Dispatches from the Frontlines of Fatherhood: One-Upsmanship

Scott William Carter   November 11, 2011  

The scene:  Dinner.  My five-year-old, as usual, is complaining about what we’re feeding him.

Me:  I’m tired of the whining.  Someone made you a nice dinner, so the least you can do is eat it.  If you don’t, maybe I’ll write a book about you.  I’ll call it Calvin the Little Engine Who Couldn’t.  What do you think about that?

Calvin:  If you do that, if you do that – I’ll – I’ll take the napkins and throw them at your face.

Me:  Yeah, but I can get that book published and have it appear in every school library in America.  Millions of kids will know who you are.  So you shouldn’t try to one-up me.  I’ve got the advantage.

Calvin (thinking about it):  Then I’ll spank your bottom ten times.