I was late putting on my socks this morning; I hadn't folded my part of the last load of laundry yet, so I had to wait until I went downstairs to the second floor to get socks off the dryer. I then sat down on the bottom stair near where Margaret was playing and took off my slippers to put the socks on.
About this time, Jomkwan, our au pair, came up from the first floor. Normally, Margaret is more than happy to join Jomkwan for her all day play date. This time, though, she uncharacteristically resisted. When Jomkwan tried to take her, Margaret said "no!" very clearly, and refused to be picked up by either Jomkwan or myself.
Though I didn't make the connection immediately, normally when I sit on the stair and take my slippers off, the next step is to put my shoes on and go out somewhere. Margaret often gets to go along. This time, though, after my socks were on, I put my slippers back on instead of donning shoes. Margaret's plan had backfired - not only was there no walk with daddy coming up, but she had just lost her chance to go with Jomkwan for the day too! There followed a bit of forlorn crying and tugging at daddy's slippers to try to get them off, but Margaret's expression showed that she really knew she had outsmarted herself this time.
Fortunately, after stashing the day's supply of formula in the first floor refrigerator, Jomkwan came back up and gave Margaret another chance. This time, Margaret went more than willingly.
Is it totally impolitic to say that your cute kid story reminds me of my cute dog story? When I was growing up, our dog used to watch my dad in the mornings. If he put on black socks, the dog would go lie down somewhere, because dad was going to work. If he put on white socks, the dog would go berserk, because it meant that dad was going to the track and the dog would get to go for a run.
Seriously, Margaret sounds like a smart cookie. :) And I'm sure it feels good for you to know that a walk with Daddy still outranks a play date with Jomkwan, too.