Darnedest family math

Here is an exchange between me and my son Archer (age 5 1/2) this morning.

Archer: Are you Aunt Suzanne’s dad?

Me: No, you know what I am to her. I’m her what?

Archer: Her sister?

Me: No…

Archer: Her brother?

Me: Yes! Who is Aunt Suzanne’s dad?

Archer: Grandpa?

Me: Right. Who’s my dad?

Archer: Grandpa.

Me: Right! Who’s your dad?

Archer: You!

Me: Right. Who’s your brother?

Archer: Jonah.

Me: Who’s your sister?

Archer: Pamela.

Me: Who’s my brother?

Archer: [thinks hard] …Nobody?

Me: Right! It was a trick question. But I didn’t fool you, did I?

Archer: [excitedly] No. ’Cause my brain said, “I never heard Daddy say he had a brother before.” So I added that to my brain and then I took away the brother and my brain said, that’s right!

Darnedest negotiation

Yesterday Andrea and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary (and our twenty-first year of togetherness). To get some alone time, we packed the kids off to the house of some friends.

I asked them to get together the things they’d need for an overnight. They disappeared into their room and came back out into the living room a minute later with an armload of stuff apiece. But Jonah forgot his socks, and he was feeling lazy, so he said to Archer, “If you go get me some socks, I’ll give you…” (and here he thought for a moment) “…a hug!”

Archer said, “OK!” at once and disappeared back into their room — whereupon Jonah leaned over to me and whispered, “I’m actually going to give him a hug and a kiss!”