My ten year old believes erosion is a winning technique in argument. He will ask endless variations of the same question, hoping to erode my resolve.
"Dad, can I have some chips?"
"No," I reply. "Dinner will be ready in less than an hour."
"Can I have a Coke?"
"Drink some water. You need to eat the meals we cook."
"Can I have . . ."
"No. Nothing. Nothing until dinner."
Eventually he goes away.
Three minutes later, "Dad, can I fix some ramen?"
I derive ways to detour him, besides wailing the tar out of him.
"You can have a boot rear," I say.
He asks, "A root beer?"
"No. A boot rear. There's one over there." I point.
He turns. I playfully kick him in the butt.
"That was a boot rear. Want another or are you full?"
"No, dad. I want something to eat."
"Well, we have boot rear ice cream. That's where I boot you so hard that you scream. Or a boot rear float. That's where I boot you so hard that you float off the ground. Maybe you'd like a boot rear sundae, where I boot you until it's Sunday."
The boot rear game has been going on for a long time.
One of my more shameful debacles in the boot rear wars was the "pizza dance." He had been eroding, and I had been boot rearing. He had been trying to get revenge, but I was too nimble for his clumsy boot rear techniques. Finally, he asked, "What are we having for supper?"
I said, "Pizza."
He said, "Oh, boy! Let's do the pizza dance."
He took my hands and we did a little twisting dance with a kind of a samba rhythm while he chanted, "Pizza, Pizza, PizZA." After the last syllable, he had me twisted to one side. He used his grip to get past my guard and boot reared me.
It is hard to take being outsmarted by a ten year old.
The pizza dance lives in infamy.