Last week I was babysitting Tommy. He’s a really good kid, smart, inquisitive, and as all 9 year-olds are, devious. This isn’t a “devious” story, maybe another time…
We had spent the entire morning indoors playing the card game Munchkin. It is kind of funny that he’d enjoy the game even though he has no idea what a role-playing game is, but I digress. So we had finished the game and he was diving into playing a game on my iPhone but, darnit, it was time to get a little sunshine.
I went onto the back porch for some air and came back in, leaving the door open. Then I found a balsa glider airplane that had been sitting on a shelf and started fixing it up, getting it ready to fly. I went out onto the porch, aiming to give it a toss (actually, I was trying to lure the kid outside… and it worked). As I stood there, he came out and we talked about how the plane might fly. He gave it a toss off the porch and it flew in a rather pleasing way. It ducked and bobbed a bit and then spiraled down the 3 stories to the yard below. We started to the front door to go out and find the plane. As he was running out the door, I told him to put some shoes on but he ignored me.
I stuck my head out the door and saw that he had almost made it around the corner. So I turned on my authoritative voice and called, “Come back here and put your shoes on.”
He stopped dead (wow, the voice works!), turned around with one shoulder sagging and asked, “But why?”
In a second I ran through 50 scenarios of him cutting his feet, stubbing his toes, losing traction, muddy footprints on the rug, washing his dirty feet… and simply hollered back, “Because I said so!”
He trudged back in (actually, he was pretty fast as trudges go), slipped on his sneakers and was off again to find the glider in the back yard.