She certainly was not his boss, neither did they have any sort of agreement written between themselves. In fact, this was the first time, they had met. Till that moment, he was a maverick, picking up whatever he wanted from the retail store. It was evident to all who cared to look at his activities, that he was not interested in buying any of the stuff that he picked up. These actions were becoming routine - pick up a few items and leave them on the floor for someone to put back on shelf. The store employees were fine with this. How come she had a problem? How come she wasn’t doing any of this even though there was so many opportunities to do so?
“Heeeeyyyyy…” was the yell that came from her, when he approached the aisle one more time with the sole intention of throwing the plastic sport glasses onto the floor. He froze. He turned around to see her with hands on her hips and an angry glare. No words exchanged so far. The communication was absolutely 100% non-verbal. He moved onto the clothes section now, very well knowing that a pair of eyes was scrutinizing his behaviour. The ethnic section had tons of loose clothing and things were in a mess already. Who’s going to notice if a few more were added to the pile. He could see a hand in front of him now. What sort of a managerial gimmick is this, that too from a total stranger? This time she was just plain playful. Phew! He heaved a sigh of relief, not all work, there’s some play in her. She played peek-a-boo, hid herself in the clothes and out she came. He was amused, one could tell from the hysterical giggles from both parties. Will this play go on or is there some seriousness? He lost interest in the game, moved quickly, casting a few of his magnetic smiles to the oncoming people. He was a social magnet and also knew that speed was of the essence. He lost her, but somehow missed her as well. He turned around to see if he could see the green clothed non-boss boss. Nope.. all clear. He went back to the same aisle. Nope, she had moved on.
I noticed all this happen, it made me wonder - she was all of 2.5 years, he was nearing 1.5 in another week, how did she know that this boy responds to “heeeyyy..” or rolling of eyes or squeals? All of this were beyond words, no words exchanged. How does one know what one responds to ? When does one switch strategy? Kids seem to know it. Leadership or parenting lessons, anyone?