I triple dog dare you

Is it not interesting how children will sometimes, just when you least expect it, give away the secrets to raising them easily and effortlessly?

I have a picky eater at my house. Well, maybe two (Maddie is 18 months, and therefore picky in the way all children entering their terrible twos are, but it’s too soon to make a permanent call). Cooper, I can say with great certainty, is a very picky eater, and after six years, I was out of ideas:

MOMMY: Eat your green beans.
COOPER: I don’t want to.
MOMMY: You have to eat some.
COOPER: (lip quivering) I REALLY don’t want to.

and so on. I had pretty much decided to stop asking altogether, to keep throwing half his dinner away without comment, since all my wheedling and cajoling over the years had been decidedly counterproductive. Then, the other night, this:

COOPER: Mom, aren’t you going to ask me to eat my green beans?
MOMMY: …cooper please eat your green beans.
COOPER: I am not going to. Unless you triple dog dare me.
MOMMY: What?
FERGUS: (looking up, with a mouthful of green beans): What?
COOPER: Triple dog dare means if you tell me it, I have to do whatever you say.
MOMMY: Or else what?
COOPER: Or else nothing, but you HAVE to do it. That’s all.
MOMMY: (tentatively) I triple dog dare you to eat your green beans.
COOPER: Ohhh-kayyy.

And he eats a few green beans.

I mean, are you kidding? Was this all I had to say all this time? For the last few days, “triple dog daring” the boys to clean up their toys and get dressed and go poop and eat their dinners has been working remarkably well. I can’t believe Cooper just handed it to me. Feel free to give it a shot, I hope it works half as well at your house.

But beware. It can be turned back upon you. As I was coloring Easter scenes yesterday evening, with the boys:

MOMMY: Fergus, I like those Easter eggs.
FERGUS: Fanks.
MOMMY: Do you like my Easter bunny I drew?
Fergus regards it for a few moments.
FERGUS: Well. If you triple dog dare me to wike it, I do.

image from tailwags.webs.com