DON'T WE KNOW IT

According to this groundbreaking study conducted by leading academics who had not previously met any 3-year-old girls, those adorable toddlers can be just as mean and manipulative as their famously nasty teenage sisters.

"It could range from ... telling their friends not to play with someone to saying, 'I'm not going to invite you to my birthday party,'" said Craig Hart, study co-author and professor of marriage, family and human development at BYU. "Some kids are really adept at being mean and nasty." .... The "mean girls" are highly liked by some and strongly disliked by others. They are socially skilled and popular but can be manipulative and subversive if necessary. They are feared as well as respected.

Dr. Hart, you've certainly blown the lid off this one. But Tiny Girl, who is not even three, is already way ahead of the development curve here. As she will often approach us, "Daddy, I love you ... kiss and hug! ... Daddy, can I have a cookie? ... No, I want a COOKIE! RIGHT! NOW! ... You won't give me a cookie, you're not NICE! ... No, don't say that thing to me! ... I want a COOKIE!"

Just as Dr. Hart indicated, mean girls are both feared and respected.

WHY ARE THE BABIES CRYING? MAYBE THEY JUST FOUND OUT HOW BURDENSOME THEY ARE

The Japanese company that brought you the "Bowlingual," a device which promised to tell you exactly what was on your dog's mind when he barked (they've already moved 300,000 units in Japan), is back with a new wonder product: a baby-babbling translator. The new product could be on shelves by 2006 and sell for about $95.

Kazuyuki Shinohara, a neurobiology professor at the state-run Nagasaki University who leads the research team, says, reasonably, "It is cruel just to tell [parents] 'You should naturally know what your baby wants'." He then goes on to promise most unreasonably that "the device may also help detect abnormalities such as autism."

Of course, the mystery of why children cry has baffled parents for centuries, though our Agence France Presse correspondent offers one theory, at least regarding Japan. Maybe children there cry so much because they live "in a country where a growing number of young people find child-rearing too burdensome."

TINY GIRL ALREADY HAS ACCESS TO THIS TECHNOLOGY AND DEPLOYS IT ALMOST NIGHTLY

Coming soon to a manipulative store near you: The smell cannon.

May 10, 2005 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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