My 13-year old daughter is afraid of haunted houses, always has been. Not the real kind, mind you, but rather the ketchup splattering, pea soup-spewing sort that local civic organizations sponsor this time of year.
"You're 13 now." I told her. I would hope that by now you've realized, these places aren't real, they're fake. The scenery is fake, screams are recorded and the monsters and zombies are merely townsfolk dressed in costumes and Halloween masks."
"I don't care," she said. "I'm not going... and you can't make me go!"
"But all of your friends are going!" (Yeah, I know, this is counter to the standard parent's "jumping off of a bridge" argument, but I was desperate.) "Besides, you're missing out on a big part of your childhood. Why, when I was your age, I loved going to haunted houses."
"Fine...then YOU go!"
"Well it's your own fault," she said. "You and Mom should have taken me to haunted houses when I was younger, then maybe I wouldn't be soooo afraid of them now."
"What?? We've tried for years, but you've always refused to go!"
"Well, you should have tried harder! You should have made me go!"
"Okay then, how about this: We'll make you go to a haunted house this year, and then you won't be soooo afraid of them in the future."
"Nope! Sorry Daddy...too late."
My daughter's "Catch 22" logic confounds me, but, something tells me that someday . . . she'll make a fine politician.