Sawyer has learned the art of manipulation fairly well for an almost 4 year old. On the days he takes a nap the evenings seem to drag on and on. He isn't quite ready for bed at 8pm like his brother and sister, and thus begins the frequent and regular excuses for not sleeping. 

He comes out usually at least 2 times to say he is scared of something like a shadow or a spider. One more time for a drink of water. Then he gets a last warning. That means unless you have to go to the bathroom, you cannot exit your bed. Or else. 

So my little manipulator has began the late night pooping party. He knows that just peeing doesn't last quite as long as he needs to delay bedtime, so he decides it's time to pull out the big guns. Poop.

We sit on the potty and amazingly he does poop. This happens nightly. But tonight it happened an extra time. Yep, once was not enough. So he came out to poop a second time. And as if that wasn't enough to delay yet again the approaching bedtime he has to stall while on the toilet. 

I can only imagine his little wheels turning and thinking how long he will need to keep me sitting there next to him on the toilet so he can work up another poop. What does he do to bide his time? 

Mommy, what's 10 plus 10?


What does twenty look like?

Two Zero.

The two is first?


The zero is last?


They're next to each other right? But not so close to each other. Like this close right?


Mommy, what's 8 plus 8?


Mommy, what's 4 plus 4?

You do that one.

Okay. . . .8.



Can you stop stalling please? It is very late and you need to go to bed.

But Mama, don't you like it when I do my math?

Friends, that is pure, thought out, deliberate, manipulation. It is not fair to me that he pulls out addition and pooping at the same time to stall the inevitable. 

What's he going to think of at 5, or 8 years old? Multiplication tables? Memorize his Bible books? How can you be angry when the manipulation is so well thought out that you can't even find fault with the manipulation?