Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's not "uh-oh" if you do it on purpose!

All you parents of toddlers know exactly what I'm talking about. We look forward to baby's first words for so long, it seems so incredibly adorable when they pick up that first phrase: "Uh-oh!" Your eyes shine with adoration, and your heart melts with pride. Not only is your baby parroting words, he or she is conversing. Your baby said "uh-oh" when there was an uh-oh. This proves association! Language recognition! This is a major milestone in development and can you believe what an absolute prodigy your child is! "Uh-oh" is just the first phrase! Soon it will be "Yes please," and "Thank you," and, yes, someday soon, "I love you mommy."

So when we hear that first "uh-oh", we do everything in our power to encourage. "You're right baby! That is an uh-oh! Good job!" And....herein lies the problem. Babies are the greatest. They are. My son is the most perfect and wonderful thing to ever happen to me, and I know there's nothing I could ever do to deserve him. But that doesn't change the fact that babies are master manipulators. You know it, and I know it, so let's not kid ourselves.

And it only takes about, oh, 4 minutes for your precious little angel to realize that they can pull off just about any misdeed if they throw an oh-so-sweet and innocent little "uh-oh" behind it. Which is when mommy and daddy learn a new phrase, one the average parent repeats an estimated 2,872,143 times over the course of their child's first 26 years:

It's not "uh-oh" if you do it on purpose!

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