Tony Woodlief | Author

Turnabout is Fair Play

Last night in a fit of frustration I couldn’t remember the oldest boy’s name. “Eli, uh, boy, uh, Caleb, sit down!”

With a droll expression well beyond his four years, Caleb replied, “Okay, Mommy.”

This reminded me of a game Caroline used to play when she was two, and learning pronouns and gender. “Caroline is a girl,” she would announce, “and Mommy is a woman, and Daddy is a man.”

“That’s right, sweetie. Very good.”

“Daddy is a woman!”

“What?” I would ask with feigned shock.

“Daddy is a woman! Hehehehehe.”

Then I would sweep her up into my arms and tickle her while I kissed her neck, until through her squeals and belly laughs she relented. “Daddy is a man! Daddy is a man! Hehehehehe!! Daddy is a ma-a-a-a-a-a-an!!”

“That’s better,” I’d say, standing her back up. Caroline would put her little fingers to her face to push her curly brown hair out of the way, and adopt a mischievous look. The she would curl her arms up to her chest in preparation for another tickle attack and declare, “Daddy is a woman!”

“Come here!” I’d say in my best fake monster growl, and I’d tickle her some more. It was a good way to spend fifteen minutes. I miss that.

On Key

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