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They Are Always Listening

, , , , , , | Related Right | April 27, 2022

I work with two- to three-year-olds at a daycare. One boy is a little whiny at the end of the day. His mother is in a hurry and looks like she’s about to scold him, which I know will only make things worse for the both of them, so I sit down next to the boy.

Me: “Boy, oh, boy, did we have a busy day or what?”

Boy: *Sighs dramatically* “Oh, Mommy, you wouldn’t believe it.”

Mom gives a tired little smile.

Me: “I think Mommy may have had a very busy day, as well.”

Boy: “Mommy, did you?”

Mom: “I sure did, sweetheart.”

Boy: “I see.”

Me: “How about you put on your shoes so you can go home and have a nice dinner together?”

Boy: *Starts fake crying again* “I don’t waaaant toooooo! I never, ever, ever want to leeeeaaave!”

Mom: “Oh, [Boy], come on!

Me: “Oof. They really are a handful at this age, aren’t they?”

Mom: “They really are. I just don’t know what’s wrong with him!”

Me: “Oh, don’t worry. Nothing’s wrong with him. He really is just very tired. Once you get some food in him and have a bit of quiet time before bed, he’ll be back to his sweet old self in no time. Every child his age does this, trust me. Now, [Boy], you see Mommy is very tired, too? She’s probably hungry, as well! I bet you’ll have something really nice for dinner. Put your shoes on and Mommy will show you!”

Boy:You put my shoes on!”

Me: “Me? Oh, I could never. You are way too big to need any help!”

Boy: “That’s right, I am the biggest. Look, Mommy! Look! I can do this all by myself. I don’t need any help at all from no one!”

Mom: “That’s wonderful, honey; I am so proud of you.”

They leave quite happily. A couple of days later is another very busy day with various temper tantrums, ear-piercing screams, pinching, and biting. I am pooped at the end of the day, and I look like a wrung-out mop. The same boy is being picked up by his mother.

Mom: “Oh, dear, look at you! Long day?”

Me: *Managing a smile* “You wouldn’t believe it.”

Boy: *Pets my head* “Oh, don’t worry, nothing’s wrong with her. She really is just very tired. Once you get some food in her and have a bit of quiet time before bed, she’ll be back to her sweet old self in no time. Every lady this age does this, trust me.”

Spot on, kid!

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