Future litigators say the darndest things

I was five, as the old family story goes. As we waited for our flight home from Mexico City, I wanted a piece of candy. (Don’t you know candy is more delicious when the wrappers are written in another language?) Because my parents weren’t giving in, I took it upon myself to get some.

I walked right up to the counter and I stared at that candy. And then I slowly rolled my eyes from the display, up to meet the eyes of the nice lady behind the counter, looking as sad and forlorn and sugar-deprived as possible.

She gave in, of course.

From that day on, my father called me LCD, or Little Convincing Daughter.

It would seem I now have two of my own, as these things often go.

When I dragged Thalia to the New York International Gift Show last month, she wandered across the aisle to look at some dishware–which just so happened be surrounded by beautiful little licorice treats on skewers. She returned with two. I know she used those puppy dog eyes. 

This weekend, Sage, not even four, let her LCD out in full force. Witness:

Sage, you need to eat more edamame. You can’t just have rice.

I will eat three bites of rice and one edamame. 

No. I want you to have four edamame before you take another bite of rice.

But I had four edamame the other day. So now I can have rice.

Four edamame. Right now.

How about three?

Sage, please put down that mint.

But it’s not a candy. It’s a minty. 

It’s a sweet. I don’t want you eating sweets in the morning.

No mommy, it’s not sweet. It’s spicy.

“No Sage, you can’t have a second peanut butter cracker. You have dinner coming any minute.”

But (sniff sniff, tears coming…) 
what if I forget what the first one tastes like?

The great irony of course, is that while my daughters become more savvy in their convincing techniques, I have evidently lost my own powers completely.

What’s the wildest thing your child has said to try and get their way?


28 thoughts on “Future litigators say the darndest things”

  1. My 3.5 year old uses her “babies” as mouthpieces, except she doesn't play with baby dolls, she plays with stuffed animals. Her pink elephant, Water, is the mouthiest of the group. Water, it seems, thinks I am not a cool mom, that I am mean.

    A few months ago, Anjali solemnly told me “My babies love me because I give them what they want.”

  2. OMG! Our daughters must be distantly related.

    I was at a lunch the other day with some colleagues and had to take my daughter with me (academia is cool like that) and one of my colleagues had soup and my daughter had fruit. She looked at her with those eyes and said “That looks like it tastes good.” Next thing I know she has her own spoon and cup in front of her.

    The list could go on and on. Her and Sage are taking tips from the same book or internal wiring.

  3. The day we brought my daughter home from the hospital my then 2 1/2 year old realized he had the power – he'd just been told that his video time was over. Without missing a beat, he responded “but MAYA (then 3 days old) want to watch Pilot Dave, not me”. Little stinker. At 10 he's still the best negotiator in the house. Comes from growing up in the Middle East I suppose LOL.

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  4. When caught not telling the truth, My Star Wars loving 5-year-old son tried to convince my husband that he was not actually lying…it was a “Jedi mind trick”!

  5. My son, who is allergic to milk, was jonesing for ice cream. He kept saying, “Mom. but I need coliseum to help my broken arm heal! If I don't get coliseum, I'm going to be in a cast forever!”
    He meant calcium.You know, the stuff that's in milk?

  6. My sister was watching our nieces who were consuming a ridiculous amount of Christmas cookies and candies. Alright she annouced, no more chocolate treats! This is a cookie, said the three year old, there is no chocolate on it. And she took a giant bite. Well, my sister sighed, you got me there.

  7. My daughter at 3.5 was with her father and I at a little cafe where a woman bought a really expensive chocolate bar. After telling her not to touch it, she just stood there. Her blond curls and green eyes mesmorized the lady to give her a piece.
    What does one say to that. Impressive moves little one.

  8. When trying to come up with yet another excuse to be out of bed…

    Sam, 5, rounding the corner from the stairs for the hundredth time: “Um, Mom? I think I have a problem.”

    Me: “You better be bleeding.”

    Sam: “My heart is NOT beating!”

    Me: “That is a problem. Get back to bed.”

  9. Love this.

    When I told my 9 year old that the “optional” spelling words were not optional for him if he ever wanted to see Pokemon again, he said “but then if I get everything right on my spelling quiz, I'll get over 100% and that doesn't make sense mathematically.”

    Yes, the world will stop spinning.

  10. Just this morning–I was stopping at Starbucks for coffee on my way to drop my daughter at the babysitters and my daughter asked for a pink cake lollipop. I said told her no that it wasn't a healthy breakfast and this is what I hear.
    “If you don't get me one, I'll be sad and have my feelings hurt and I'll be sad and hungry all day.”

    She is good.

  11. My 3 year old often tells me that if I don't give her what she wants I'll be getting a “spanked bum.” I'm still waiting for her to actually try and make that happen, but hearing her say it is funny enough to break the temper-tantrum tension.

  12. Sounds like my house. Though I've not heard “what if I forget what the first one tastes like”. That's rich.

  13. I could have written this post word for word. Are you sure Sage isn't living a double life as my 3.5 y-o son?

  14. What a well-written post, it seems I have had that very same conversation with my daughters – just substitute edamame with , and the “minty” with .

    And yes I have noticed that candies wrapped in paper with foreign languages on them taste better. (-:

  15. My daughter, age almost 8 as she says, has always been an old soul. She acts like a little adult. She has been taking singing and songwriting classes. Lately, she has pushed back on any type of direction from teachers or coaches. She feels like she knows how to do everything as well as they do.

    Because she is so logical I try to explain that her teacher has 40 years on her of more life experience and more wisdom and we should listen to their guidance.

    She says, “Mom, I know you don't understand but I've thought about it and I am certain that my brain is just as wise as her brain.”

    Hard to argue with her.

  16. I said, “You have to have two more bites of banana before you can have another pancake.” My son replied, “I won't eat my banana unless you give me another pancake.” Turning the tables already at age 4!

  17. I am always telling my three year old that he needs to be quiet while his baby sister is sleeping. The other night he wanted to stay up a little later and read in bed.

    I informed him, for the millionth time, that it was time for bed. After a few more moments my frustration mounted and I said, “Cole, I am going to scream if you can't cooperate. It's time for bed.”

    He causally looked up at me and said, “Mommy, you can't scream or yell at me. Stella's asleep. You need to be quiet while she sleeps and I read.”

    I'm a little scared.

  18. My two-year-old son was playing with his new fire truck, but I smelled something stinky.
    “J, I think it's time for a diaper change.”
    He shook his head.
    “But then, what's that smell?”
    “Mama, fire trucks are stinky.”

  19. This is one I can really relate to as my husband is actually a litigator. My son comes by it naturally. It's also getting increasingly difficult to negotiate now that he can tell time as well. I lost a huge bargaining chip with that watch my brother got him.

  20. “What would the policeman say?”

    My daughter says this as if she is trying to convince me not to do something bad, as if denying her a third pouch of fruit snacks could land me in the slammer.

  21. My kids aren't talking much yet, my son is 23 months and my daughter is 6 months. But I laughed so hard reading Sage's reasoning that I'm kind of worried how I will manage to keep a straight face when it comes to getting my own kids to eat well.

  22. There is a tree at the end of our driveway and the rule is: do NOT go past the tree. One day, my 4 year old started inching closer and closer to the end of the driveway. After telling my daughter over and over that “if you take ONE MORE STEP towards that tree you are in BIG trouble missy” my daughter stopped, turned around to look at me as if to say “oh you poor stupid mommy” with her big blue eyes, before getting on all fours and crawling past the tree.

    Sigh, well, she didn't take one more step. Got me there.

  23. We get a lot of “I'll do this if you do that first” attempt at convincing me to let them have their way.

    My daughter (almost 4) tries to change reality with sheer stubbornness – often accompanied with foot stomping.

    My son (5 1/2) likes to attempt guilt trips, using the “hurting my feelings” and “being sad” to get me to do things for him.

    I know these tricks, though. After all, they are my own. 😉

  24. Sydney threw up in her bed this morning. She didn’t have any idea what happened, since she can never remember doing that in her life. She came out and announced, “I pooped on my pillow!” (Vomit is easy to clean up after that kind of statement!) This was from my niece. Kids really do say the darndest things!

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