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    Cat On A Hot Tin Oven

    | Sparta, WI, USA | Children, Pets & Animals, Theme Of The Month

    (As a young teen, I always babysit for money. One family has multiple children, the youngest – a three-year-old boy – a real hellion.)

    Me: “Okay, kids. I’m going to start dinner while you play.”

    (I turn the oven on to preheat while pulling pizzas out of the freezer. I am unwrapping the pizzas when a horrible yowling starts reverberating through the kitchen. After a few seconds of shock, I realized it is a very unhappy cat – and the sound is coming from the oven I’d just turned on! I run to the oven and throw it open. A cat comes screaming out of it!)

    Me: *genuinely shocked* “What the heck just happened?”

    (The oldest girl comes to the door of the kitchen.)

    Oldest Girl: “Was the cat in the oven again?”

    Me: “Yes! What on earth was the cat doing in the oven? ”

    Oldest Girl: “Oh, [Rambunctious Toddler] has taken to shoving the cats in the weirdest places.”

    Me: “Why didn’t anyone warn me to look in the oven before preheating it?!”

    (That cat never came close to me again. I found out later she had hidden in the garage. I actually yelled at the parents for not warning me about this new toddler tendency, which was weird for me as I was a shy teen. And even though I’m in my 30s now, I still always check the location of any cats in the house before turning on an oven!)

    A Step Too Far

    | Vancouver, BC, Canada | Cousins, Grandparents

    (My uncle is married to a woman who already has a son from a previous relationship. Our family has been very accepting of them, including my grandma, who took it a step too far.)

    Grandma: “Boys, I brought a family photo album of your dads when they were kids. You want to see?”

    Me: “Sure, Grandma.”

    (My grandma shows me pictures of my dad when he was little. Then she starts showing pictures of my uncle to my new step-cousin.)

    Grandma: “And over here is your daddy, [Step-Cousin]. You look just like him!”

    Step-Cousin: “Uh, okay…”

    Deathly Funny

    | Medford, MA, USA | Children, Grandchildren, Grandparents

    (I am seven years old. It is my grandma’s 73rd birthday. I always make a card instead of buying one.)

    Me: “Here, Gramma!”

    Card: “Happy Birthday Grammy! I can’t believe you’re 73 and not dead yet. I still love you.”

    (My grandma starts laughing hysterically.)

    Mom: “What’s so funny?”

    Grandma: “Look at what your son gave me.”

    (My mom starts laughing. Everyone starts coming over to see what’s so funny. With everyone laughing at my gift, I start to get mad. I wasn’t trying to be funny. That’s just how I was.)

    Grandma: “Oh, [My Name]. I love my gift. This one’s a keeper.”

    (14 years later, my grandma died at the ripe old age of 87. My mom and I were cleaning out her place. I found that card in a drawer alongside other keepsakes like my grandpa’s (who had died 20 years prior) license. That one was a keeper indeed.)

    Devouring The Language

    | USA | Parents & Guardians

    (During a long car trip my mom lets me plug in my mp3 player so we can listen to my music for a change. We’re listening to a song by a popular German metal band. My mom doesn’t understand a word of German.)

    Mom: “I wish I could understand what this song is about.”

    Me: “It’s a true story about a cannibal that puts out an ad asking for someone that he can dismember and eat.”

    Mom: “I wish I could go back to not understanding what this song is about.”

    Date Night Fright

    | CA, USA | Children, Sons & Daughters, Theme Of The Month

    (My husband and I have come back from a date night, having left our five-year-old and two-year-old daughters with a much-liked babysitter. When we come back, my five-year-old daughter proceeds to interrogate me.)

    Daughter: “Why did you and Daddy go out for dinner?”

    Me: “To spend some time together.”

    Daughter: “You wanted to be alone?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Daughter: “Why?”

    Me: “So that we could talk.”

    Daughter: “But no hugging?”

    Me: “…”

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