Year 4, Day 95

Convincing Miles to do just about anything is a real challenge at this point. No matter what you suggest, Miles will always have a counter-offer, oftentimes in complete opposition to what he actually needs to do, which he will then alter as soon as it seems he might be appeased. Binary choices frequently don’t work, and you can forget issuing a command without suffering Miles’s sonic wrath, as that’s the easiest way to turn him into a screaming mess.

There is, however, one solution that works nearly every time — provide Miles with an opportunity so outlandish that he has no choice but to laugh at it. It softens him up, avoiding a meltdown, and makes him eager to comply with us so he can see if we’re serious about whatever outrageous promise we’ve made. Today, for instance, I told Miles that, instead of brushing HIS teeth, I needed him to come upstairs and brush DADDY’S teeth.

In an instant, Miles went from belligerent fit to uncontrollable laughter, and when I said he’d have to brush HIS teeth first, he darted to his bathroom, his eye on the ultimate prize.

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