The setup: Praying before breakfast
Me: Whose turn is it to pray first?
Both: Me, me!
Me: I heard Elaine's voice first. OK, Elaine, you pray.
Elaine: Dear Jesus...Lucy, don't eat your stuff.
Lucy: I'm not eating anything!
Elaine: Dear Jesus...Lucy's eating yogurt, Mom.
Lucy: Mom, I promise, I'm not.
Me: Elaine, just go ahead and pray.
Elaine: Dear Jesus, thank you for my stuff. Thank you for my yogurt. Amen.
The setup: Getting Lucy all dressed up for a party. When she's all done, I like to say, "Ohhhh! You look so lovely!"
Lucy: Mom, when I'm all done, could you please not gasp? I like when you say I look nice, but I don't like the part where you gasp. It really concerns me when you do that.
The setup: The breakfast table. Elaine is a grouch, as she usually is on Tuesday mornings.
Elaine: Want more. (She says "want" like "mont." Now Darren and I do it all the time too.)
(ignoring silence from the rest of us)
Elaine: More. More cereal. This (pointing at box of cereal).
My mom: You need to put a little pizzazz and manners into that request, Lady Jane. (I love my mom.)
Elaine: Mont more! (That wasn't really the pizzazz we were looking for.)
My mom: How about "More honey Chex, please?"
Elaine: (stony silence)
My mom: I think you can do it! I think you can say, "More honey Chex, please!"
Elaine (continued stony silence)
My mom: Can you say just one word--'please'?
Elaine (in soft little voice): Just one word, please.