What is mine is mine, what is yours is negotiable.
Me: Well, we got quite a haul from that charity dog walk.
Mischa: Oh? What did you get?
Me: Won some kids’ dog books and a 33 pound bag of Go! dog food. And a pile of toothbrush chews.
Tierce: Can I have one?
Mischa: Are you sure that you should leave them on the coffee table?
Me: Tierce knows that he is not to touch anything on the coffee table.
Tierce: Well, I always thought of that rule as more of a guideline.
Me: But of the doggie treats which are in the midst of the coffee table, Julie hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
THE NEXT DAY…
Me: Oh, Tierce… where art thou?
Tierce: Right here. Can I have some more treats?
Me: You ate of the coffee table. That was forbidden.
Tierce: That was last night and I’m still hungry. So. About those treats.
Me: I thought it was understood that you were not to touch anything on the coffee table.
Tierce: I heard those words. You didn’t really define what they meant.
Me: Well, if I were to go by tradition, I should kick you out the front door to make your own way in the cold, cruel world, stopping in every so often to randomly curse you.
Tierce: Didn’t I read something like that on the SPCA website? I think that’s against the law.
Me: But I’m your all-powerful deity. You should be cringing in fear of my wrath.
Tierce: Uh, yeah. Sure.
Me: Hang your head in shame!
Tierce: You know, I’ll be over here, chewing on this treat that I… found.
Me: On the coffee table?
Tierce: No, in the couch.
Me: I never put any of those on the couch.
Tierce: No, but I did. With you having all these delusions, one has to make provisions for the future.