“Not Coming”

Before the story, I gotta explain the ‘What’ rule. I cannot stand it when I call a child and he or she yells back ‘what’ in response. My (older) children know that if I wanted to come look for you, I would have. If I call you, it’s because I want to see you standing in front of me. So when I call your name, you call back that you are coming to confirm that you heard me as you begin to walk in my direction. If you do not acknowledge my summons, I can only assume that you have not heard me; therefore I will continue to call you until I see you in front of me. The longer and louder I have to call you, the more irritated I will be by the time I see you, and the less likely that things will go well for you at that time. If you cannot immediately come to see me, you must respond with a reason and an ETA (I’m in the potty, I’ll be there in a minute).

This was a few months ago, during the NBA playoffs. Ro and I were watching one of the sun’s games, and the kids were playing in their rooms. Daddy’s Girl had wandered into our bedroom, and Big Daddy called her.

Daddy’s Girl, come here.

Daddy’s Girl calls back. Big Daddy doesn’t quite catch it, and asks me what she said. I muttered ‘I dunno’ and looked at the game.

Daddy’s Girl, come here.

Daddy’s Girl calls back. Big Daddy asks me again what she said. I muttered ‘I dunno’ and kept my attention on the game.

Daddy’s Girl, come here!

Daddy’s Girl walks to our bedroom door and yells back, quite clearly…

“NOT coming!”

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