Things kids say: Effective parenting edition

The basics: Standing around at San Francisco Airport this morning, waiting to board for Dulles. Mother and her +/- 13 year-old daughter sitting side-by-side nearby. Daughter is being irritating in the way only a 13 year-old can be: iPod plugged in, deadly bored expression, loud gum chewing, hands doing those “whatever” flapping movements.

Daughter: “But I just want want some caaandy!” 

Mother, reading a magazine: “No! No candy until after lunch.” (It’s a little after 10AM.)

Daughter (hangs head between knees, then bolts upright, whips her hair back, whines): “But it is after lunch where we’re going!”

Long silence punctuated by virtuoso nonverbal communication: daughter  fidgets, sighs heavily, pokes her kid brother for the sport of it, turns iPod up to “Deafening.” Mother finally tosses her magazine on the floor, mutters an under-the-breath obscenity, and stomps away. Returns shortly with a giant bag of peanut M&Ms, tosses it in the girl’s lap.

Mother: “Now, don’t ask for anything else!”

They remain silent–except for some overly-loud, open-mouthed crunching–until I board the plane.

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