Jan 2 2014

Hardware Store

When I was laid off in the last recession I would pick up my daughter and my friend’s son from preschool. My friend isn’t know for his mechanical expertise–he’s an amazing musician, but you do not want him working on your car. Or water heater. Or, well, anything that requires tools, which was good as he didn’t own any.

One morning I picked up the son and we headed over to True Value to pick up some parts to make a clothes rack.

“What’s this place?” he asked quizzically.

“True Value. It’s a hardware store.”

He furrowed his brow and and answered:

“I’ve never been here before!”

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Jul 20 2011


One night my wife and daughter were helping in the church nursery. Our friend’s three year old son was in there, and he was having some difficulty walking, his hands down the back of his pants.

“What are you doing?” my wife asked.

“My vroom-vrooms are in my butt!” he replied.

For those of you unaware, vroom-vrooms are underpants. You know, because they have cars on them. Vroom-vroom.

“It’s called a wedgie,” she explained.

“Wedgie?” he asked, having taken an instant liking to the word. “Wedgie wedgie wedgie wedgie!”

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Jan 15 2010

The Truth

A few years ago my daughter, Ally, who was seven at the time, came back to my office.

“Dad, I want you to tell me the truth,” she said seriously.

It’s always scary when one of your kids says that.

“OK,” I said.

“There’s no Santa Claus, is there?”

I took a deep breath and told the truth.


“There’s no Easter Bunny either, is there? Tell me the truth.”


Of course then I had to explain everything, and I asked her not to spoil it for all the other kids. As far as I know she never did. A year later she and I overheard someone asking their small child if she was excited about Santa coming. Ally looked at me and gave me a knowing smile and a cheezy wink.


A couple of weeks ago my friend’s four year old daughter came home from preschool.

“My teacher said there’s no Santa Claus,” she said.

My friend shifted uncomfortably, hoping to avoid the imminent conversation.

Then his daughter said, with an air of finality:

“She’s not going to get any presents!”

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Oct 25 2009

Tales from Hop-Hop Land: Chapter 1

One of my children used to have an imaginary friend, a rabbit named Hop-Hop Bunny, who had a brother named Hop-Hop. They were from Hop-Hop Land (I know you didn’t see that coming). We heard several Hop-Hop Bunny stories from the time our daughter was in preschool through first grade.

One day we were working in the garden, when this conversation took place:

DAUGHTER: Hop-Hop Bunny’s brother said ‘#$@!’

ME: (calmly) Maybe Hop-Hop Bunny’s brother needs slapped in the mouth.

DAUGHTER: Yeah; he’s bad.

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Oct 15 2009

Overheard: 11 year old male

“I hope no girls find me attractive when I’m in high school. I’m going to be a geek like my big brother; no girls try to date him.”

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Oct 5 2009


I learned a new euphemism the other night when I was holding my friends’ six month old baby boy. I haven’t held one for years, but I still kind of remember how.

Anyway, I was holding him so he was reclining. His four year old sister came over to have a look, I guess to make sure I didn’t try to eat him or something. He started to work his jaws, so his sister gave me some helpful information:

“He thinks you have feeds.”


Speaking of ‘feeds,’ I remember another 4 year old big sister who used to walk around carrying a 12 inch Darth Vader like a baby doll. When it was time to feed him, she lifted up her shirt and nursed him.

I don’t think he ever recovered his dignity.

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Oct 1 2009

My eyes

I walked outside. It was September, cool, and overcast. Suddenly, the sun jumped out from its cloudy cover. I squinted against the sudden brightness.

“Ow!” said a small child, experiencing the same thing.

“What?” asked his mother.

“That burns my eyes!” he replied.

Never had I wanted so much to blurt out:

“The goggles! They do nothing!

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Sep 28 2009


“I snuck a beer.”

The guy who told me this looked to be about 6 years old. He didn’t say it like he was bragging.

“Are you supposed to be drinking beer?” I asked him.

“No,” he said. “I poured it out. I thought my mom was going to smell my breath.”

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Sep 23 2009

I almost had a son

Yesterday, specifically.

We were on the way back from the Mickey and there was a woman with two young boys around three and five on the elevator with us. The three year old had a tendency to wander (I know you’re as shocked as I was).

The elevator door opened at a floor different than the one the mother intended to get off on. The three year old walked right out of the elevator onto the floor and never looked back.


I think if I’d been Steven I would have taken my chances and hoped she was earnest about her threat offer. But he responded to his mother and returned to the elevator car.

“When we get your daddy out of jail I’m gon’ see if they’ll take you!” she told him after he returned.

By now it was our turn to get off.

As we left, I resisted a strong urge to ask Steven if wanted to go with me.

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May 7 2009

Share everything

Several years ago a friend of mine was eating some chips. His five year old son (who was supposed to be getting in bed), came up behind him.

“Can I have some of your chips?”


His son paused for a few seconds and then said:

“The Bible says you have to share everything.”

My friend was undeterred.

“No it doesn’t. Now get out of here and get to bed.”

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