My wife and my 1st grader have recently been banging heads about (among other things...) her completing her writing homework. The other night, as has become par for the course, my daughter sat at the kitchen counter whining about it being too hard while my wife thundered away at her about how she needed to stop moaning and get her work done. It was then her three year old sister injected, "You better do your homework or else Santa Claus will see you!"
After pausing for a moment, my wife thought to herself, "Hmm, maybe I can use this." After nodding in agreement she added, "Yeah, and I have Santa's number. If you don't get working right now, I'm calling him." Well our sassy little six year old wasn't biting so my bride grabbed her cell phone, called her dad, and pretended to have a very disappointed conversation with the famous fat man from the North Pole. After concluding her conversation, my wife threw the kid a look as if to say, "I didn't want to do that, but you made me" only to have the child come back with, "Come on mom, that was grandpa you were talking to." This was starting to backfire.
Now backed into a corner, my wife needed a strong move to save this routine. "If you don't believe me, I'll call him back and you can talk to him!" With that she again whipped out her cell phone and began scrawling through her contacts. She certainly couldn't call her dad back as grandpa's voice would be obvious. Desparate, she called my buddy Kurt who I went to high school with and now enjoy frequenting local taverns with.
Kurt (5'9'', 160 lbs) doesn't have a creative bone in his body. What I wouldn't have given to be a fly on the wall when he answered his phone and listened to my wife say, "Hi Santa Claus, Marie won't do her homework, can you please talk to her?" and handed the phone to my daughter (while praying he'd get it and play along).
After a long pause, and no doubt some supressed laughter, my pub mate hacked through a performance that would get you booed off a community theater performance. "Um, (lowering voice), ho-ho-ho, you better do your homework like your mommy says, or else I may not stop at your house this year!"
Sadly, the kid bought the whole thing and immediately completed her writing work. The three year old of course went crazy and needed to talk to Santa as well thus necessitating my buddy continuing his performance a little longer.
Hmm, I wonder if a conversation with Santa might help my tier 3 kids at school....