Katie makes flossing into a game where I play dental hygienist and she plays patient. A very important part of this game for her is the prize at the end of the procedure. She likes to remind me of this before the flossing, and if I should manage to forget by the end, she will remind me again. Often, I grab some tchotchke from the room and hand it to her, but occasionally I will give her an imaginary prize. Once, I gave her a winning lottery ticket. This evening, I gave her a magic jack-o'-lantern that will change all the candy she puts in it into vegetables.
This did not meet her prize requirements. "Daddy, you have to give me something real!," she insisted.
"I have given you imaginary gifts in the past." At this point I'm laughing pretty well. And she certainly is not.
"Daddy, it's not funny!"
"Oh, but it is! When you get older, you will want one for your kids."
Elizabeth offered that it might make the vegetables taste like candy. Yum!