A few days ago, Maddie was being a pill during dinner. I’d gotten used to the fact that she won’t sit straight in her chair while she eats, but her behavior that day was too much. She would turn completely sideways, and lounge back, fingering her food, pushing it around the plate. I’d asked her to sit up and eat her food. I told her that we could play later, after we eat. But it did no good.
She persisted. She kept playing with her food in this irritating lackadaisical manner, spilling some of the food off the plate. She didn’t even care what I asked of her. So I explained to her carefully, that I didn’t want any food to be left on the floor that might attract ants. “And ants can bite you,” I informed her and gave her a little pinch. (Probably a little harder than was necessary, but she was bugging me.)
She still didn’t care, and she kept playing with her food. I was about to revoke one of her bedtime privileges when suddenly:
“Daddy! An ant!”
Oh, this was too good to be true. There it was, one lonely ant in the middle of her plate. Maddie was quite worried about it, and she was trying to climb backwards out of her chair over the back of the chair, keeping her eyes on the ant the whole time.
Was I a good daddy or a bad daddy? What do you think?
I kept her in her chair, and spouted off for half a minute. Stuff like, “What did Daddy just tell you?! What did I just say? And look at that!” I almost picked up that ant and put it on her nose. “Will you sit straight now? Will you eat your food instead of playing with it now?” And on and on.
Oh, I was a bad daddy. But it felt so good.