My hungry 9-month old grandson is being a wiggle-worm. He wants his banana now, and like Prot, is trying to eat it whole, peel and all.
“Come on lad, let Grandma mash this up for you – no, we don’t eat the peel – here’s your high chair -”
Much squirming and complaining, “NANA NANA!” (I’m not sure if by “nana” he means banana or some pet name for grandma; I’m usually the one who brings home the bananas from the market, and the one who feeds him an evening snack of “happy smile fruits” — our code name for the nosh of choice, especially if we’ve run out.)
“Ow no let go of my glasses, Grandma can’t feed you until you’re in your chair-” This operation of Insert Boy B Into Chair C almost takes two women.
I revert back to child-training using simple commands. Given enough repetitions, it will sink in, just like “OPEN” [mouth], “NO BITING”, “TOUCH GENTLY” [flowers, cats], “STILL” [stay in place for diapering], “REACH UP” [un/dressing], and all those other thrilling conversations.
“IF eat, THEN sit!”
The lad was sufficiently startled by this novel command to pause a split-second, thus allowing us to plop his tuchis on the chair and snap on the tray. We’ll be using the IF-THEN logic construct for the next few years, along with FIRST-THEN. (There’s nothing like reinforcing order of operations, whether mathematical or procedural.)
Now I can finally start spooning mashed banana into the lad’s mouth, and he’s thumping his feet and smacking his hands on the tray with delight, exclaiming a pleased, “Nom-nom nom!” (Seriously.)
“That’s a good boy,” cooed his mum, “Listen to Grandma’s Boolean logic!”
Ah, the great moments of geeky family life – gotta love ’em!
P.S. 4011 refers to an imaginary line of programming code, and also to the grocer’s PLU number for bananas.