One night recently, the two of them were jumping off their beds, clutching pillows to their bellies to cushion the fall. We heard thumps and giggles, and then a scream when one of them landed on a toy. We told them to knock it off, but it continued. When Larry had had enough, he marched up the stairs. He threw the door open, and in his best Darth Vadar voice, said, "That's it. No more toys." And he scooped up all their stuffed animals--all of them, including the prized ones from infancy that have had half their fur rubbed off, including the little red dog that G calls "Cakes." Larry scooped them up and marched out with them. The kids cried; they wailed, but Daddy's heart is like ice when he's been pushed too far. Finally, they piped down.
Silence for a few minutes. Then the door opened and the G-man threw a paper airplane down the stairs and into the living room where we were sitting. Larry got up, unfolded it and found a carefully written note.
"Daddy. I do not like you. But if you give me my Cakes dog back, I will like you. And I will give you money. Love, G."
Apparently, he'd found a piece of paper and a pencil in his room and he had written the note while hunched next to the night light.
Larry had to cover his mouth to keep from laughing out loud. He said, "I have to reward this initiative." He took the Cakes dog back up the stairs and emerged a minute later with G's other prized possession, an oversized fake $20 bill. "He gave me the twenty," Larry said with pride. Seems like a fair trade.