1. No, your rocking horse can't take you to Russia. It's not a real horse.
2. No, I don't feel like painting you a picture of a shark that's eating my head.
(More on that later, and the vengeance they wreaked after I spurned their request.)
3. No, you can't sleep up in your sister's bunk bed tonight.
("But he can sleep between me and the wall so he doesn't fall off!")
Umm....good idea. But...no.
Saddest sight ever as one of them slowly trudged up the ladder and the other forlornly dragged his feet and lonely blanket to his lowly and undangerous bed. Lest you feel to sorrowful, don't worry: they met up in our room around 3am.
4. No, just because you're cold doesn't mean I'm going to let you eat breakfast in the bath.
5. No, I know it's a cool movie poster, but you are not watching Jaws. We need to get you into swim lessons first.
I am so mean.
My daughter's vehement explanation for why her little brother should be allowed to sleep on the bunk bed with her:
"But Daddy, Uncle Jeremy said it was okay! Please!!!"
For a little bit,
I said, knowing in my heart that I'm still totally in charge and it was not a win for the bullying gang composed of our children and my youngest brother.
He also suggested, while on speakerphone, that there was "...plenty of time to play one-to-four rounds of memory game before bedtime." I hung up on him before he got around to discussing ice cream.
They think he is just King Cool, but the fact is, he's not. He's simply a musician living in L.A. who gives terrible advice to his niece and nephew.