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I’m often amazed by the incredibly cunning plans that members of the stronger gender can cook up to get their way.
If there is any doubt in your mind, dear reader, women are born with this superpower. Most of it, anyway. The finer points are learned from their equally cunning mothers.
On Wednesday I realised again that us men are defenceless against even the humblest of apprentice scamsters.
I recently took the three-year-old Egg to a mall to discuss a pressing situation with her. As a born-and-bred mall rat, that’s the one place where I can truly become one with my thoughts.
But Egg wasn’t interested in my dilemma. The call of the toy shop was far too loud for her to ignore.
As an experienced father, I should have known better than to allow her to enter that cursed shop. I learned decades ago that my wallet is much thinner when I leave such a store – even if we have merely been there to “have a look”.
This time it was a little pink plastic stable from the My Little Pony range that mesmerised her. Or, as she prefers to call it, a horse house.
I don’t believe in buying Egg everything her dear little heart desires.
I want to protect her against instant gratification. I believe it stunts the development of patience and the ability to plan ahead.
But Egg doesn’t worry about patience and instant gratification – she wants a horse house.
“It’s unnecessary,” I told her.
“It’s not,” she countered. “It’s where my horse must live.”
“You don’t have a horse,” I said. “That’s another thing I wanted to discuss with you.”
I played my ace: “I don’t have money.”
“Just look in your wallet. That’s where your money lives.”
Eventually I managed to take her home without the horse house, which I deemed to be a victory for education over desire.
The very next day, she convinced her ouma to take her to the mall and buy her the horse house.
That evening I tried to give her a stern talk. “Didn’t I tell you that you can’t have that horse hou… uhm… stable?”
“Yes, you did,” she said unfazed. “That’s why I had to make a clever plan in my brain.”
Dirk Lotriet. Picture: Alaister Russell
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