My good friend L has a daughter A, who's a little over six months older than Sterling.
A is one of those wonderfully well-behaved kids, one who wants nothing more than to please. It always makes me more than a little jealous to watch how she interacts with the world.
I am pretty confident that her first thought is rarely "hmmmmmm, wonder how I can climb/break/dismantle that" and I have NEVER watched L repeatedly peel her off of anything.
A few months back, I watched A while I was pregnant. I was craving chocolate milk, so I got a big glass of it and A instantly asked for some. I remembered a "technique" I had watched L do and said "sorry but that is for adults, it's not for kids". A nodded solemnly and said "coffee is for adults, that's coffee".
I figured that's as good of an explanation as any, and went with it.
Fast-forward eight months, Sterling is now a little bit older then A was when we had that interaction. I routinely have a cup of coffee in the morning, and Sterling routinely jacks with it.
I have been trying that "coffee is for adults" line for weeks, and Sterling happily prattles "coffee is for adults mommy, coffee is for adults, yep"... right before she throws a toy into it, or fishes her hands in it.
Evidently, I am doing it wrong...