Children, especially small babies, are quite stupid. That much is obvious – they’ve just not been around on this planet long enough to learn how to make sensible decisions. Thus they do things you or I may consider idiotic – repeatedly banging their head against something hard, launching themselves face first off the sofa or bed on to the floor, throwing something and then crying because they want it back.
But actually, babies are also incredibly emotionally smart and that’s why no one (well hardly anyone) leaves their baby in a wicker basket on the steps of a church anymore with a little note asking the vicar to care for them. It’s because they’re super good at guilt-tripping you into liking them even when they’re being little shits (well that and the fact CCTV is everywhere these days, you’d never get away with it!).
They know when you’re just about to pick up your phone and start Googling which boarding schools might consider a 12.5 month old student (hopefully ones that don’t send them home for the holidays). They know when you lying on the floor crying is one of those times when you’ll get back up again in two minutes and act fine for the rest of the day, or when it’s going to be one of those times where you’ve actually had enough and you’re going to lie there sobbing for the whole day so they won’t get fed until dad comes home. They know when you’re eyeing up the car wondering how long it would take you to get to the remote Scottish Highlands, drop the baby off on a mountain summit and drive back on your own in SILENCE.
They know when you’ve absolutely reached the end of your patience (and when you’re just saying it). And that’s when BAM they turn on the charm offensive. Your kid can have been the snottiest, loudest, stroppiest, most annoying, unco-operative little thing in the world for the entire day. But the second your internal emotional dial switches from ‘this is not how I wanted today to go’ to ‘I’m actually leaving home’ they suddenly become an absolutely angel. Then it’s all kisses and cuddles (even though they never give them usually), giggles, coy smiles and maybe even showing off a new skill they’ve used. Within seconds you find yourself apologising to them for your behaviour and promising to be a better mommy in future.
Please tell me this isn’t just my child?
Harriet and Alexandra x