One morning, the Nugget ran to me with a huge grin on his face, his sweet baby arms outstretched, his little voice piping, "Up, up, up, Mama!" My heart grew about 3 times its size, ala the Grinch, and OF COURSE, I swept my darling Nugget into my arms and proceeded to smother him with kisses. Ah, this was the type of moment, I naively thought, that made the harder tasks of parenthood -- 6am screeching, prying Doggie loose from his grip, scooping up strawberries flung when I dared to sneak back into the kitchen for my coffee, and eardrum shattering screams when I attempted to wipe his face* -- all worthwhile.
But the Nugget had other plans. Suddenly writhing away from the kisses before any could meet their mark, he launched his body weight suddenly, insistently toward the light switch. I was had by a little con artist with a yogurt mustache. He did not want hugs, kisses, or Mama. He wanted a lift to the light switch. That's the sound of my heart deflating back to normal size.
But I have to say, it was still funny to watch the Nugget work his magic on Daddy later that evening. "Up-up-up, Daddy!" This time, he wanted (and got) a lift to the ceiling fan pull chain. How is it that our son has already mastered the art of the bait-and-switch?! He'd make a heck of a used-car salesman.
*The preferred brand of vanilla yogurt in our house is a mysterious substance when applied to a toddler's skin. You can wipe it off and the face will appear totally clean, long enough for the adult to release the child from the highchair. Yet, like magic ink, it always reappears as a white chalky mustache and a rakish smear across the right eyebrow 15 minutes later.