I hear “fu-h-dge” from my kids at least twice a day.  I even find myself using it when I’m slipping.  I’ve also picked up the pharse “Shi-t-ake,” as in mushrooms, from them.

Too close to the real thing?  I always try to remember that whatever I say (in anger or frustration) will eventually come out of my kid’s mouth.  Now, I find myself uttering these kid-friendly versions of profanity.  I think that’s why I dislike those stupid “shut the front door” commercials so much.

In our profanity-laced pop culture, I don’t imagine “darn” or “shucks” will make a resurgence anytime soon.  Gosh darn-it all…

“You need to wear a helmet!”…”but none of the other kids do,” says my son. What the what?!


This is Shaun White, by the way.  He gets paid to be a lunatic, and even HE wears a helmet.

All of the tween/teen boys in the neighborhood are officially skateboard lemmings.  They ride their boards everywhere.  They try do out-do each other with fancy tricks.  One kid wears homemade gloves with steel spikes so he can make sparks as he cruises.

Leave it to the moms to introduce some safety into the equation.  All of the moms made a pact to enforce helmet-wearing while skateboarding.  Moms acting together are a powerful force and not to be trifled with…

When my wife informed my son he had to wear a helmet, he quickly replied that none of his friends did.  Of course, she was armed with several examples of (a few) kids in our neighborhood who actually wear helmets.

His reply, “You’ve always told me not to do what other kids are doing.”  Priceless…

And, yes, he is now wearing a helmet.


“My throat really hurts…can I play X-box?”

There’s one sure-fire way to make sure a sick day is not squandered if you have a tween/teen boy…tell them no X-Box or TV while convalescing.  If they really feeling like crap, then they won’t care.

xbox boy

If their condition is borderline, it’s a judgement call.  If you’re on the fence and they’re unsure as to the need for a sick day, having them read a book serves two purposes; either it will put them to much needed sleep, or it will enable them to at least get some of their homework done.

If they look truly miserable by lunch-time, than fire up the TV.  Hey, I’m not a monster…

Does the word “sorry” have any meaning with kids?


I had asked my daughter to clean her room the other day.  The instructions were simple – put dirty clothes in the hamper (not on the floor), and put away the piles of clean, folded laundry that had been stacking up throughout the week.

About an half-hour later, I walk into her room and it’s still a mess.  I locate my daughter and ask, “what the what?”  “Sorry,” she says.  I lead her back to her room.

Again, an half-hour later, no daughter in her room and only a slightly smaller mess.  “Sorry,” she says again when I find her in the kitchen.  I tell her not to use the word sorry unless she means it.  “Sorry,” she says…this time with a hint of annoyance and sarcasm…

“Why do I have to empty the garbage?!” my son asks…

I’m stepping up the chore delegation, and this is the response I received.  When I explained that someone has to do it, I was told that I’m more than capable!

Well, so are you my children.  “But, I have homework, after-school activities and ‘stuff’…”

When I went through the litany of ‘stuff’ I do for them, I almost won them over.  Allowance did the rest, of course.

“All of the other kids in my class have an iPhone…And, lots have iPads, too.”