Saturday, April 10, 2010

Babies - the master manipulators

There are those in this world that have a special talent for bending the will of others and using their assets to their advantage. Interrogators lulling suspects into a false sense of security to obtain a confession. Teenage boys cooing words of love and forever to coerce their naive girlfriends into a more intense make-out session or teenage girls giving promises of a date to the geeky boy in class in exchange for a completed homework assignment or two.

None of these people hold a candle to the cunning guile of babies. Let me set the scene. It is 2:30 in the morning and this small creature has been fussing just often enough to prevent his parents from getting any quality sleep. Mom gets up with the baby to feed and change him. Fumbling with his diaper through hazy eyes and grumbling under her breath about how she would give anything for just one night of uninterrupted sleep, the baby stops crying, looks up at her with his glassy eyes and smiles. The mother forgets entirely that she hasn't slept, forgets entirely that the baby has been crying and even forgets that it is 2:30 in the morning.

Sensing that his mother is at the peak of frustration, this baby outright played his mother. That smile was like the memory eraser that Tommy Lee Jones used in Men in Black, one flash and everything else was gone. She no longer cared about most things. Her little angel smiled and all was right with the world.

Toddlers have similar abilities to dazzle and distract their parents, but their skills aren't quite as finely tuned as their infant selves once were.

So, next time you are up with your baby and have reached the brink of madness with sleep deprivation, pay careful attention to your baby. You won't care that he is doing it, but it is fascinating to watch him completely change you with one deft move. You don't stand a chance, so just accept your fate and smile back.

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