Toddler Logic

The Boy knows that he is, under no circumstances, to stand up in the bathtub. So we have gotten to the point now that if he does defy us, and attempt a stand, bathtime is over, PERIOD.

Last night, I do the usual washing, and then let him play with his toys in the bath. He tries to stand. I tell him, “No standing in the tub.” He sits down and cries, then throws his yellow rubber duckie at me. This is Toddler Logic: “Sure, Mama won’t let me stand up, but if I throw a rubber duckie at her, she’s sure to cave!”

He immediately stops crying, as if the best idea ever has come into his head. More Toddler Logic: “If Mama won’t let me stand in the bathtub, I’ll just. . . stand up again in the bathtub! Genius!” He stands up again, looking perfectly innocent, almost as if he accidentally stood up in the tub. As if he had never before heard the “no standing in the bathtub” rule. . . .

I say, “That’s it. You know the rule. No standing in the tub, so bath’s over.” Crying and frantic struggling ensue, as if he were prisoner being held without proof. I think he might have whispered to the duckie to call the ACLU . . . .

Now, the standard procedure for getting The Boy out of the bath is to lift him out, and stand him outside the bathtub facing the bath, because that’s where the toys are, and where the toys are is where he is still struggling and crying to be, so it is Mama Logic to turn the baby in the direction that his gravity is taking him, thus not tiring out said Mama’s arms. I lie, actually, because Daddy actually came up with this technique: The technical term is Daddy’s Baby Drying Off Bathtub Lean.

The Boy then gets a very serious face, and I’m thinking, “Ah, now he realizes the effect of his behavior. He understands that there is a consequence for his actions,” just as he proceeds to TAKE A DUMP ON MY FOOT.


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