A 3-year-old who knows it all and likes to think they call the shots…that’s my son Hayden. He even walks around the house with his chest out as though he’s the guy in charge. Time to get in the car? “I can buckle my own seatbelt,” he says. Pour milk? “I can DO IT!” Reach something on the top shelf? You can hear his stepstool being pulled across the wooden floor. Make it to the potty in time EVERY time? Wellllllllllllllllll…its baby steps.

Recently, at dinner, Hayden decided to gargle his milk. After being asked to stop several times, he continued to do so, with milk dripping down his treasured football jersey. We are traveling to Disney in June, so Greg decided to nip the behavior by mentioning that Mickey Mouse would be disappointed. Still nothing.

Next, Greg walked to the phone, and hit the button that locates the phone when its off the cradle. It began beeping, and Greg announced, “Hayden, Mickey is calling.” After a brief make-believe conversation with the famous mouse, Greg hung up and told Hayden that Mickey can’t wait to see him, but he needs to listen to his mommy and daddy.

Hayden’s eyes were as big as saucers. That’s all it took. He ate the rest of his dinner wide-eyed and in amazement.

The only sign of his misbehavior was a dried milk-stain on his jersey.