The trap

Most of you are familiar with the concept of a trap. It’s generally someplace you don’t want to be. If you are there’s often no way out… or if there is, it involves pain.

I’ll draw a picture for you in fifteen words or less.

“John, why didn’t you have Adam do his homework when you got home?”

Point of clarification: Adam was in bed and the assignment was due the next day.

Let’s see you wiggle your way out of that one. We’ve all heard stories about animals gnawing off a limb in exchange for their freedom, but I’m kind of fond of mine – all of them. Short of falling on my sword (or sharpening my teeth), was there anything I could do or say to get myself out this? I didn’t have any excuses. There were no gas leaks in the neighborhood. His assignment wasn’t a victim of spontaneous combustion. We don’t have any pets. I haven’t suffered any sharp blows to the head (yet). The only way I was going to get out of this was some variation of the mea culpa dance. I could score a perfect 10 and there would still be a little pain involved.

So I went the other way with it. Having learned nothing from our fearless leader’s adventures in foreign policy, I tried a little offense on for size.

“Cheryl, Adam is three years old. He’s not even in pre-k. Isn’t giving homework at this age a little silly?”

ZING! Oh man that felt good! My two seconds of pride started when my lips stopped… and ended abruptly with a stern “I’m not amused” look. A lesser man might fold like yesterday’s mail* from such a look.

As it happens, I’m a lesser man. Adam hasn’t missed an assignment since.

*If you know what I meant by that, could you please let me know?

Give the gift of words.