I should have known better. I mean, I practically invented this tactic when I was a kid. But at 2 1/2? Since I actually 'remember' doing this I must have been more like 4 or 5 at the time.
After a late night Christmas Eve, followed by an eventful Christmas day and culminating with a rather large helping of wonderfully cooked pot roast with all the trimmings - lovingly prepared by Mrs. LIAYF - Lukas played hard with his Christmas toys for a final few minutes. At last it was time to start the bedtime routine, so his mother scooped him up, ignoring protests and pleas such as "5 more minutes!", and headed toward the stairs while I worked on the last of my 'Dish Mountain'.
However they returned mere moments later. "He says he is still hungry, Daddy" said Mrs. LIAYF. I am going to get him some granola and yogurt. "We can't put him to bed hungry!"
She set him gingerly down in his booster seat with his healthy bowl of yogurt and called over to me to watch him while she went to do something upstairs. To his credit, Lukas ate most of the bowl but was a bit wired from the day and began to play with his food, smearing it all around his face, his shirt, his hair, and also the table.
He was clearly enjoying the moment. "It looks like you are done, buddy" I said to him as I cleaned him up. Raising him into my arms, I said "I guess it is time to get ready for bed".
He whined briefly. Then realizing that this tactic would have little effect on me he paused for a moment then said "I'm still hungry Daddy!"
I looked at him dubiously.
"My belly is hungry daddy!" "It hurts!" he continued, before the subtlest hint of a smile betrayed him. That was it. The gig was up. "Nice try" I said to him as I carried him up the stairs straightaway.
And all the while I could almost hear the tiny wheels turning in his head above the whining protests.