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April 9, 2014

My Favorite Manipulator

There is nothing in the world that Dylan won’t kiss these days. My little big boy went from being the meanest baby to the sweetest little cream puff in all the lands. His highchair tray? Kiss. The park’s sand? Kiss. My leg? Kiss. The result? A happy momma. But hold it right there- all this puckering up is becoming a problem…and it’s my fault. 

I’ve documented Dylan’s cut-throat demeanor and mean baby attitude many a time. Even though he was smiling before he was born, the second he popped out and had a social security number he felt entitled to space and independence. So I was beyond thrilled when I mastered the trick to unlocking Dylan’s sweet lovin’ – SNACKS!!! The concept of exchanging a kiss for a snack seemed genius harmless at the time. I mean, all I had to do was ask if he wanted a cookie/cracker/cheerio/whatever, and suddenly his head would rest on my shoulder; he would stretch out his arms and hug me; or I would be graced with little pecks of pure heaven. Alas! The good life had arrived. 

But Dylan learns fast. Once he figured out I was after his kisses, he upped the ante. The silent pecks became kisses with smack sounds- he wanted his affections to be heard, noted, and praised. (Swoon!) Like when I remind him to “be nice” to the dogs he’s torturing, he bends over and lays a big smackaroo on whichever dog he is harassing playing with while watching me to ensure I’m a witness. “See mom, I’m nice,” says the eyes of my deviant toddler. And as cute and sweet as it is, the kid is working me. 

Dylan’s in the touch, explore, and investigate everything stage, which puts me in the no-no-no-no phase. His solution? Kiss me. No, he cannot pull out the safety plugs covering the electrical outlets. So he kisses me and tries again. No, he cannot crawl inside the dog crate…so he kisses me and hopes I changed my mind. He’s figured me out, sized me up, and knows I’m not gonna deny a first class ticket to pucker-town. At this point, it’s only a matter of time before I’m named “pushover of the year.” I gotta admit- the kid is good...and I’m scared.