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I just told Geekelt #2 that if he finished eating the salad I’d let him play World of Warcraft.  Am I resorting to bribery to get him to eat his veggies?  You bet I am!

Ah, the things parents will do to get their kids to eat right, play nice, and just generally be good.  Bribery: “If you stop screaming in the store, I’ll buy you a candy bar!”  Threats: “If you don’t sit down and eat your food, I’ll spank your butt!” Intimidation: “Do you really think I’m going to let you run around on the roof again?”  Terrorization: “The goblins’ll getcha if you don’t watch out!”

OK, that last wasn’t me.  That was my Mom, back in the day.  But, yes, I did at one point have to say that one about running around on the roof.

The oldest Geeklet was going after a Frisbee.  No, we don’t keep ladders conveniently leaned up against the house to give easy rooftop access to our 7-year-old.  He climbed the side yard fence, which comes to within a couple feet of the eaves.  He’s pretty darn agile.

Fortunately, the intimidation method worked on him or I’m sure we’d have Geeklets partying on the rooftop all summer long; where Big Brother goes, Younger Siblings soon follow.

Which reminds me of all the times I’ve dashed into the bedroom expecting to find blood everywhere, or at least a broken bone, only to discover the reason for all the screaming was the 1-year-old’s frustration at not being physically capable of climbing on top of the toy box and jumping off onto the bed, like everybody else.  I’m convinced that childhood — and maybe adulthood, too — is just one big game of follow-the-leader.

Example:

(Gasp.)  “You can’t wear that!”

“Why not?”

“Because nobody wears leg warmers any more!”

“If Katie Holmes wore leg warmers, you wouldn’t say that.”

“You’re not Katie Holmes.”

Thus, no leg warmers.

It makes me think of that saying parents have made famous: “If all of your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump off, too?”

Well, if all of my friends — not just a couple of them, not even most of them, but all of them — decided to jump en masse off of a particular cliff, I’d have to say (considering that these are my friends we are talking about, and not just some random group of brainless idiots) that they probably have a pretty darn good reason for their decision.  Such as, I don’t know, maybe three hundred purple rhinos wearing sparkly tutus are chasing them with dinner on their minds, and the cliff is only three meters high with a giant trampoline at the bottom.  Just sayin.

Yeah, I’d jump too.  Risking life and limb on a giant trampoline is preferable to being eaten by three hundred sparkly psychotic purple ballerina rhinos.

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