This morning at breakfast, my three year-old, Leah, performed an incomprehensible magic trick. She's holding her hands behind her back, waving them around, then she's shouting "Ta-Da"! I have no idea what was going on in her mind, but she seems pretty pleased.
"Honey, you need to explain what you're doing so people can understand your trick."
To demonstrate, I make a fist and hold it up. "There's a penny in my hand, and I'm going to make it disappear!" I hadn't anything in my jeans pockets, so I'm just pretending - my fist is empty. Maybe I'll get a laugh out of it.
Morgan, my six-year old, perks up.
"Show me the penny! There's no penny in there."
After years of my lame daddy-magic tricks with pennies, Morgan now questions every step of the way. There's no way she's going to believe there's a penny in there unless she sees it first.
"You're right, Morgan," I say, "there's no penny in my hand. See, Leah, people need to understand what you're doing and believe it, otherwise the trick doesn't work."
I'm not going to fool anyone, but now I'm in the mood so I continue with my impromptu routine.
"Look, Leah, I'll make it disappear!" I say, holding up my still unopened fist. "I'm going to squeeze it down to nothing!" Loosening my grip, I poke my finger in one side, then in the other, ostensibly pressing the penny down to dust-speck size.
"Now that it's too tiny to see, I'm going to blow it out like dust!" I hold my fist to my mouth, blow through it, then theatrically fan open my fingers, showing my empty hand.
"Where's the penny?" I ask.
Leah thinks for a second. She wasn't born yesterday. She's turning four in a week, she's been around the block a few times now. She's seen this sort of thing before.
"It's in your ear!" she exclaims!