… which was actually for his father. Once the stranger sneakily put it within the baby’s reach, lo and behold, he handed it to his father; as couldn’t be otherwise from the fact that daddy-boy had been asserting his ownership of it for the last half hour in a pretty non-gentle manner.
You see, children only try to do forbidden things because the way parents enact the prohibition is moral in nature – not practical. It is hard to imagine that some sunglasses, or the house keys – let alone dangerous things – warrant a punishment that is moral in nature, and that make the child eventually internalise the message that he is bad.
This is why the child repeats the behaviour. His intention is good, or playful, or whatever; and he is not bad. Therefore, something with this situation in his relationship to his father must be resolved; and it is very important, obviously, since it is people’s moral nature that is to be established.
The lack of resolution then settles in his young nervous system as a compulsion; maybe not around this object in particular but about forbidden things… Does this sound familiar to you, adult?