Saturday, April 25, 2009


I'm at work today and tomorrow; my day will be filled lots of waiting - interrupted occasionally by panicked flurries of activity.

So . . . entertain me. Tell me a joke.

Or help me out with something.

What words do you use with your children when they're being dickheads to each other? I often find myself saying "Stop it. That's not nice."

But I fear that "not nice" fails to capture what's really going on and why they need to knock it the hell off. (Or maybe it's a learned aversion from my sorority days, when describing someone or something as "nice" meant you had to put a quarter in the Seniors' Beer Fund Jar.) Lumpyhead and Lula are picking up words fast, and even if they don't always understand, I want to help them accurately identify their feelings and behavior.

I sometimes use "unkind," but I'm getting sick of that word. "Mean" suggests a motive that I don't think the kids possess. (Yet.) Bump and I sometimes label their actions "jerky," but that could also be a delicious beef product.

I don't need them to start wailing about how the other is being "inconsiderate" or "over-aggressive" or "unreasonable." (I hear enough about how "Lula isn't sharing" and "NO Lumpyhead! It's MY turn wif dat" from the little demons.) But give me something new to say before I start thundering "What manner of douchebaggery is this?"

Eh, I'm probably overthinking it. I'm gonna go check your status on twitter now. But tell me a joke before you leave.


Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Why did the condom fly across the room?

Because it got pissed off.


What is brown and sounds like a bell?


That's two. You owe me.

Julie said...

My mom's favorite (terrible) joke:

A couple is out golfing with some friends, and the man's golf ball lands well off the fairway behind an old barn.

"No problem," says one friend. "I've done that before, and all you have to do is open all the barn doors, and hit your ball through the barn."

So, he tries it, but the ball ricochets off the wall of the barn and hits his wife in the head, killing her instantly.

A few months later, the widower is golfing the same course with some different friends, and he makes the same mistake.

"No problem," says his friend. "Just open the barn doors, and play through the barn."

"Nah," says the widower, "I did that last time, and I shot 3 over par."


De in D.C. said...

We tend to default to "Rude" and "Not Acceptable." Sometimes we throw out a "don't be nasty."

None of the above are ground-breaking suggestions though.

bozoette said...

A lonely guy goes to a pet shop to get himself a new pet. The pet shop owner says, "Have I got a pet for you! I have this centipede who talks and sings opera. He'll be perfect for you."

The guy is dubious, but decides to take a look. Sure enough, the centipede come out of his little house, carries on an intelligent conversation, and sings a glorious aria. "Sold!" says the guy.

After a few days of scintillating conversation and beautiful singing, the guy decides he has to show off his amazing new pet. He knocks on the roof of the centipede's little house and says, "C'mon, let's go down to the bar. You can meet the fellows and show off your voice. It'll be great!"

No response. The guy tries again. He knocks on the roof, encourages the centipede to come on.

No response. The tries a third time, this time getting a little snippy. "What's the matter? Are you shy or something? Come ON!"

Finally, he hears a voice from inside the house.

"Keep your shirt on! I heard you the first time; I'm putting on my shoes!"

Em said...

Our children are frequently told to stop being "rude."

Laura said...

My mother used to yell all the time and we ignored her. However my dad would say in a very deep stern voice to "knock that off" or if we were being super jerky he'd say "knock that shit off". Always stopped up in our tracks. We still joke about dad.

My sister now works with kids and as much as she'd like to use dad's saying, she uses "That is NOT Ok!" with a stern voice. From what I hear it works pretty well.