“He’s got your wrapped around his little finger….”
“Don’t go to him the second he cries out… he’s just playing games and manipulating you.”
I ponder her words as I leave what I am doing to respond to his cry.
Is he just crying to get my attention?
Am I wrapped around his little finger?
Is he really manipulating me?
When he cries, I come. As soon as I can, without question.
But I come because he needs me. Because he is a baby. His cry tells me he needs something and it is my job to figure out what and to fix it. Or at the very least to try.
He is not manipulating me. He can’t.
To manipulate me he would need to understand cause and effect, to be able to consciously choose to communicate in order to get a response as well as many other complex thought processes.
I don’t think he can do any of those things. He is only three months old. He doesn’t even know that he and I are two separate beings.
If he is manipulating me then he must be a genius. I expect him to be sketching Gothic architecture and reading the paper over my shoulder before his first birthday.
No, he is not lying in the hammock secretly scheming and plotting the next step in his plan to control my life….
He is crying.
An innate response, born simply from his need.
So I go to him, and rock him gently back to sleep, knowing that I am not a push over and I am not spoiling him. He is not a genius and he is not manipulating me.
He is just a baby… and I am his mother.