At two years old, my daughter has reached the Age of Reason. I've begun in earnest teaching her the appropriate rules of social interaction. No longer confined to her stroller on our outings, I use lines like "use your eyes to see, not your hands," and "these are for adults only." She nods wisely and does her very best to behave in shops filled with bobbles mere inches from her quivering hands.
Tonight we were in Chinatown wandering the shops. I knew this would be a particularly difficult challenge for her because of the cramped nature of the stalls and exotic delights stacked floor to ceiling. I coolly reminded her every few moments to use her eyes only to explore and to be careful of the delicate objects she lusted to grab. After an hour of her not smashing any million dollar Ming vases I called the outing a success and we headed for home. A few steps from the car I saw a large kitchen store full of dishes and glassware. I stopped in the doorway. "Let's go inside here for a minute," I told my daughter.
Pixie surveyed the shop full of breakables and gave me a solemn look. "Use your eyes, Mommy." I promised her I wouldn't touch anything and we took a few steps inside the shop. I had my gaze fixed on a set of green glazed trays. I made a start for them but stopped short when Pixie grabbed my hand. "These things are for adults only," she warned.
"But honey, I am an adult. It's okay for me to be in here."
Using my favorite diversion tactic, Pixie calmy suggested, "how about I show you a better place to explore." She lead my by the hand back onto the sidewalk and away from the objects of temptation. How could I argue? Looking wistfully over my shoulder at the beautiful dishes, I knew how Pixie must have been feeling for the past hour. With all the self-control of a two year old, I slowly followed her back to the street. She looked up at me approvingly. I could see it in her eyes, I was a Good Girl.