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Monday, September 21, 2015
The other night at dinner, Alexander brings one of his LEGO ship creations to the table, and places it innocently next to his dinner plate. This elicits the ire of his grandmother, who tells him to remove the toy from the table immediately. So he places it on the ground next to him, earning yet another firm glare.
As an aside, Polish is the only language spoken at my parent's house. So naturally, this conversation is taking place in Polish.
As desert is being served, she proceeds to tell him that having the toy so close to him is a "pokusa," which translates to temptation. He has never heard this word, and asks what that word means. My mother reflexively attempts to simply provide the English translation, saying " in english it's ..." Sensing an opportunity to teach Alexander via metapohor, i cut her off.

"Alexander," i say, as i'm eating my ice cream. "Imagine if you misbehaved today, and lost your desert privileges. And next to you is a bowl of delicious yummy vanilla & caramel ice cream." I slowly take a spoon full of ice cream, and carefully place it in my mouth, closing my eyes and savoring the salty sweet taste on my tongue. "Mmmmmmm...." I quietly moan. "And it's a HOT day. REALLY hot. The condensation is running down the sides of the bowl, dropping to the table below. No one is at the table. The ice cream could be all yours." You know you shouldn't, because you're not allowed. But you so, SO want it," i emphasize. I take another spoon full of ice cream into my mouth, exaggerating the flavor, releasing all sorts of sounds of enjoyment. I sit back in my chair with a bowl full ice cream standing prominently in front of me, and observe.

At this point, his gaze entirely transfixed on me. His eyes are wide open, staring, his jaw agape. I have sold the story. "This," i tell him (all in Polish, of course), "This is a Pokusa."

He sits up straight as an arrow, contemplatively staring directly forward. The entire table is deathly still, with even Maggie May looking at me with wonderment. A long moment passes. He scans the table, his eyes darting back and forth. His brain calculating his next move. He spies my cellphone on the table, sitting off to the side. He lunges for it, and with one swift motion, leaps off his chair grabbing the cell phone and runs inside.

My parents and look at each other, curious as to what will come next. A few seconds later, Alexander calmly saunters back to his place at the table and sits down, his face sporting an ear-to-ear grin. I cock my head aside, and look at him askance. He finishes off the last of his ice cream and pushes his bowl forward. We are still not quite sure what's going on at this point, waiting for an explanation.

As he slowly wipes his mouth with a napkin, he turns to me and says "Dad?"
"What is it," i respond. "I think i saw your cell phone inside. It's on the counter. You have a message." He sits back.

It takes me a few seconds to realize the craftiness of this little minion. And when i do, i bust out laughing.

Yes. Yes. He's actually that clever. Putting all of his chess playing into practice the little tyke has attempted to bamboozle me. His intent was that i would get up and go get my phone. Why??
So he could have free access to my ice cream!!!

His reward paid off, and i split my remaining desert with him for a solid attempt.

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