Challenge #02712-G155: But I Want It

Everyone's heard of the Terrible Twos. Well, everyone who's familiar with raising human infants. A piece of information that's been surprisingly slow to make its way around, though, is that those years are only so terrible because the little ones have wants and needs and thoughts that they don't know how to communicate; a combination of not being exposed to the words for what they feel and having tongues too big for their mouths, making it near impossible to articulate the words they do know.

All of this can be circumvented with any form of sign language and a bit of effort to introduce more vocabulary on the part of the caretaker(s).

That said, toddlers are universally curious, not so good at thinking ahead, more mobile than expected, and surprisingly good at disassembling everything they come across in an effort to find out what's inside. What happens when a mixed-species daycare, meant for the young offspring of ship-board passengers, finds itself saddled with a toddling human who, while familiar with instructions to be "gentle" with soft, furry friends (in an effort to get them to stop yanking the poor skitty's fur and sticking their fingers up the dog's nose), hasn't gotten the memo that the whole of the universe isn't familiar with the cobbled-together signing vocabulary they use with their parents to communicate such vital things as "baby eat waffle" and "baby drink juice" when they want something specific. -- Anon Guest

The Human toddler is a primer on Human instincts with a negative impulse control. They are all action and very little in the way of reason. Even the Humans who spawn them are shocked by the mobility of a small being with legs less than a quarter of the length of an adult's. Their capacity for improvisation can boggle even the most experienced minds.

As for the inexperienced minds... Meet Laeth. Ze has had the presence of mind to keep the Havenworlder children separate from the Deathworlders, but this was the fourth time ze had captured the very small Human Pip attempting to open the keycard-locked door to get into the Havenworlder rooms.

"Pip, you should go back to the room you came from. That is a better place to play." Laeth, one of the many who were carers for the children, moved hirself to gently herd Human Pip back to the chamber from whence they had come.

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