? I hold back the desire to get into my car and back into them. Then, it hits us all at once. My child is running into a stranger’s arms not because the smiling, pleasant grandmother has won her heart. Oh no! My child is reaching for her as a mode of getting closer to the balloons! I laugh and pretend as if this is just what kids do (what the hell was I supposed to do?).

That’s just the latest. At her grandparents’ house, she is known to use people as taxis. She smiles, gets someone to pick them up and then points and leans in the general direction of wherever it is she feels she needs to go. My sister says that in her head, my baby is saying “Tally ho!”. It’s hard to argue with this.

And why did no one tell me about the pointing? Moreover, who knew it would be so effective? I am considering trying this either at work or with The Man to see if it works. Just point to shit and see if someone will give it to me. She is an expert at this. Especially when it comes to Ritz crackers or bread. And she now knows that sometimes, someone who is not entirely in their right mind will say no to her. What does she do? She wobbles over to the nearest sucker and does the pointy thing again. The thing is, she doesn’t need to try a 3rd time because she is usually very good at selecting her second pawn.

Surely, she did not learn any of this from me. I do not point and I certainly do not get what I point to if I did! And, while I’d love to get random rides to my destination from folks, I don’t think that’d go over very well. I don’t know where she gets it from.

But I happen to think it’s all kinds of hilarious especially since it’s lightening my mental load and reminding me of the simple joys of life. Like chatting with some awesome folks and watching this child that I grew in my womb making connections for herself that would lead me to believe she's growing up.

I think if I am asked where she gets it from, though, I’ll say she gets it from her father…