Pavlov’s Dog vs Frankenstein’s Monster

My oldest daughter ran a little experiment on conditioned response with the toddler. She was a big fan of actress/singer Sabrina Carpenter from Girl Meets World. I’m a bit of a fan, too – I’ll usually root for a talented Pennsylvania native! But it was how she got the two-year-old to respond to Miss Carpenter which was truly fascinating.

You see, when the boy would get rambunctious, as little boys do, she’d ask, “Hey, want to see a picture of Sabrina?” This was her “go to” while helping watch the pint-sized troublemaker. It didn’t take long for the boy to catch on. For months if she or I  were tired of chasing him the suggestion of seeing Sabrina on screen brought about a new-found appreciation for sitting still much like Mr. Pavlov’s pooch at supper time. Fortunately, my boy didn’t drool at the sight of the blonde – but given his genetics this will change later in life. Even my wife was astounded by his attentiveness to any picture or video from the aforementioned Disney show or music video. We also enjoyed many laughs at the smile on his face whenever Sabrina was on screen. Taking it further, asking him, “Is that your girlfriend?” would induce a bigger smile accompanied by a nod of the head. Yeah, it was adorable.

But then there was the time he was sitting on his biggest sister’s lap watching Sabrina’s video “Why.” Here’s where I began to notice a problem. You see, in this video she kisses a guy. At that point my little man pointed at the screen and, not yet speaking in words, went, “UHHH!” Fortunately I had Uncle Herb’s toddler translator with me at the time and understood my son to say, “Back off, punk! Dat’s my woman!” I think you see where the Frankenstein’s Monster reference is coming into play. My immediate concern was that sixteen years from now he’d make the news as a stalker. People always look at the parents when this sort of  thing happens. I can attest that he won’t learn any stalking skills from me…those letters I received from Emma Watson’s legal team had to do with my fan club membership, nothing more! Lot’s of her fans aren’t allowed within five-hundred yards for crying out loud.

But time has an amazing healing quality. It looks like any pain he may have felt from witnessing Sabrina Carpenter kiss another man has subsided. In fact, he no longer has the overwhelming desire to watch clips from GMW or any of her videos. My boy has taken a short step to manhood and moved on. What exactly has caused this I am not entirely sure. All I can say is…sorry Meg Donnelly!