Around here logic and wit are prized attributes. If you can give me a logical explanation or argument as to why you should get to so-and-so, I'll probably listen and might even change my mind. And if you can do it and be funny at the same time, well, you just might get out of any jam you find yourself in, because the other thing we hold at a premium in Johnson Land is being funny. We encourage witty comebacks, smack talk, and jacking other people (in love).
Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:
Lillian, running through the church parking lot, carrying/dragging a broom from the fellowship hall behind her. The Husband to Lilly, "WHAT are you DOING??!!" Lilly, smelling a beating in her near future, never missed a beat, "I've got to get started on spring cleaning, Dad!"
witty comeback + laughing daddy = no beating
It's a learned skill. I started honing it while still in my parent's home. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much, as my brother learned when my father told him to take out the garbage one afternoon and he and his nine-year-old self responded, "What do you think? Taking out the garbage is my hobby?" Now, to his credit, my father did actually laugh quite heartily as he removed his belt to administer the Memory Enhancer (as we so fondly called whippings). I assure you it worked; there were no more forgotten garbage incidents that I can recall.
Lillian playing a video game on the computer: I could hear her yelling from the other end of the house. Went into the office to fuss at my baby girl, wanting to know what her problem was--she told me to wait a minute and watch for just one more second. The bad guy began taunting her virtual character, so she threw her right arm into the air, little fingers curled into a fist and yelled, "I'm bringing the SMACK DOWN to YOUR TOWN!" (Note to self: no more unsupervised television for The Little Flower.)
Carter, who ate the centers out of 24 Oreo cookies, stuck them back together, and returned them to the package and then the cabinet: Upon discovery, when the culprit was determined, his response? "Why would I eat the parts I don't like? It's saving money to let someone else eat the cookies. It's like being a good steward. You like chocolate, don't you, Mom?" (How did this become my fault?)
Elaina's hair is about two feet long and has to be braided every night or we face a rat's nest on her head in the morning. She's growing it out for Locks of Love. One morning it was particularly bad, and as I brutally yanked the hairbrush through her tangles, I threated to cut it all off in the middle of the night if she forgot to braid it again. Her response: "Let me get this straight. You are going to throw my hair away because it's a little inconvenient for you to brush it? Well, you can call the sick children and explain what happened to their new wig, because it's a little inconvienent not having any HAIR. And if you want to make a sick kid cry, it's going to be on you." (Guilt is a powerful motivator; score two for Elaina.)
And I'm not allowed to write Elise's because it's on the Banned List of Things I Dare Not Utter Lest I Humilate My Most Precious Offspring. (There's more than one way to skin a cat.)