One very grumpy, very tired, very snotty-with-hacking-cough two-year-old.
“No wan go beh.” Small children make themselves understood. “No wan go beh dandah.” Very clearly. “No dandah me no go leep.” And repeatedly. “No wan go beh, me no leep …. ohhhhh! Me no go beh dandah … ohhhhh …” And persistently.
Which bed do you want? This one or that one?
“No wan go beh dandah.”
Do you want this teddy or that teddy?
“No wan teh-ee – no wan go beh dandah.”
Okay – now… (in singsong) this or that bed, that bed or this bed (and now swinging as well), this bed or that bed …
“This beh dandah – this beh.”
… that bed or this … you mean this one .. this little bed here …
“Yes dandah – this beh – this one!”
Okay then – lets go in THIS bed here (plop!)
I love this age of “cuteness”. But then his older brother, Alfie (and their mum), has been schooling me in the Art of Distraction for a few years now.
As a parent of four “normal children” I never really “got” the Art of Deception (as a way of life). It was more of a Good-Mood-moment-generosity. My default strategy was the Art of Because I say So. Small children and their “company” 24/7 meant they were always seen and always heard. Always! And time is important. Doing things quickly is necessary. Structure becomes a word you understand. Mutiny is no longer a concept but just “daily life”. But the Art of Because I Said So comes without any street cred. It is Big Brother (or in this case “Big Dad”). Which mean it comes without (visible) love. It is the act of love without the visible kindness.
But it is a lot faster than the Art of Deception.
The Art of Deception takes time and patience. It takes visible kindness. It takes the kindness of time and patience for another. And it needs constancy. Which means there must always be time.
I have found that “bed” will (and does) happen every time. I have found that the Art of Deception gets the “result” without the tears and tantrums – without all the it’s not fair – without it feeling like WW3 every time this young-child thinks “bed” and “sleep” are not part of his day. Except they are – every day. Every day he has a nap – needs a nap – just to get through the rest of the day. It’s just that he doesn’t know that yet. And he shows no interest in debating the issue.
Because he is at that cute-two-going-on-twenty stage. And that stage won’t last long. Soon it will be the stubborn-(3-19)-going-on-forever-fifteen stage (that lasts MUCH longer). I think that will be different too – this time around. We will still have time a-plenty.
And something else. It is much more fun!
And that is why I think we have “God the Father” all wrong.
I think he is God the Grandadmum. His love comes not of obligation. His love comes with all the kindness … of all the time … in all eternity … every time.
It is fun!