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Lately, I’ve been working on teaching Truman his name and age. He refuses to say “Truman” and he will say “two” but not when you ask how old he is. He knows a lot of colors but insists that everything is “yeh-yo” even after you tell him it is blue, or red. He loves songs but only repeats two or three of the real words, the rest of the lyrics are a combination of screams and what sounds like Mandarin. All of these things take time to learn. Little by little he will grasp concepts and connect the dots and he will know all of these things. It takes time.

Know what doesn’t take time to learn?

1. “NO!’ He screams this word no less than 200 times a day, and maybe heard it whispered one time before he had it down pat.

2. The word beer. And what it is. He points at a bottle and says “Beer!” He tells people when you drink one. He makes you feel like you must have a drinking problem, because how else would a two year old know what beer is for God’s sake? He also knows what wine is…I swear we aren’t alcoholics.

3. How to spit. I’ll let my husband take all the credit for this one.

4. That time out is funny. No matter where you make him sit, no matter how mad your face looks or angry sounding your voice is, he laughs. He’ll giggle and run away. He’ll slowly inch across the floor and laugh hysterically when you put him back. He’ll do something naughty while sitting in time out, like something you’d normally give a time out for on its own. He knows you can’t get a time out while already a serving a time out.

5. How to take the safety covers out of electrical sockets. It took one week to learn this. Now they are just there so other parents don’t think we’re negligent.

6. That a baby gate means he shouldn’t either be in a room or out of a room, but he will make your life hell until he is out of wherever you are trying to keep him.

7. That the fastest way to be excused from the table is to pound on the table with your spoon, bowl and cup. When all of that is taken away, pound with your hands…they can’t take away your hands.

8. How to use guilt to your advantage. I put Truman in a time out today but was feeding Grant at the time. He knew I couldn’t pick him up and set him in time out like I normally do, so he decided to run. I grabbed his arm as he attempted escape and led him to time out. I squeezed his arm – not hard – but more firmly than I normally would. He sat down and started to cry, pointing at his arm and squeezing it. After time out I apologized for squeezing his arm and told him I did not mean to scare him or hurt him. He went into time out three more times today. I never touched his arm again, but each time he went to sit down, he cried and grabbed his arm, holding it up in the air and pointing. I felt guilty the first time, after that I realized that I’m raising a con-artist and ignored him.