We have entered the world of disciplining toddlers. What started off as repeating “No. No. No. No” a gazillion times a day has evolved into the much more sophisticated “No don’t do that” with variations of crouching down to toddler eye level and wagging fingers thrown in.
The first time I properly told him off resulted in Little Z instantly bursting into tears, me being completely horrified and us both throwing our arms around each other. We then glued ourselves to the sofa for the remainder of the afternoon and watched Cbeebies.
I now use the crouch down to his level, make eye contact and calmly tell him off and it seems to work. Sometimes. Partially. Kind of.
The other day an incident occurred involving Little Z, Elmos head and the laminate flooring. If the talking Elmo was any smarter he would have run away and not come back from all the head banging that took place. Suffice to say it required a telling off at toddler eye level and an explanation that it “hurts Elmo”. I could see a hint of remorse in Little Zs eyes and then a glance sideways. Ahh good, I thought, he kind of understands. Then I saw something else. His eyes widened and he pointed towards the rain outside the window exclaiming “OHHHH look at dat!”.
(Note, little Z can’t say his “th’s” very well. He isn’t down with the homies or anything).
Little Zs zest and discovery of life right now is very infectious and can be instantly mood lifting. Moments like this can instantly stop you from whatever you were doing and just admire his latest find. This was one of those moments. Innocent discovery filled with pure joy. Ahhhh. Lovely boy. Cue lots more hugs and no more mention of Elmo or his head.
A couple of days later my mum and I were chatting over a cup of tea about Little Z…
Mum: “He’s very clever isn’t he?”
Me: Ahhh..“Well he is my son”… Haha!
Mum: “Well yes, but its so funny how he tries to distract me whenever I try to tell him off”.
Mum: “Any time I try to tell him off he points at something and tells me to look, as if he’s trying to distract me. Clever little thing!”
Me: [silence] Oh.
I think I have been outsmarted by my son. Already.