You gotta know when to hold them, know when to fold them

Life with my son Ot who is ten, is like an endless game of poker: who has the best pokerface, and who will fold first?

Take dinner for instance.

Ot will start the game by saying: ‘Yuck, I don’t like it. I won’t eat this!’
And then I will say: ‘I’ll see you, and I’ll raise you to: ‘Fine! No Hannah Montana for you tonight!’

Then Ot ups the stakes by stating: ‘Then I will never eat again. Ever!’
Now the stakes are really high! What should I do? I decide to follow him, and raise the stakes one more time: ‘Agreed, you’ll never eat again!’

And self-satisfied I lean back in my chair, thinking: ‘There! That should teach him!’
But Ot has nerves of steel, and never loses his pokerface. Again he raises the stakes, this time by saying: ‘Then I will leave, and never come back!’

I feel small drops of nervous sweat gathering on my forehead: what to do? Never before did I come up against such a strong player! I decide to take a risk, and raise the stakes one more time.
‘Alright! Would you like me to get your coat?’
Then Ot gets up from the table. ‘Yes thank you!’

And that’s when I know I’m beat, and I fold like a cheap lawn chair. So I say: ‘Ot put your coat back, and finally eat your dinner!’

And then the game starts all over again…

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  1. says

    Haha! So this is what I’m in for? We’re currently in the Terrible Twos, and I am doing my best not to negotiate with my little terrorist–not working out so well.

    Do you ever win these dinner-time standoffs?

  2. says

    My Daughter just turned 11, and she knows that I’d not only help her with her coat, but I’d open the door for her too! But I’m a Daddy, her Mommy would cave like you did. I’m sure in a couple of years, I’ll look at things differently

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