I was at the grocery store the other day when I heard a mother trying to get her young (I'm talking 3 or 4) daughter to stop messing with old coffee beans left over near the coffee grinder. The little girl just so happens to find a little neon colored ball (tempting to a four year old, I'm sure) in the coffee grinds and machine and begins to play with it in the isle... All the while, the mother is telling her to "stop" and "put it down".
Then she says something that I NEVER heard my mom say to me when giving directions...
This mother walks over to her cute little girl, reaches for the ball, and says (please brace yourself for this)...
She says, "Please"!!!!!!
A mother... talking to her kid... uses "please"... in giving directions... (wait...) ... ORDERS!!!!!
And guess what happens. That little girl kept right on playing with that ball covered in ground coffee.
I literally wanted to stop in my tracks (from picking up yet another box of cinnamon graham crackers) and ask the mother what she'd just said, but I didn't.
I continued to pick up two boxes for my graham cracker fix and walk away in amazement.
My mother, as sweet (and I mean sweet) as she is, never ever ever begged me to do anything. It was "Nikki, do this" or " Nikki, don't do that", and I did this or didn't do that... immediately.
Because I knew I only had one additional warning, which was simply a cutting of her eyes at me, before some sort of corporal punishment was handed down (pun intended).
For example, my parents have an audio recording of me around the age of 3 walking around the house messing with my dad's record/tape player. At one point, you hear me messing with it, and my mother calls my name and tells me to leave it alone because daddy wouldn't be happy if I messed something up. I mumble some kiddie gibberish and continue mashing buttons. Shortly afterwards, you can hear her spank my hand and say "Stop" then I cry... you don't hear me touch that tape player anymore throughout the next hour of the recording... however, you do hear me adamantly say that "I don't wanna sammich; I want cake!"... but thats another story.
If that little girl had been mine, I guarantee that "please" wouldn't have been an option.. because I don't bargain with children.