Sins and Pink Elephants

There’s something universal about kids: how they try to manipulate their parents.
Take, for example, an incident with my younger daughter when she was about three. My husband had taken her with him to the swap meet one Sunday. She happened to see a vendor with a lot of stuffed animals, including a couple of quite desirable pink elephants.
Of course she wanted one.
Now, normally you’d think she would have asked her Daddy if he would please buy it for her. Nope. That’s not the way kids go about something like this.
Instead she informed him, “I don’t have a pink elephant.”
What, exactly, did she think her father would do? Drop to his knees, raise his hands to heaven, and cry out in utter agony, “Oh no! She doesn’t have a pink elephant! Whatever can we do?”
Well, my husband took the hint and bought her one.
When they arrived home, I took one glance at this new acquisition of hers, folded my arms across my chest, and stared my husband in the eye. “Sucker,” I told him. “You sucker.”
He merely shrugged. “What could I do? She didn’t have a pink elephant!”
What neither of us realized was that this stuffed animal was going to cause our daughter untold mental anguish.


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