This post of Rory's reminded me of something.
One of the really interesting things about watching my son grow is seeing how he interacts with the world. At not-quite two, he's unburdened by many of the preconceptions adults are burdened with, and none of the social baggage. Of course, that has it's downsides, but it has it's upsides as well.
Anyway--a while back, we were visiting some friends who have a son who is almost a year younger than ours. While the two of them were "playing" (children that age don't really interact so much as they hang out in proximity), the other kid crawled over and gave my son a "hug" (it was more like a headlock).
My son signed "all done" (he wasn't talking at this point). The hugging child was removed.
The second time, he signed "all done", and then (since, apparently, this was not happening fast enough), gently pushed the hugging child away (went Outside 90, honestly), and then signed "all done."
So...verbal defuse. Defuse repeated. Defused failed. Used a level of force appropriate to resolve the situation, repeated the verbal defused.
I shared this with Rory, who said something like "yet we make this stuff so damned complicated."
And it's true. We make it endlessly complicated. We act like there's something new and special and fancy to be taught, and yet it is ingrained in us from infancy. We know what to do. We just forget.