Thursday, October 11, 2007

Slave Driver

James doesn't sit on the couch. He catapults himself onto the couch. Usually headfirst. During one such mini-adventure yesterday, his errant foot tipped over a box of goldfish crackers.

Naturally, the fish swam quickly to the freedom of the hardwood floor. James looked at the goldfish. Then he looked at me. Can you believe he actually seemed surprised when I told him to pick them all back up?

With a harrumphing moan, he slogged into his task. For a couple of minutes, he sighed dramatically, resentfully plucking up one escaped goldfish at a time and depositing it disconsolately back in its prison.

Then he turned to me and said, "Mom, are you, like, Pharaoh or something?"

Very interested to see where his mind was headed, I said, "Why do you ask?"

Sounding for all the world like he was actually building pyramid bricks from straw under the hot Egyptian sun, he replied mournfully, "Because I feel like a slave."

Stifling a laugh, I said, "No. If you were really a slave, I would be standing over you going like this: [insert whip-cracking noise and hand motion]." His eyes widened slightly.

I let him chew on that for a moment, then I reminded him in that low, dangerous, deceptively gentle mom-voice, "But you do have to do what I tell you to."

The goldfish were all picked up in no time.

Just call me Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile.