The Master of Manipulation

This past Wednesday, Justin and I went to Target to pick up a few odds and ends. Justin has a tendency to want to leave Target immediately after finding the toy he wants. In an effort to keep him interested, I told him that we would be going to the toy section last – and only if he was really good and helped me. He understood and was great!

We picked up a few cans of deodorant, a few bottles of Mr. Bubble, and some soap and shampoo. If you haven’t figured it out yet, he was stinky. There are only so many days in a row you can rub a car freshener on your child before daycare becomes suspicious because your child smells like “Everest Pine.”

Everything was fine…..until we went to get some bread.

At some point, the bread aisle at Target turns into the cookie, cake, and sweets aisle – and Justin figured it out before I did. He immediately ran over to a box of Little Debbie Chocolate Brownies with sprinkles, grabbed it, and then threw it in the cart….like he was doing me a favor. I took the item out of the cart and told Justin to put it back. Here is the following discussion:

Me: Justin, put that back.

Justin: But, I want it.

Me: No, Justin. Please put it back

Justin: But, I want it!

Me: No, Justin. Please put it back

Justin: But, I want it!

Me: C’mon Justin. We don’t want that. Put it back.

Justin: But….but…but….but…..but (about thirty times)

Me: Put it back….put it back….put it back….put it back (about thirty-one times)

Justin (pauses for a moment to think about the best way to manipulate me): BUT, DADDY…..IT’S FOR YOU……FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! (It should be noted that my birthday is not until August and he ended the sentence by looking cute and then going in for a hug.)

Me: Really? It’s for me?

Justin (smiling evilly): YEAH!

Me: Sooooo…….I get to eat it?

Justin (smile fades): Um…….no, daddy. It’s for me to eat for your birthday.

Me: Put it back.

Justin: (bursts into tears) NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

I was finally able to get Justin to leave the brownies behind by giving him a choice: brownies or toy. Ultimately, he chose the toy. This is where our adventure should have ended. It didn’t.

As we’re standing in the checkout line, Justin disappeared for a second. I assumed that he went around the corner to see the kids’ DVDs and point out each one that he already has. (This is something he usually does in the checkout like.) After a minute or so, he “crept” back into line and put an item on the conveyor belt. Then, he just smiled at me.

Somehow, he managed to find the exact same Little Debbie Brownie in a single-serving, kid size.

I gave in. I’m easily manipulated by a cute 4 year old.

I hope he remembers some of the moments I gave in during those times when I just can’t.

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