When Andy arrived home, his mother was reading on the living room sofa.  “Hi, Andy,” she said.  “How was school?  Come give me a hug.”

Andy hugged his Mom and said, “It was okay.  We made paper helicopters and dropped them out the window.”

“Did you get in trouble?”

“No, Mom.  It was the teacher’s idea.  It was for science.”


Mom went back to her book, and Andy went to his room.

When he walked in his bedroom door he stopped.  His clothes drawers were dumped on the floor.  His collection of stuffed white tigers, which he kept on his dresser, was spread across his bed.  His desk chair was upside down, in the middle of the room, surrounded by pillows.

He slammed the booklet on his desk and ran back into the living room.  “MOMMMMMMM!  THEY DID IT AGAIN!”

His mother looked up from her book.  “What’s the problem, dear?”

“The triplets wrecked our room again!”  Andy had three brothers, Johnny, Ronny and Donny.  All four years old.  Any one of them would have been the messiest four-year-old in the universe.  Put them all together, and it was disaster.  And Andy had to share a room with them.

He hated it.

“I’m sorry, honey,” said his mother.  “I’ll have them clean up when they get back from playing at the Bensons.”

“But Mom, they do this every day!  Isn’t there something you can do to stop them?  Maybe lock them in the attic or something until they’re old enough to move out of the house?”

“I know it’s hard to live with them,” his mother said.  “But they’re good kids.  Just a little active.  You just wait.  They’re getting older every day, and before long you’ll all be best friends.”

Andy couldn’t think of any way in the universe that he’d ever be best friends with his brothers.  Or even good friends.  He couldn’t think of any way he’d even stand being around them any longer.

Andy stomped back into his room and slammed the door.  He pulled the pillows off of his chair and threw them on the triplet’s triple-decked bunk bed.  And then he turned his chair right side up, dragged it to his desk, and sat down.

He put his elbows on his desk and his head in his hands, and frowned.  How he wished he didn’t have to share a room with those monsters.

And then he saw the booklet, sitting there on his desk, right in front of him.


“How to Get What You Want (In Ten Easy Steps)”.


Andy knew what he wanted.  He reached out and opened the booklet to the first page.


“Step One:  Keep asking over and over and over and over and over for what you want.”


What could it hurt?  He’d try it.

He went back into the living room.  “Mom,” he said.  “Can I have my own room?”

“Not now,” said his mother.

“But Mom, can I have my own room?  I need my own room.”

“Not now!” said his mother.

“Please Mom?  Can I have my own room?  I want my own room.”

“You can’t have your own room, Andy,” said his mom.

“Please Mom, please Mom?  Can I have my own room?  I want my own room.”

“Andy, no,” said his mother.  “Now let me finish my book.”

“But Mom, can I…”

“Andy,” said his mom, “if you ask me one more time then you’re grounded for the rest of the day.”

Andy stomped back to his room and slammed the door.