Learning young how to turn on the waterworks
There is a girl in Master A’s class who cries. When something doesn’t go her way or when she feels she is being overlooked, her bottom lip starts to quiver and then the tears artfully flow.
I say artfully because this nineyear-old is a master manipulator, having learned very early about the power of the tear duct.
The class has had a male teacher for the past two school years. Unsurprisingly, the weeping has gone into overdrive during this time. A few well-placed tears work wonders on this unsuspecting young chap who, like most of his sex, feel uncomfortable around a weeping woman – and will do almost anything to make it stop and go away.
The girl’s mother finds it all rather amusing, jokingly saying her daughter should win a Best Performance award for turning on the waterworks. In truth, the girl has learned the behaviour from her mother (you know the type) and is even being encouraged in its practice.
It wouldn’t be an issue if it wasn’t impacting on Master A and the rest of his classmates. He rolls his eyes at the mention of the girl’s name and, like most of his classmates, he believes that her tears are simply an act to get her own way.
It doesn’t take an Einstein to work out what message this is sending out.
I’ve never been one to manipulate through tears partly because I look like Fungus The Bogeyman when I cry. I’m also not very good at letting go with my emotions.
Irritating Colleague on the other hand is a dab hand (literally). Whether it’s a colleague talking about their child’s latest achievement (me first!) or giving details about a sickly pet she’s always ready with a calculated for-effectonly squeezed-out teardrop that slowly rolls down her shiny Restylane-filled cheek. “She’s so lovely.” The tears also come when she hasn’t completed what she’s been tasked with. That little glistening droplet of water skilfully makes its way out again, usually coupled with a huge sob cleverly masking some lame excuse.
And, yes, like the nine-year-old in Master A’s class, she always gets her way – and away with it.