In the car during errand-running activities last week, with the 7-year-old in tow…
Me: Honeybunch, we really should watch that Tinkerbell “Secret of the Wings” DVD soon. I have to bring it back to the library soon.
Daughter: OK, Daddy.
Me: Seriously. You kept going on and on about how much you wanted to see it, ever since they started having commercials for its release months and months ago. I’ve already reached the renewal limit on this; it has to go back soon. You need to lay off watching “Wizards of Waverly Place” and whatever else on Netflix. You can watch that stuff on the iPad any time.
Daughter: Any time?
Me: Any time it’s a day you have screen time and you have access to it. Not like Mommy or I really use it much.
Daughter: So I can watch Netflix on the iPad tonight, then.
Daughter: You saaaaaiiiid “any time.”
Me: Any time on a day you’re allowed to watch TV. That’s the weekend, starting when you get home on Friday.
Daughter: (Activates semi-smarmy/semi-sweet know-it-all voice) No, you said “any time”…
Me: I think you know what I meant.
Daughter: (Activates semi-demonic/semi-imperious voice) You *HAVE* to let me watch the iPad tonight now.
Me: No I don’t.
Daughter: (Activates grandiose voice) You *MUST* obey the mighty [insert a goddess name here; it might even be my girl’s actual name] !!!!!!! Let me use the iPad *RIGHT* when we get home!
Me: That won’t be happening.
Daughter: (Add booming undertones to grandiose voice) You must obey the mighty goddess’ power! I demand that you obey!
Me: Nah. Not gonna work. You have to wait.
Daughter: (Switches suddenly to sweet/wheedling voice; no doubt her eyelids fluttering furiously, even though I can’t see her) Please, Daddy?
Me: Sorry, kiddo. Nope.
Daughter: (Adds more syrup to voice) I’ll do everything you say if you do…
Me: You always tell me that; it never turns out to be true for longer than about 15 minutes.
Daughter: I willlllllllll. I promise. Pleeeeeeaaaaaase?
Me: You’ll have to wait until Friday.
Daughter: (Activates sing-song tattletale voice) I’ll tell Mommy you’ve been mean. I’ll tell her you’re a BAD DADDY.
Me: She already knows that, Sweetie.