It's is shocking, I know that this sweet little face belongs to a master manipulator. He has his momma wrapped around his sticky little finger. Let me back up just a bit...We have had, shall we say, a "difficult time" adjusting to me no longer being at home and going back to work. Early in the school year, he cried and was sad for much of the day. If you are a mother, you know the heartbreak I felt each and every day that I left him. He was then ok for a while, really enjoying his time at the sitter's, and seemed pretty well-adjusted. I had a bit of a setback in my resolve to work, and he must have sensed the weakness in me. He began pouting, then crying, then saying "momma, I want my momma," most mornings when I dropped him off. My heart was torn in two as I dropped him off daily, and I left for work crying most of the time.
The sitter pulled me aside last week and told me,
"Grant is SUCH a happy child!"
Me: "Really?" It's not that I don't believe it, because he really is a joy, but he also really seems to enjoy whining and screaming at home..I digress.
Sitter: "Oh yes, in fact, I have been wanting to tell you this, but I think that he is "playing you" in the mornings. I think he sees how upset you get whenever he is upset, and he is perpetuating that.
Me: "hmmm...I had never guessed he would do that, but I suppose I could see how he might..."
I have watched him carefully and talked with him a bit about this, and he is at an age where he is enjoying any kind of "power" that is given to him. I do believe that the sitter is right. He likes to help around the house, to be in charge of something, and to tell me "no" with as much frequency and volume as he wants.
One of his favorite games is the "love" game. I will tell him how much I love him, then we'll say, "who loves Grant?" Or the other variation, "who does Grant love?"
When it is time for the answer to be "mom," he will look at me, grin that ornery grin, and say "NO!" with as much force as he can muster.
It is good to be loved.