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    A Tall Order For Your Son

    | MT, USA | Parents & Guardians, Sons & Daughters

    (My son, a second grader, is at the first soccer practice of the season. I had spoken with the coach once already and so I knew what to expect. My husband is super competitive, and is surveying the team.)

    Husband: “Wow, he isn’t the tallest this year.”

    Me: “Yeah, they combined the second and third grades, and his team only has a couple second graders.”

    Husband: *eyes narrowing* “He will crush them!”

    Me: “No, no, no! They’re a team!”

    Husband: *expression not changing* “He will crush them! …with teamwork and fair play!”

    A Touching Lesson

    | Norway | Parents & Guardians, Siblings

    (My younger half-brother was notorious for touching things he shouldn’t as a child. On this occasion, he is around five years old, and we are in town with our dad, waiting for the annual December parade. Looking around, he discovers a shop door where a glass pane has been broken. He immediately goes over and starts poking and picking at it.)

    Dad: “[Brother], stop that.”

    Me: “You’re gonna cut yourself, and I won’t feel sorry for you.”

    Dad: “There’s no need when he’s doing stupid things. [Brother], you should leave stuff like that alone.”

    Brother: “I’m being careful!”

    Me: “That’s not the point; you shouldn’t touch it in the first place.”

    Dad: “We’re not going back if you cut yourself. You’ll just have to wait until we’re done. Your sister has been looking forward to this.”

    Me: “My mom is in the parade with her marching band! I’ve always marched with her, so this is the first time I get to see it! I’m not going home if you start bleeding!”

    Dad: “Well, if he does cut himself, he’ll learn that he shouldn’t touch everything he thinks is interesting.”

    (Finally, my brother loses interest in the door. We’ve been waiting a few more minutes when we hear sirens.)

    Dad: “That’s probably the police.” *winks at me* “I bet they’re coming to examine the door.”

    Brother: “Really?”

    Me: “Oh, yeah. They’ll probably look for fingerprints and everything. But they’ll only find yours.”

    Dad: “That’s what happens when you can’t keep your hands to yourself.”

    Me: “They might even think you broke it.”

    Brother: *teary eyed* “But I didn’t! I don’t want to go to jail!”

    (The sirens fade.)

    Dad: “Looks like they weren’t coming here. But think about what you’re doing, next time. Actions have consequences.”

    (My brother nodded and calmed down. He didn’t learn his lesson, but it gave us something to laugh about.)

    That Logic Won’t Quite Set The World On Fire

    | USA | Cousins

    (My cousin and I are walking home from the park. I live in a small town.)

    Cousin: “You guys have really nice fire trucks.”

    Me: “Yeah, too bad they don’t get used so much.”

    Cousin: “Yeah… too bad that not more houses are burning down to the ground.”

    Tell It To You Straight

    | USA | Parents & Guardians

    (I am kayaking with both my sisters when suddenly I am having trouble keeping the kayak in a straight line. Both my sisters are bi while I am straight.)

    Older Sister: “It’s funny how you’re the one who has trouble keeping straight.”

    Helping With Their Ballooning Ambitions

    | Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada | Children, Distant Relatives

    (I’m at a massive family reunion and taking a moment to enjoy the peace and calm by the lake away from the social whirl. I’m approached by three kids who are holding their hands behind their backs.)

    Kid #1: “Hi! Um, are you carrying a cell phone, or anything like that?”

    Me: “…yes.”

    Kid #2: “Could you maybe, like, put it down for a minute or two?”

    Me: “No. But, you see the big guy up there?” *points back at the cabin* “That’s my cousin, [Cousin], and he would LOVE it if you threw some water balloons at him.”

    Kids: “Okay!”

    (Two of them run off. The oldest one looks at me.)

    Kid #3: “How did you know we had water balloons?”

    Me: “I was a kid at these kinds of family things at one time, too. Ask [Cousin] about it when he dries off.”

    A Wild Geologist Appears!

    | WV, USA | Aunts & Uncles, Parents & Guardians

    (My father and two of my uncles were taking a walk along a strip mine when they began to hear a strange tapping noise.)

    Uncle: *whispering* “What’s that?”

    Dad: “Sounds like the tapping of a wild geologist.”

    (They crept quietly over the ridge and peered down. Sure enough, it was a geologist my dad knew, hunting for fossils.)

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