One night, I dropped my kids off at the child care center in the gym so I could exercise. Son #1 gleefully ran into the center toward the video games. Son #2 clung to my neck and eyed the care givers with a touch of worry.
Both of my boys have been attending this center since they were 6 weeks old. Son #2 was worrying needlessly considering he knew the care givers well. One of the girls smiled at him and gathered him into her arms. Son #2 cried pitifully but only for a second. Soon, he was distracted with a very interesting cracker.
Son #2 fidgeted with the cracker trying to decide when to eat it. The care giver played games with him and made him laugh. All throughout the game playing, Son #2 held tightly to the cracker. It was his prized possession, a treasure to keep safe.
Twenty minutes passed. The care giver noticed that Son #2 had still not eaten the cracker. She said to him. "Since you haven't eaten the cracker, I can take it and put it away for you."
Son #2 wrinkled his brow and thought for a second. Then, he shoved the cracker into his mouth decisively. His cheeks bulged like a squirrel hoarding nuts for the winter. The expression on his face dared. "Now, come and take the cracker."
Toddlers can be so contrary. They will smuggle a snack around a room, playing games until the snack has turned into tiny crumbs. However the moment you suggest they put the snack away, they will swallow it whole to keep you from getting to it.