It is true. Babies are sponges. If you’re thinking of entertaining yourself by doing silly things to help your baby learn how to eat/drink/clap etc, be careful how you do it. I’m learning this lesson the funny way.
HRH has wanted to drink out of a grown-up cup for months. If either of us took a sip from our cups, she’d want to have a go. She was – and is – so desperate to learn, I have to bring a cup out for her anytime i get myself a cold drink. And yes, that would be water or juice. I save the wine drinking for after she’s asleep. And for the record, no I do not give my child booze. Disclosures done, let’s continue!
A few weeks ago, HRH’s dad thought it would be funny to help teach her how to sip by exaggerating a the motions and adding sound effects. He’d glug, smack his lips and finish with an, ‘AAAAHHHHH!’ to indicate he’d taken a sip. It cracked her up, and her laugh is pretty amazing. So, naturally he kept doing it. Then I started to do it…because making your kid laugh is very seductive.
The drinking noise became a family joke. We’d do it whenever we could.
So picture this: I’m grocery shopping in Trader Joe’s supermarket. As I pick up a six pack of beers for HRH’s dad. Why does this child frantically point at the beer cans, shouting,
‘MMMMMM MMMMMM MMMMMM!’
I’m amused and a little embarrassed… I thought, ‘huh. This could be a teachable moment. How can I creatively distract her?’ I had nothing, after all we were surrounded by all kinds of exciting things but she wanted that six pack. So I relaxed about it, after all, it wasnt like I was gonna crack a can open and let her drink from it for real.
‘You want to hold them?’ I asked.
‘MMMMMM MMMMMMMMM!’ She was about to lose it. about to start screaming. The bananas, strawberries and bread no longer cut it. She wanted to hold those beers really badly.
So, with some hesitation I gave the cans to her.
The next part happened in slow motion. In my head, at least. The next thing I saw was her lifting one can to her mouth (she’s a strong girl), pretending to drink from the can and – while looking me dead in the eye – exclaiming, ‘AAAAAAHHHHHH!’
Her thirst was quenched. She was satisfied. I was rooted to the floor.
She started to laugh while I looked around to see who was watching. I was safe.
So I laughed, cause, Comecon, it was funny and hey, my kid is smart!
For good measure i said, ‘noooooo no nooooo, that’s not for you’, as I took the cans away.
Then I walked past the wine.
‘MMMMM MMMMMM MMMMM!’ She said.
I knew what was coming. I wasn’t cool with it because now we were in a crowded spot. ‘Nooooo noooo, that’s not for you!’ I said, this time with feeling. I wanted my co shoppers to know that I am a responsible mother.
She looked at me with a smile and a glint in her eye. Ish was about to go down. She said it again, ‘MMMMMM MMMM MMAAAA MAAAAH!’
‘No, this is going here!’ I said as I put the bottle of wine behind her in the main cart.
She turned around.
She put her head toward the bottle…while she was looking at me AND grinning. She knew what she was doing andvcshe was enjoying it.
She pretended to glug and endee with a loud and satisfied, ‘AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!’
Then she laughed at me again, bearing all seven of her teeth.
‘Ahhh, I see she likes her wine already!’ chuckled a charmed and amused fellow shopper.
I just shook my head. My words would only make me look bad. I laughed. My daughter just exposed my backside to the world.
So watch yourselves. That’s all I’m saying.