We’re trying to teach Leta to say, “Please,” and, “Thank you,” to replace her usual, “AHHHHH!” and, “GRRRRRR!” She has the THANK YOU part down really well. It sounds like DINK OOOO. But the PLEASE part, she’s not having any of that. We thought it would be a good idea to start with breakfast and make her say PLEASE to receive a piece of strawberry pop tart, but that was our first mistake. Animals in the wild don’t say please. They just pounce on the helpless prey and tear its head off.
Leta has yet to make that evolutionary jump from ravenous lion on the African horizon to civilized, harmless baby. Yesterday I withheld a piece of pop tart from The Beast and I nearly lost two fingers. Under no circumstances was she going to say PLEASE, and at one point she was so furious that she started to hold her breath and visibly shake with anger. I was afraid that if I got too close she might bite me and give me rabies.
This morning we decided to take a step back from Beginner’s Please 101 and just hand her pieces of pop tart. She would say DINK OOO every time she received a piece, and were we ever relieved! No growling or potential brain damage due to blood vessels popping in her forehead. But at one point I looked over and she had strawberry filling COVERING her cheeks like a scary horror movie clown.
“Jon!” I scolded. “You’re not supposed to give her oozy filling pieces. You’re supposed to give her edge pieces. Edge pieces only.”
“I only gave her edge pieces, or at least mostly edge pieces HEATHER. Look there’s an edge piece, and there’s an edge piece. Maybe there were a few non-edge pieces but I GAVE HER EDGE PIECES.”
“Stop giving her non-edge pieces.”
“I DIDN’T GIVE HER NON-EDGE PIECES.”
“I’m just saying, in the future, no more non-edge pieces.”
“DO YOU SEE THE EDGE PIECES? THOSE ARE EDGE PIECES.”
“Then how did she get all that filling on her face? NON-EDGE PIECES, THAT’S HOW.”
Funny thing, PIECES sounds remarkably like PLEASE and a little later in the morning I heard her saying PIECES and I was all, CLOSE ENOUGH! SHE DOESN’T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE, SUCKER!