Megan opens the door to Uncle Roger and her not-quite-3-yr-old, John-John, and notes: You two are back a little early, aren't you?
Roger mumbles, "Yes and no."
Megan sniffs a bit and then queries, "I smell chicken. Did you bring me a piece?"
"Sorry, Roger apologizes, but the chicken sort of ended up in the sand and... I had to chuck it." John-John slips behind Roger's legs.
"John-John, I can see you. Get over here, right now." The guilty party creeps slowly toward his mother, head hanging as low as possible. When he finally reaches Megan, she verbalizes what has become even more obvious: You've been playing with food again, haven't you? John-John shakes his gravy-stained face up and down. "You know what that means, my dear son - right?" Megan reminds. The now pouting John-John only twitches his head in response this time.
Mommy takes her tyke's hand and they slowly proceed up the stairs, as Uncle Roger apologizes: It was really my fault; I... wasn't exactly watching him.
Megan counters: I know that, but I've talked to him more than once about snitching food, dropping it, and smearing it all over himself - and everything else. He knows clearly that such behavior is 'a no-no'. I'll be back down in a bit. And Rog, by the way, there's KFC all over the back of your shirt and pants.
Megan leads John-John to his room and, after removing a chicken wing from his back pocket, gives him five spanks on the rear. "Okay John-John; now sit in your thinking chair and think about this." After John-John settles himself into a little chair in one corner of his room, Megan adds: I'll be back in about fifteen minutes and you'd better still be in that chair when I return.
John-John promises, "I will mama; I won't move." The tyke spreads the tears rolling down his face all over his face with his sticky hands, and Megan gives him some tissue before leaving the room. John-John sniffles some more, rubs his eyes red with his fists, and blows his nose with the tissue. Dry enough, he sits there staring into the air.
About fifteen minutes later, Megan quietly re-enters the room and asks: Well, what do you have to tell me?
"I love you Mommy."
"I love you too, John-John. That's why I have to teach you to be a good boy; I want the best for you."
John-John blubbers: I know, Mommy; I'm sorry. Megan picks up the tearful tyke and they hug warmly. "Mommy, can you read me a Bible story?"
"Of course I can; but first, we've got to do something about your clothes - and you need a bath."
After Megan sets John-John on his feet; he yanks a small chicken breast out of his shirt pocket and hands it to her: Mommy, I saved this for you.
Megan takes the piece of chicken, "Thanks John-John, but I probably won't be able to eat it. You know, it's a little dirty."
"I do. I'm sorry I got it dirty, Mommy."
Megan pulls a fat chicken leg out of both of John-John's front pant-pockets and then scouts up a bag to carry the chicken pieces in. "Okay, it's down to the kitchen to wipe off the slaw stuck on your shirt and pants, and then into the tub... I thought you hated coleslaw."
"I do Mommy. I spit it out."
Mommy and the tyke slowly proceed back down the stairs, hand-in-hand and chatting happily.
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