Of course they're smart. Every second is a moment of learning. That's why we call them little sponges. The thing is, I was still amazed to realize that that was what Marguerite was actually doing. I've mentioned a gazillion times that I'm following a positive/gentle discipline style with my daughter (and yes, even with the conscious decision and the great effort, I HAVE snarled at her and used words I try to avoid, but it doesn't mean I'm going to stop trying because I've slipped before. I wake up every morning praying for wisdom, guidance, patience, and self-control. Lots of 'em.) but what I've mostly been doing to avoid any unpleasantness is the distraction technique. Anyway, I've noticed that whenever I got upset or tried to talk to Marguerite about whatever it was she had been up to, she'd start acting cheerful and waving "Hi! Hello!" at me. Sometimes, she'd even point excitedly at something really boring (that ought to tell me that she had long been on to me with all my "Look at that black ant! Look at that blue speck!") and yell "Look!" The thing is, she wouldn't pay attention to me or even let me talk, until I've said "Hi" back at her or I've looked at what she was pointing at. When I've shifted from my initial intent and mood to do that, then she'd let me talk, but of course, my momentum has been lost. Very clever technique, that distraction thing. Honestly? I think she's better at it than me.