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How to Live With Children: How to Give Your Kid a Compliment

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DAN MILLEDGE
Dan Milledge

Cast: Dan = Dad, O = Son, Cat = Cat

Dan: (Enters Oscar's room, sits next to him.) I'm super proud of you, son.

O: (No response, continues to fiddle with Lego.)

Dan: Oscar, can you pause for a second and look up at me?

O: (No response, Lego fiddling becomes more intense.)

Dan: Oscar!

O: (Looks up.)

Dan: Thank you. I just wanted to tell you how proud I am of you. You are great. You are the best kid in the world. And I love you.

O: I'm trying to put this like the thing, but I can't get it.

Dan: Did you hear what I said?

O: (Stares blankly at Dan, as if looking through Dan at something more interesting, like the thing.)

Dan: Oscar! I said (immaturely elongated) I amm prrrroud of you. Good job! (pause) Do you understand?

O: (Nods yes, but he could give a sh*t, goes back to fiddling with Lego.)

Dan: (Under breath) Jesus Christ. (Out loud) I'm trying to give you a compliment. And when somebody gives you a compliment you should say "Thank you!"

O: Thank you, Daddy.

Dan: For God's sake. Did you even hear what I said?

O: Yes, Daddy.

Dan: What did I say?

O: That you should say thank you.

Dan: Why should you say thank you?

O: Can you get this to look like the thing?

Dan: Oscar, I asked you a question.

O: (Looks at Dan as if wondering whether his question had anything to do with the thing.)

Dan: Why did you say thank you just a second ago?

O: (Looks at Dan as if he has no recollection of five seconds ago)

Dan: I said that when somebody gives you a compliment, you need to say thank you.

O: (Eyes the room for clues as to why Dan decided on right now for this lesson on saying thank-you in response to a compliment.) Okay, Daddy. (Turns attention back to Lego.)

Dan: My GOD Oscar, I was giving you a compliment! I was saying something nice about you, TO you. Give me that. (Grabs Lego) Oscar. Listen. Do I have your attention? Good. I am proud of you for the--

O: (Tears up, not in the good way)

Dan: Oh brother... I'm just... everything is fine... Look! Here. (Gives back Lego) Take it. I'm sorry I raised my voice. Oscar stop. Jus t-- if... You will like what I'm trying to say!

O: (Pathetically) Ma-ma...

Dan: Don't Ma-ma. You know she's at work.

O: (louder) MA-MA! (Drooling sobs)

Dan: Mom's not here and you know she's not here.

O: (A deep, calming breath.) (Screaming sobs)

Dan: OK, now I'm getting upset so I'm just going to -- (gets up to leave)

O: I won't like you ever again!

Dan: Well that makes me feel very sad. (Leaves bedroom, closes door gently.)

O: (More screams)

Dan: I WAS TRYING TO SAY HOW PROUD I AM OF YOU!! Just so you know!!

Cat: (Stares at Dan, frozen.)

Me: Hi Kitty. You're a good kitty.

Cat: (Ignores Dan, licks paw.)

Total Time: 1.6 minutes