The Art of Persuasion

Why didn’t anyone tell me that MONSTERS EAT WHINY CHILDREN, as this soon-to-be-published book contends?

I could have used this information to great advantage a few short years ago. At the time, my daughters were just winning acclaim as world-class whiners, with no small amount of unintentional support from me. (See poem below.) Had I been informed of monsters’ dietary proclivity, I could have passed this tidbit along to my little tidbits.

It could have saved me a lot of angst. Not to mention a lot of money.


The Art of Persuasion

You can flatter me with niceties
Until my ears turn numb;
You can threaten me with misery
And yet I won’t succumb.

You can tie me up and tickle me
From end to giggling end;
Deprive me of all chocolate,
And still I will not bend.

For if you really want something,
And I answer firmly, “No.”
Well then, my dear, you heard it here:
A whine’s the way to go.

Now, whimpering won’t do it,
Nor a mere plaintive cry,
You must surround me with a sound
That reaches to the sky.

The higher-pitched, the better;
Yes, make it long and LOUD—
And I must say, you’ll get your way
If you can draw a crowd.

(Oh, I know I shouldn’t give in,
The experts make that clear;
But could they ignore this child of four
Whose pleas assault my ear?)

Indeed, my sweet, Lord only knows
What riches you’ll attain,
Depending on how lengthy
Of a yell you can sustain.

I won’t resist if you’ll desist
From that sound that you are making:
Candy? Cookies? DVDs?
They’re all yours for the taking.

©2009 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz


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