October 21, 2008

Bossing and Begging

Me, from the driver's seat, engine running, car in reverse, foot still down on the brake: "Are you belted in yet?"

Jessica, from the back seat: "So where are we going to meet Mom and Nathaniel? What time are we meeting them? How far is it?"

Me: "Could you please just get strapped in?"

Jessica, reaching idly for the seat belt: "I'm just asking what time we're going to meet them."

Me, handing her a coupon: "And hold this for me. Don't lose it."

Jessica clicking the belt at last: "Well, I guess that's the way it is. The parents get to boss the kids."

Me: "I'm not bossing you."

Jessica, indignant: "Yes, Dad. You're bossing me. That was a command." In her deepest voice: "'Hold this for me! Hold this for me!' That was a command, and it ended in an implorative period!"

I think she meant "imperative." On the other hand, bossing the kids can sure feel like imploring.

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