The other night while I was folding laundry, my 4-year-old son D- managed to achieve the rare feat of sneaking up on me undetected. His ferocious roar gave me the momentary flash of panic I normally only taste in the air around my own victims, but being the consummate professional* I am, I immediately recovered and so betrayed nothing to my tormentor.
However, after a moment's reflection during a brief unrelated Q&A (4-year-olds being nature's ideal unpaid messengers), I decided not to deny him his rightful victory, so I called to him just before he left the room:
Me: Hey, nice work back there, by the way-- I didn't hear you coming at all!
D- (smiling): I'm gonna scare you again...
Me: No, it can't work now, because you just told me you were doing it.
D-: (pauses) Let's try it again where I don't tell you about it.
Me (laughing): But you just told me about it again! (looks back down toward the laundry)
D-: (begins tip-toeing forward with a large smile)
* Non-compensated professional, of course, as is the case with most of my careers.
You may also enjoy the other (4 YO son) D- conversations, (2YO daughter) M- conversations, and (wife) J- conversations.