On bribery and blackmail and being two…

My grandson is two plus, that age when a mother starts to think of potty training.

Like all good mothers, my daughter thought of bribery. She told her son that when he obliged, she would take him to the toystore, and he could have whatever toy he wanted.

Like all grandmothers with a good memory, I started to laugh.

The day arrived, grandson obliged, and off they went to buy a toy. He selected a train, but then wandered off before the purchase was made to have a look around.

And went into the costume section. And, of course, having impeccable taste, he selected the most beautiful thing he could see – and changed his mind about the train.

After all, what more lovely creation can you imagine than a puff-sleeved dress fit for a princess, covered in glitter, net, and ruffles?

“I want that,” says he.

Now his mother is very careful about gender typing. But, well…maybe there is a limit.

She showed him the batman and the superman and the monster costumes.

“I want that,” says he, pointing at the dress.

She reminded him about the train.

“I want that,” says he, pointing at the dress.

They circled the store, looking for something else to catch his eye.

He went back to the dress.

So she caved in. A promise is a promise. So my grandson is now the proud possessor of a pale blue princess dress. Which he wanted to wear there and then.

“No,” she says hastily. “When we get home.”

At home, the dress went on immediately, over jeans and t-shirt, and stayed that way the rest of the day. Even though he did wonder why his mother wouldn’t let him play outside until it was dark that evening.

Father, when he gets the news that his son has cross-dressing tendencies, wails, “Couldn’t you have shown him Spiderman?”

Grandmother – me – is now hoarding these photos and planning for the day when grandson is a linebacker for the university football team and dating the college sweetheart. How much do you think he will pay?


On bribery and blackmail and being two… — 6 Comments

  1. Hahaha…that’s precious…and yes, you’ll make a fortune in a 10-15 years. 😉

    Sadly, most adults freak out and don’t understand that this kind of thing, to a small child, doesn’t mean what they think/hope/fear it does.

  2. Instead of always going to the store for a new toy, try what worked for me. When I was researching potty training a common theme seemed to be praise and positive reinforcement. I came across a website called http://www.pottytrainingrewards.com. We hung it in the kitchen and named the little boy on the front of the package, Bobby. My son could not wait to go to the potty so he could push the button, hear the praising message, and get his chocolate reward from, Bobby. It really got my son excited about using the potty himself and it was fun for him. Because he became so involved, potty training was easy. So give it a try.

  3. it’s a lovely dress. The same reason as girls are attracted to dresses I should think, it looks nice. I think he has very good taste 😉

  4. Bwahahahaha — and both the photos and the story remind me of my dear brother who, when he was around the same age as your grandson now is, used to love wearing our sister’s dresses and, in particular, a frilly blue polka-dotted skirt. And, of course, we have photos of him in those…

    The last time we showed it to him, the now burly fellow who went on to play for his school rugby team at boarding school in England asked: “how could you all have allowed this?” Whereupon my mother tartly replied: “Why? You didn’t turn out too badly now, did you?” ;b

  5. Doesn’t he look cute?

    But I sympathize with your daughter. I was at McDonald’s Centre Point (Kota Kinabalu) just last Sunday and the regular toy on offer was of dolls. I assumed my three-year-old would grab the boy doll but when I offered it to him, he loudly proclaimed,”NO!” and demanded for the girl doll. To my chagrin, I realized that I wasn’t as open-minded as I thought and hastily packed boy and girl doll off home.

    I suppose most of us want to fit in with general society and avoid rocking any boats. Treading the minefields of society is already treacherous enough when you fit in. What more when you don’t.

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