How to Make Friends and Influence People
Adult: Take almost 2 year old to well-known bookstore chain that has a permanent display of wooden railways that children can play with.
Almost 2 year Old: Start yelling "Choo Choo," the minute you see the storefront.
Adult: Run through the store grabbing magazines and books of marginal interest to read whilst almost 2 year old is playing, attempting to get a stack before meltdown occurs.
Almost 2 year old: Increase the volume of "Choo Choo" until it reaches ear-splitting levels and people turn and stare.
Adult: Place Almost 2 Year Old in front of the train table. Sit down and start leafing through Mason-Dixon Knitting: Outside the Lines
Almost 2 Year Old: Play happily for about 3 minutes, until another child is spotted making his way towards the train table. Emit blood curdling yell and throw a train at the boy.
Adult: Sigh with small relief that Almost 2 Year Old can not throw very well and walk over to explain that other children can play with the trains as well.
Almost 2 year Old: Agree to play nicely.
Adult: Notice that new child's father has sat down. New child runs over and tells his dad that, "He's pushing me" and points to Almost 2 Year Old. Apologise profusely and tell new child that Almost 2 Year Old is a bit of a thug. New child's father says something to the effect of, "Oh he can't be, what is he, just past one years old?". Reply that he is actually 2 in April. New child's father replies, " Oh my God, he's tiny. He's almost 2 and doesn't talk. You should really see your peadiatrician!"
Adult: Resist the urge to say, "Gee you are nearly 40 and you don't have any manners. Maybe YOU should see someone." Smile noncommittally.
Adult: After about half an hour and at least a dozen minro scurmishes, realise its time to go and give Almost 2 Year Old fair warning.
Almost 2 Year Old: When the time does come to go, start screaming and throwing self down. Ensure that you do one or more of the following:
- Throw trains
- Bang Head
- Hit and Kick
Adult: Pick up Almost 2 Year Old and move out of harm's way.
Almost 2 Year Old: Go into full-blown "don't touch me, look at me or speak to me" rage.
Adult: Remain calm and collected as small boy yells and thrashes on the floor. Realise you have parked in the craft section and pick up a book to leaf through whilst intermittently offering consolation and distractions to Almost 2 Year Old.
Almost 2 Year Old: Respond "No." to all of the following requests:
- Do you want to go see your Aunt J?
- Do you want to get some lunch?
- Do you want to help Mama pay?
- Do you want your train?
Continue to yell at the top of your voice. Ensure that you reach almost out of human range high-pitched screams when people walk by and look.
Adult: Look up to see your very tall teenage nephew walking over. "Hey, aunt Kate. I thought that might be you two."
Adult: Try to remain cool calm and collected and not melt on the spot from embarrassment. Tell nephew you will see him in a bit. Get out sling and coax Almost 2 Year Old onto your back with wrestling moves you learned in PE class in junior high.
Almost 2 Year Old: After a few moments thrashing, decide that actually mama is very fun and lovely and start telling her a story in Ellis-speak. At the end of a beautiful rendition of "Row Row Row Your Boat" ask, "Choo Choo?"