Double, double, toil and trouble

Ever wondered where babies learn all their naughty stuff from? I’m constantly amazed by the kinds of nonsense Tru is capable of conjuring on a daily basis. He recites this motto every morning. “I solemnly swear that I will be up to no good.”

I thought it was a given that I’ll be able to preempt his moves, since my superbrain is like 10,000 times more powerful than his. But I’ll be honest. More often than not, I’m caught totally off-guard, gaping at his ingenuity. I’d like to take credit for it, but it’s certainly not from me, and unless a gnome is secretly having mischief lessons with him in the dead of the night, I’m completely stumped.

For example, whenever he does something naughty, he will laugh like this. “HA HA HA” (complete with mocking tone). It’s not a giggle nor a grin. It’s more like a cross between a smirk and a taunt, as if he knows he’s got the upper hand and he’s rubbing it in my face.

He’s also learnt to recognize locations. Whenever he’s at Grandma’s house, he knows he can get away with murder (as opposed to being put on trial at home). In the hierarchy chain, he seems to know that Grandma trumps Mommy and he’s got her all nicely wound around his little pinky.

Whenever he gets nagged at or scolded, he’ll take his tiny hands and cover the offending person’s mouth. Somehow, he’s worked out that the sound coming out from there is highly unpleasant, and he needs to put a stop to it.

And for his finishing move. When he knows he’s in deep trouble (the kind that will result in an ass-whipping), he’ll snuggle his head on your chest and hug you real tight as if to say “I’m sor-wee I was naughty, and I just want you to know that I love you so much.”

The baby discipline books all say the same thing. Laughing encourages bad behavior. Kids know that as long as parents laugh at their misdemeanors, they are less likely to get spanked. But it’s not that easy to remain deadpan in the face of such brilliance. I try to keep a straight face, but then Tru will suddenly burst out giggling like it’s the funniest thing in the world, and all my disciplinary efforts will be down the drain.

I think I’ll have to send him for obedience classes with Mickey the next time around.

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