The world of the parent is a world of espionage. There are secrets everywhere. You can't even enter a room without a password.

With a load of toys and two socks that didn't match, I walked down a dark hall and intentionally stepped on the creaks of the floor to alert anyone ahead to my presence. When I reached my daughter's room, the door was closed except for a 1-inch gap, where a foam stopper prevents the door from closing all the way.

An eyeball greeted me.

The world of the parent is a world of espionage. There are secrets everywhere. You can't even enter a room without a password.

"What's the password?" the eyeball said.

"The password is, 'Open this door or I'm going to get rid of these toys,'" I replied.

"No, that's not the password," the eyeball replied dryly.

I demanded the door be opened, but the eyeball just blinked and got bigger. "That's not the password either," it merrily chimed.

So I named off as many passwords as I could, focusing on Disney and My Little Pony characters.

"Nope," the eyeball said. "You're not very good at this."

A second, smaller eyeball appeared. "No, no, daddy," it said.

It's tough to get into a game of wits with a little kid because their games don't have rules. Or they have rules, but only the child knows them, and they are only to used to help them win.

"Well, I have so many presents here for you, I can barely hold them up," I said while balling up the socks in my hand and getting ready to throw them.

The eyeball thought for a moment and peered around trying to see what I was holding.

"You are lying," the eyeball said. "You're just holding stinky socks."

"Stinky!" The second, smaller eyeball said.

Before I could consider my next move, the eyeballs disappeared, and the door opened. My daughters stood in the middle of the room, wearing their tactical tutus. There were more important matters at hand, my daughter said, and I was about to be enlisted in a secret mission.

My daughter looked over both shoulders and motioned me closer. I bent down and turned an ear.

"Brownies," she said. "We should make some secret ones for mom and surprise her."

"How is it that I went from being locked out to making brownies?" I asked.

She shrugged her shoulders, and her little sister followed suit. She informed me that the brownies would be exclusively for mom. But a significant amount of taste testing would be involved. She and her small associate could take care of that part, she said.

"OK, but don't tell anyone," I said.

She tapped her nose.

David Manley is a husband and father of two. He also is the visual content editor at The Canton Repository. Share your stories with him at david.manley@cantonrep.com and follow him on Twitter: @DaveManley.