Empty Threats

There are “sweet spots” in a child’s development that only
last a day or two.

Lillian and I were sitting on the kitchen floor torturing Aaron.  He’d be sitting there, and he can’t get away, because he can’t crawl yet.  But he does love to touch things and feel new textures.

Except for one.  There’s this sleek, velvety toy that we put in front of him.  He touched it for all of two seconds before he decided he didn’t want anything to do with it.  So naturally, we put it in his lap.

He wiggled, and was able to kick and scoot the toy away from him.  Well, we just loved that.  So we’d put it back in his lap, or take his little hand in ours, and place it directly on the silky toy.  He wouldn’t know what to do, and we got major laughs out of that.

Maddie had had enough of this.  She walks over, grabs the toy, and walks it back to the toy chest and puts the toy away.  But we weren’t done yet.

“Maddie, bring the toy back please.”

She looks at me, but doesn’t move.

“Maddie, bring the toy back now.  Please.”

She still defies me.  Apparently, she didn’t like the abuse we laid upon her brother.  So I give her the ultimatum:

“Maddie, bring the toy back right now, or … or Daddy’s going to go get it.”


“I’m serious Maddie.  If you don’t bring that toy back this instant, I’m going to go get it myself.”

She acknowledges the gravity of the situation.  She hesitates, but she doesn’t give in.

“Maddie, I’m going to count to three.  One…

She dashes for the toy chest, digs out the slippery toy, and runs it back to Aaron.  Threat averted.  Lillian and I look at each other, pleased with ourselves.  Nothing better than fooling/torturing your offspring.  We also know I’ll never be able to pull that one off again.

Who We Were Then
  • David
  • Lillian
  • Maddie (2 years old)
  • Aaron (0 years old)