Dressing a Toddler: Evasion and pursuit
If you are a toddler and you see someone headed toward you with a sweater in her hands, holding the neck open and aiming for your head, you immediately turn around and trot in the other direction.
If you are a mother, you see your quarry change direction and you turn the sweater around in your hands so that it’s going the other way too. You quicken your pace and near your prey. You mean this to be quick and painless and you are about to slip the sweater over his head.
The toddler reverses again, perhaps having run into a wall or encountered his other parent shooing him back to you.
You consider reversing the sweater again but since the baby is too close to you you don’t have time to get it right. So you turn and chase him some more. Since you are following him again, the sweater is still facing the right direction.
You see that this is going to be a difficult maneuver so you swoop down and pick him up, sit down in a chair, and hold him between your knees as you force the sweater’s neck over his head. He makes a high pitched howl. Now he gives up his struggle and you put his hands into the sleeves, one at a time, directing him to “push.”
Cooperative now, he gives you a smile as he scurries away. He looks warmer anyway, and he forgives you this minor inconvenience as he goes on about his business.