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  • To Sum It Up, They Are At Odds
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    Getting Goosebumps For Real

    | CA, USA | Children, Sons & Daughters

    (My third grader is telling her friend about the Goosebumps series books she’s reading.)

    Daughter: “It’s called The Whore at Camp Jellyjam.”

    Me: “What!?”

    Daughter:The Whore at Camp Jellyjam.”

    Me: “No, wait. The whore?”

    Daughter: “Yes, whore.”

    Me: “Umm, can you spell it?”

    Daughter: “J-E-L-L…”

    Me: “No, spell whore.”

    Daughter: “H-O-R-R-O-R.”

    Me: “Oh!”

    (I breathed a sigh of relief, and followed with a pronunciation lecture.)

    Smells Like Teenage Spirit

    | Oklahoma City, OK, USA | Sons & Daughters, Teenagers

    (I was born with anosmia, which means I can’t smell anything. It’s a blessing at times, but also a major hindrance. So, to compensate, you learn to adjust how you handle situations and to trust others to be your canary.)

    Me: “Son, you need to go take a shower.”

    Son: “Why?”

    Me: “Because you stink.”

    Son: “How do you know? You can’t smell anything.”

    Me: “Because of several things. First, you are a thirteen-year-old boy, which is reason enough right there according to your mother. Second, your last shower was 25 hours ago, well beyond any deodorant’s power. Third, you had track practice this afternoon. You stink. Go take a shower.”

    Son: “Ugh… fine.”

    Me: “As a reminder: since you’ve caught on to my checking the wetness of the towel and the state that you’ve left the bathroom in, I will double check that you really have taken a shower by having your mom smell you. If you don’t pass, you will have to shower again.”

    Son: “It just isn’t fair.”

    Me: “No, it isn’t. Your mother doesn’t like smelling you and gets on to me for not getting on to you about showering, as if I can tell if you stink or not.”

    The Green-Dyed Monster

    | Sri Lanka | Children

    (I am in a salon waiting for the hair-dresser. A customer’s twin daughters are playing together, and while I am looking at the adorable duo, this happens:)

    Twin #1: *covering her face with her long hairs* “[Twin#2], look! I have beard!”

    Twin #2: “You look like Daddy!”

    Twin #1: *walks to the mirror* “You’re right. I look like a monster!”

    (I’ve never laughed like that in my entire life! They made my day!)

    Man(aging) Fear

    | CA, USA | Children, Sons & Daughters

    (I am in the children’s section of a large bookstore shopping for my young cousins, when I notice I’m sharing the aisle with a boy of about four and his father. The boy pulls a book off the shelf and hands it to his dad to read to him.)

    Dad: “I don’t know. That book looks pretty scary.”

    Kid: *rolling his eyes and sighing heavily* “YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO BE AFRAID OF ANYTHING! BE A MAN!”

    To Sum It Up, They Are At Odds

    | TX, USA | Grandparents

    (I teach pre-calculus, and I’m trying to explain to my granny what I teach.)

    Granny: “Are there any girls in your class?”

    Me: “Yes… Why wouldn’t there be?”

    Granny: “Why do girls need math, anyway?”

    Me: “Um… For the same reason the boys do: so they can go to college and get a good job.”

    Granny: “Can the girls keep up with the boys in the class?”

    Me: “Yes! Most of the time the girls get higher grades than the boys because they check their work better before they turn it in.”

    Granny: “But girls can’t do that kind of hard math.”

    Me: “Granny, I’m a girl, and I’m teaching ‘that kind of hard math!’”

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