Monday, October 1, 2007


We own a gate-leg kitchen table. I will not here go into the immense (and usually unattainable) amount of patience it takes to deal with said table, nor the fact that my husband deems it valuable for the very reason that it requires patience to deal with it. Suffice it to say that it is a …trying… piece of furniture. Adding to the frustration of dealing with this table is that the floor that it sits on is not straight. If you put a six oops eight-legged gate-leg table on a crooked floor, you will have several legs that do not actually rest on the floor. You can try and wedge folded pieces of paper under the floating legs, but this will only work if you remember to guard these wedges of paper when your 8-mo. old is crawling in the kitchen.


So it is not unusual for the table to vacillate gently before deciding on a resting spot each and every time someone sets a piece of silverware down or bumps a leg. It is unusual for it to vacillate wildly and unrhythmically amidst a chorus of giggles. So when this happened, I turned to see Miriam (2) with one hand firmly on the edge of the table, shaking it. “Stop that!” I said. “Stop shaking the table!” She looked at me with twinkling eyes, unphased, and continued shaking. I briskly walked over to her, put her face in my hands, and got down to eye level. “Miriam,” I said in my deepest, most serious voice, “if you don’t stop shaking that table, you will get a spanking for disobeying.”


And this is the mark of true effectiveness. She instantly stopped shaking the table, stopped giggling, and threw her head back, still in my hands. And then she laughed hysterically. I could see all of her little teeth, and tears were started to form in the sides of her eyes. Tears of pure joy. I was so mad at her blatant disregard for the gravity of the situation that I just started laughing right alongside of her. “Now, Miriam,” I choked, trying to recover all nonexistent dignity, “I mean it. Do not shake the table.”


She looked at me, gave a post-guffaw sigh, grasped the table firmly with her hand, and shook her bottom violently.


I have GOT to work on The Look.


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