I have an older brother. Which means that I was a victim to the oldest trick in the book. For years. Or until I slowly learned to quit looking away every time he pointed in some direction. Or I learned to take my stuff with me when I looked.
“Dude, check out that…”
And it wouldn’t matter how the phrase ended. I’d whip my head in the direction of his finger, scan the walls, the sky, whatever. Then I’d invariably say, “what? I don’t see anything.”
BECAUSE THERE WAS NEVER ANYTHING TO SEE.
I’d turn, instead, to watch my root beer in mid-chug heading down the wrong throat. Or my coveted dessert missing three bites.
The mental scars are deep.
Just yesterday my son pulled the oldest trick in the book out of his DNA and snatched his sister’s peanut butter cookie.
It was perfect. She got up for a drink of water. Came back. No cookie.
Only she’d forgotten she’d even had one.
Which made the cookie nabber laugh so hard his pants unsnapped.
He pointed to the end of the table. She followed his finger and said, “huh?”
At which time he squirreled right off his chair and pointed again to the cookie she couldn’t see hiding under the book at the other end of the table.
Her eyes rekindled. “Hey!” she shouted. “That’s my cookie!”
I snickered. This was too familiar.
She dove in the cookie’s direction. He beat her there.
Which means it may not end the same way next time. But I’d say, despite the cookie missing a number of crumbs, my daughter survived the oldest trick in the book just fine.