Cate slept over last night. This morning Grandpa fixes blessed golden baby some breakfast. He sets her kiddie plate of scrambled eggs in front of her and joins her. She takes a bite or two and then loses interest. She is far more interested in jabbering and wiggling and dropping her toast.
This upsets Gramps. How dare she not want the eggs he so lovingly scrambled.
ld: Cate, eat your eggs. Now!
She swings her head side to side: No, no, no, no!
Ld, becomes more adamant: C'mon, quit playin’ with your food and eat!
Blessed golden baby sings out: Um, ah, mmm mmm No, no NO!
ld, getting louder: I mean it, Grandpa said to eat!
So it goes. There is no softening or compromise on either side. I intervene.
I pick up my spoon and scoop up some scrambled eggs. I say to the juice box sitting beside her plate,
“Hey juicy, want some eggs? Mmm, mmm, mmm.”I smack my lips. Cate laughs. Then I pick up her yellow baby spoon and stand it up, all puppet like. “Do you want some eggs too, Mr. Spoon? “ I make gobbling noises. I pretend to feed her upright spoon. She laughs some more. Grandma is so funny.
Ld shakes his head and rolls his eyes. He quietly mutters and snorts. I am non pulsed.
I nonchalantly turn back to Cate with my spoonful of scrambled eggs. “Want some?", I casually ask. Wonder of wonders she opens her little bird like mouth and eats. Enthusiastically. She eats the rest of her eggs in this manner. Mr. Juice Box takes a bite and then Mr. Spoon and then Cate.
When she is finished completely I see that ld is impressed. I take advantage of the moment and tell him that it’s just like that old Fable, the one about the wind and the sun and man with the cloak.
Ld says nothing. He lets me gloat. He he he. It's just so...apt.
Oh, in case you're wondering. Here’s the Fable. It’s a good one.
THE NORTH WIND AND THE SUN (Aesop's Fables)
A dispute arose between the North Wind and the Sun, each claiming that he was stronger than the other. At last they agreed to try their powers upon a traveller, to see which could soonest strip him of his cloak. The North Wind had the first try; and, gathering up all his force for the attack, he came whirling furiously down upon the man, and caught up his cloak as though he would wrest it from him by one single effort: but the harder he blew, the more closely the man wrapped it round himself.
Then came the turn of the Sun. At first he beamed gently upon the traveller, who soon unclasped his cloak and walked on with it hanging loosely about his shoulders: then he shone forth in his full strength, and the man, before he had gone many steps, was glad to throw his cloak right off and complete his journey more lightly clad.
Moral: Persuasion is better than force
or Warmth and kindness effects more than severity
More relevant and obvious moral and one I like best: A cheerful, sunny puppeteer influences more than a bully who breaks wind.