“Dude, why did you do that? That hurts! Ouch! Man, what are you doing?!” This was the cry from my seat on the ferry today on the way back from Hong Kong island. The little guy was sitting on my lap facing outwards, strapped into the I-Angel (amazing carrier, by the way). And then, he was doing something quite painful. He would bend all the way down and forward, and grab my arm and pull it to him, and then he would bite me. Yep, my son is biting me. It’s not some cute little nibble, this is a BITE. And worse yet, he would bite and then pull his head back with is mouth clamped (super painful), and then laugh. Cruel, right?
Then, later in the day as we were playing at home, he illustrated another “bad boy” trait. Although we have only been back in Hong Kong for 10 days now, I have taught him that he cannot crawl into the kitchen. Too many hazards, right? So anyway, he knows he can’t go there, and I also leave the kitchen door closed. But today, while we were playing, for some reason left the door open. He noticed eventually, and ZOOM!, he took off for the kitchen. He can crawl pretty fast in general, but when he has a chosen destination, and that destination is forbidden, he is like a jet. He zipped over to the kitchen, and I got up and ran over to the door, and arrived just as he was crossing the threshold to the kitchen. As I reached down to pick him up, he was laughing like crazy. It was the funniest thing he had ever experienced apparently, making a break for the kitchen and being caught.
I guess I should not be surprised by today’s behaviors – yesterday, although he knows he can’t play with my indoor shoes, he grabbed one, peered around the corner of the end table where they sit, and then took a bite of it. He had this look in his eye that fortunately I was able to catch in a photograph, because I had a feeling he was going to do something at that moment. So now I have proof of his mischief 😉
So, what’s the deal? Has all my love and affection been pointless, and my son has somehow still turned into a delinquent? I don’t think so (or at least I hope not). My theory on it is that he feels safe, and so he sees it all as a game while he pushes the boundaries and relishes in the attention. To him, there are no consequences in life – why should there be? So he is pushing the boundaries because it is fun, not because he’s a bad kid. I guess the key thing for me and my wife to do is to keep positively rewarding good action, and not give him attention for the “bad” actions (even if you want to laugh when he squeals with delight after making a break for the kitchen, it’s probably better not to). It’s crazy how little ones process things, isn’t it?