My 4-year-old is a delight. She rarely stops talking or asking me to "please say something interesting now." She names all boy snails Joe Band of Elastic and all girl snails Sarah, although I'm not sure how she can tell the difference. They eat sand because she feeds it to them until they die of unknown causes.
I rarely feed her sand but I do cook with hideous green things called herbs. (You can pronounce the "h" in "herbs" and I won't think much less of you.) Cilantro is my favorite because of its refreshing flavor and the fact that I like to chop it more coarsely than most other herbs. Coarse chopping means larger flecks and massive flecks mean I get to listen to Laylee tell me that I forgot to remember that she never never likes to eat green things in her soup. Oh really? I musta forgot to remember that again. Mwahaha!
Dinner tends to be the time when all our family whinery comes to a head. Laylee whines because of the green stuff, her beverage options, and the color of her bowl. I whine because it's not quite bedtime yet and I have to wait one more hour before snuggling my kids and pressing their Reset buttons. Magoo whines because he's 2 and the rest of us are setting such a stellar example.
Tonight we almost made it through the meal when Laylee burst into full squawk. Imagine these lines spoken in a high-pitched nasally vibrato with a loud sharp sigh every couple of words. "Oohhhhh!! I don't have any more apple juice. How can I eat all these bites with green stuff if I don't have any juice? TO? DRINK?! AHH-OOooohhh."
Me: I think you should whine and cry more. Maybe have a fit.
Me: Don't you think that will solve all your problems, if you whine and cry really loud?
Laylee [getting frustrated]: No-ooooo-oooooooo!
Me: What else could you do?
Me: Then I guess you need to whine. I'll help. AAAHHHH!!!! Juuuu-uuuice. More juuuu-uuuice.
Laylee [cracking a smile]: Yeah-ha-ha-wah-wah. I neeeeed mo-hor ju-hu-hui-ce.
Me: Did it work? Do you have any more juice?
Me: Oops. We'd better keep trying. AAAAAAHHHHH! OOOOHHHHH!!!!!HE-EL-EL-ELPPPP! More. More. More. More. JUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUICE!
At this point she couldn't keep from laughing and asked her dad to please get her some more juice. He did. Surprise! Asking sweetly was much more effective than whining. I won't say which was more fun. There may be children reading this.