The expression on my son’s face as I put the ball away in a cupboard was one of pure misery. I had taken away his ball. His glorious, amazing, forged-by-glowing-elven-creatures-in-a-dark-and-secret-forest (nah, made in China) ball. That’s the thing that sucks about ultimatums: ultimately, someone has to make good on that threat she yelled at top volume 20 seconds ago.
You know what I’m talking about, right? When you tell your kid, “If you do that one more time …” and then you invent a horrible threat that you INSTANTLY wish you could take back, because goddammit, now you’re going to have to follow through?
The thing with my son’s ball — and keep in mind he’ll be 7 this week, so I’m not talking about a toddler here — is that he leaves it on the ground. No big deal, you’re thinking. It’s a ball. Get over it. Well, it’s a small foam type ball which he uses to make his super rad Michael Jordan dunks on the toy net fastened to the back of a door in our rec room, and the problem with this type of ball is it’s enormously compelling to our Labrador, who is a biological anomaly on account of the fact that she has five or six circus peanuts inside of her skull instead of brains.