The Little Storyteller

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?

Wot So Funee?


  1. pobbingalong January 14, 2013 / 8:10 pm

    wow, extremely clever diversion tactics there. I def wouldve cracked and laughed. Well done! x

    • Notmyyearoff January 19, 2013 / 1:36 pm

      We did have a good giggle afterwards 🙂

  2. Helen January 14, 2013 / 11:37 pm

    Oh, definitely geniuses! When I hold the steely stare, my 4yo starts off by grinning, then when I don’t grin back she starts asking “Are you serious? Are you serious?”, her own grin diminishing. A hard process for a parent until you see their brain start to tick and the manipulation start. Then you face your most powerful adversary!

    • Notmyyearoff January 19, 2013 / 3:20 pm

      I know!! It takes me by surprise some days. They are little clever things aren’t they?

  3. Verily, Victoria Vocalises January 15, 2013 / 9:06 am

    Never underestimate the power of a toddler! What a great diversion – and what a great character he is 🙂

    • Notmyyearoff January 19, 2013 / 3:20 pm

      He is a little charmer and chatterbox at the moment!

  4. Sonia Cisco January 15, 2013 / 9:47 am

    When my now 9 year old was 3 he drew on the lounge wall, then claimed a ghost did it! On the plus side its shows intelligence and a good imagination!!

    • Notmyyearoff January 19, 2013 / 3:19 pm

      Hahaaa those are smart kids you have there!

  5. Louise January 15, 2013 / 9:50 am

    I think they are surprisingly clever!

    • Notmyyearoff January 19, 2013 / 3:19 pm


  6. Actually Mummy... January 15, 2013 / 11:10 am

    He’s learning the art of distraction. It’ll come in very handy when he’s a parent… 😉
    Thanks for joining in 🙂

    • Notmyyearoff January 19, 2013 / 3:19 pm

      Hehe, that’s a good point!

  7. Sarah January 15, 2013 / 11:18 am

    That is genius! Fair play to him, I think he won that one! 🙂

    • Notmyyearoff January 19, 2013 / 3:18 pm

      I think you’re right! 🙂

  8. Mum2BabyInsomniac January 15, 2013 / 12:54 pm

    Toddlers are too clever! I sometimes wonder who is in control out of me, Dad2BabyInsomniac and Iyla and I am pretty sure it is her! With tactics like that though you need to be on full alert! X

    • Notmyyearoff January 19, 2013 / 3:18 pm

      I know, they are really switched on. More than I sometimes think they can be!

  9. angela January 15, 2013 / 4:43 pm

    OOh clever little tactic he has there, my boy used to tell me his friend did it who was imaginary ofcoarse x

    • Notmyyearoff January 19, 2013 / 3:17 pm

      Hehe that must have been very cute!

  10. TheBoyandMe January 15, 2013 / 6:48 pm

    Toddlers are complete geniuses (geniuii?) because they are constantly building new neural pathways. It sounds like he’s actually testing out the situation and processing the boundaries, he’s done something naughty, realises it’s naughty, then he becomes the parent and tells off. Clever boy!

    Also, how hard is it to keep a straight face sometimes.

    • Notmyyearoff January 19, 2013 / 3:16 pm

      I know!! Lucky OH had the laptop to hide behind!

  11. Emily January 15, 2013 / 9:46 pm

    Hehe telling Elmo to be careful after pushing him over – I’m rubbish at the straight face would be a useless poker player! Xx

    • Notmyyearoff January 19, 2013 / 3:16 pm

      Me too, it’s so hard when they’re little comics all the time!

  12. HPMcQ January 16, 2013 / 9:32 pm

    ooooo clever

    • Notmyyearoff January 19, 2013 / 3:05 pm

      I know!! 🙂

  13. thisdayilove - leyla January 17, 2013 / 4:26 pm

    Yes Toddlers are genius. Its amazing how their little minds work


    • Notmyyearoff January 19, 2013 / 3:03 pm

      I think so! He’s a little mischief maker I think!

    • Notmyyearoff January 19, 2013 / 3:00 pm

      Ha thanks! 🙂

  14. Erica Price January 19, 2013 / 6:30 pm

    They seem to work out some quite elaborate and sneeky tactics at an amazingly young age don’t they?

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