"Hey, Buddy! Daddy made you popcorn, I see. That's a treat!" I say to him, and I ask if he likes it.
His reply? "Get out of here." Calmly. Firmly. In his little diaper.
"Hey!" I say. "That is not acceptable."
He repeats, "Get out of here."
Incredulous, I look to his dad. Daddy's facial expression inquires of me, Who. Effin. Knows?
One thing we do know (now) is that *this* is apparently the phrase of the week. The tantrums of the Terrible Twos are so last year. Three is... an entirely... different... thing. This kid needs to feel in charge of something. Anything. His popcorn, at the very least.
Okay, I get it. You're asserting your independence, I think. He's the littlest of all of us. And all of his latest illustrations depict family scenes in which he is tiny. Very tiny.
Still. There is no excuse for being rude, though, Little one.
Time for a new tactic. Maybe I will show him how his words and actions can affect others?
I make my face fall, and I say to him, "That's not nice. At all. You hurt my feelings." And I walk around him, out of the room.
Will it work? Will he see, first hand, the error of his ways?
Will he immediately issue a mea culpa?
As I pass, I hear him say it again. Quiet, but still Clear. Calm. Firm.
"Get out of here."
Alright, kiddo. I'll check in with you again in 20 minutes. Eat your popcorn.