Thursday, April 2, 2009

An infant and a control freak

Our little fella is turning out to be quite the control freak.

Not that, at 11 months and change, he is already trying to order us around - though he can be wilful enough when he wants to be. No, we're referring here to his enthusiasm for remote controls of all descriptions. It's remarkable, if you think about it: Our TV remote and cable TV control are fairly alike, but they look nothing like our air-conditioning control, which has neither their multi-coloured, multi-buttoned character nor their narrow shape. Yet these three are together pretty much the Holy Grail as far as Sonny as concerned. He will crawl any distance, clamber over any obstacle and make any amount of noise to try and get his itchy paws on them.

Initially, we thought we'd outsmart him by ostentatiously hiding (but not very well) an air-conditioning control that had malfunctioned. The first part of the plan worked a treat: It took Sonny less than a couple of minutes to retrieve the gadget from its 'hiding place', and he promptly began to pound away at the controls. But somehow, he seemed to sense very soon that he was being sold a dud - without even needing to peer at the air-con units to see if any were operating. He began slamming the device to the ground and tossing it about vigorously. If we wouldn't give him a 'live' control, he seemed to imply, he could at least enjoy the oddly-shaped football he'd been granted.

For now, therefore, our evenings are often intricate ballets of control-passing activity, with Sonny enthusiastically pursuing Mum until she manages to deftly flip the control to Pa, whereupon he becomes the new target. At one point, we even tempted disaster when, all tuckered out, we let the young 'un have one of the controls, just to see if he might peaceably play with it. And indeed, he was clearly so overjoyed that he stared entranced at the many buttons, reverently plucking at one, then another, and occasionally letting out yelps of joy. We wondered if he might be safely entrusted with the gadget. Then, of course, a sudden wicked gleam shot through his eyes. There was no suppressing the smasher in his soul, and when he tried to dash the control to the floor we had to quickly relieve him of it. Seconds later, of course, he was flailing away trying to get it back.

Can Sonny somehow sense the magic properties of such devices? How they allow long-distance manipulation of activity and the conferment of power (at least to influence thermostat or TV channel readings)? Who knows. But it may not be just coincidence that leads him to ignore gaily-coloured book covers, colourful toys and the like in favour of our controls.


Jessen said...

Well, he might be a leader in future :)

Cloudsters said...

We can hope he doesn't just become a control freak in the future... the real-deal variety!