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Gwen is a remarkably guileless creature -- thank goodness, for if she were naturally sly, we'd all be in BIG trouble -- but there are a few times where something small deep down in me has wondered if in fact she is actually incredibly full of guile, and is just very good at concealing it. Is she actually really manipulating us by the straightforwardness of her innocence?

About a month ago, she managed to scam me. Context: Gwen has enough blankets on her bed that if she gets up to the use the toilet, she needs help getting tucked back in. I do so grudgingly, because I really really really want her to learn how to get out of bed without dumping the blankets on the floor, so that she can get back in and pull them up herself. But she's not in general allowed to ask for random cuddles. She gets a cuddle 5 minutes after I put her to bed (or, if Neffie or Goldie is on my lap in five minutes, she'll get the cuddle when I am next free to come upstairs), and if I am already in bed myself but my light is still on, she's allowed to come and lie in bed with me for a few minutes. Otherwise, I am not at home to the stalling technique known as "mummy, can I have another cuddle?" With that background, this exchange happened:

G., whispering loudly: "Mummy, can you come tuck me back in?"
Me, sitting on the couch downstairs: "All right, I'll be up in a moment."
*goes upstairs a few minutes later*
G., whispering: "I don't exactly want you to tuck me in, I just want a cuddle."

Bait and switch! She knew if she asked for a cuddle, I'd tell her she should be asleep and therefore I'm not coming up. So instead she lured me up with a request for something she knew I would come for...

--

Today is Joel's birthday, so yesterday we went out shopping for a gift for him. I told her to think about things he likes, and try to get something that he would like. Her first suggestion was beer and books, but then we passed the toy stall at the market where we usually buy birthday presents for her classmates, and she said "I could get daddy A TOY!" And not just any toy, she could get him a soft, cuddly toy! I probed a bit, asking if she really thought this was what daddy would like, and what would he do with it? "He can cuddle with it! He can cuddle it any time that he wants! He'll love it." So we got it, and she then refused to let it be put in a bag, and instead cuddled it close and carried it home, and occasionally referred to it as "my lambie" even though she most often caught and corrected herself to "daddy's lambie" before I could.

We wrapped it up in prep for giving it to him at supper tonight, and last night I warned Joel that she had primary choice in the present, and that she had picked something out specially for him specifically, something that she put a lot of thought into and that she was sure would be the present he'd want best, just so that he would be properly primed to give the correct response upon opening it. (Which he managed to do without laughing.) Gwen was full of all sorts of helpful ideas about what he could do with it, though she never quite came out and suggested that he give the lamb into her keeping and care. Lambie is now tucked up in our bed, awaiting Joel to come home so he can cuddle with her at night.

Even now, we are still uncertain if Gwen got Joel a birthday gift, or if she was incredibly, deviously, enormously clever and got herself a birthday gift. (Joel says to test this theory, he wants to get her a complex mitre saw for her 6th birthday).

Date: 2017-02-07 04:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stitchwhich.livejournal.com
One fall my five-year old Zack spotted a doll with curly blond hair and blue eyes and insisted that it was the perfect gift for his one-year-old brother Shawn. Nothing else would do, so "Scotty" was purchased and snuck home, with Zack checking the bag carefully all the way there "in case Scotty gets scared in the car". Then Scotty couldn't be hidden on the top shelf of my closet because it was too dark and scary in there, thus every day I had to have the door open until Zack went to bed. He would monitor Scotty's 'feelings' throughout each day leading up to Christmas and was concerned that Scotty might be hungry or thirsty - or lonely.

At Christmas Zack received Scotty as a gift from his little brother. I couldn't think of what else to do about it. He was clearly feeling fatherly towards the doll... he was a beloved 'child' for years. When Zack needed new garb for one Pennsic, his friends who were girls cadged all of my leftover scraps along with Scotty and dressed him in matching clothes so Scotty could beat Zack there and claim his camping space in their camp. (Zack only had one week rather than two). They guys in camp got in on it and fashioned a furnished tent, camp chair by the fire, and, of all things, a miniature porta-potty. Scotty was comfortably set up and Zack was floored to find him in camp rather than at home on top of his bedroom shelves. The 'kids' were of drinking age.

Scotty is still at home in Zack's old room, which is now my husband's den, in about the same place as he'd been while Zack lived at home. When Zack and his sweetie come home for visits, he pulls his doll down to dust him off and make sure everything is okay with the stuffings and all. He plans on giving it to his son or daughter, should they ever choose to have children.
Edited Date: 2017-02-07 04:06 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-02-07 09:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aryanhwy.livejournal.com
That is a WONDERFUL story.

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