On a quick, light note
The Baby Monster (a typically-developing toddler I babysit) has learned a new skill– saying “hi.” He says “hi” to just about everyone he passes now– one of the few recognizable words he uses around anyone other than his mother (he still pretty much babbles around me– a fair range of sounds, but no direct attempts at verbal communication). Unfortunately, he has also learned that doing so is just about the cutest thing ever, and when combined with a shy smile, it makes a truly lethal cuteness weapon.
I discovered his awareness of this fact recently, when he did one of the few things I will actually scold him for (such as grabbing for my eyeglasses or throwing food on the floor– breaking rules that I know he knows). Usually, I simply correct what he does wrong, like grabbing for something unsafe or trying to dismantle everything within reach, because I know he doesn’t know any better yet. But this time, I knew he was actively misbehaving, and I yelled at him. His response? Big eyes looking up at me, the most winning smile I’ve ever seen, and a quiet… “hi.” It was all I could do to keep a glare on my face and tell him that being a manipulative little terror won’t work on nanny. Seriously, it was ridiculously cute. I felt like I had superpowers just for being able to resist it.