By Dave Barry
Back in the idealistic 60's and 70's, we baby boomers had
many excellent child-rearing theories and no actual children. Well, now that
I'm a parent, I find that there's a lot more TO it than I expected. For
example, if I want to make sure my son has his shoes on by Monday morning, I
have to start reminding him by Saturday afternoon.
"Robert," I'll say, while he is engaged in some vital
activity such as pouring Purplesaurus Rex flavored Kool Aid on the patio to
form a Liquefied Sugar Theme Park for ants, "I want you to put your shoes on
"Okay," he'll say with total sincerity. Meanwhile, inside
his skull, a small powerful organ found in children and known to medical
science as the Instruction Diverter has taken my words as they entered his left
ear and, before they could begin to penetrate his brain, ejected them out his
right ear at nearly the speed of light. He continues to stare at the ants.
"What did I just ask you?" I'll ask.
"What?" he'll answer. He has NO IDEA what we're talking
about. At that very moment my instructions are whizzing past the asteroid
"I WANT YOU TO PUT YOUR SHOES ON RIGHT NOW!" I'll say.
"Okay," he'll say, irritated that I'm yelling at him for
absolutely no reason.
And if I squint, I can actually see my words shooting out
Robert's ear as he continues to stare at the ants, who are scurrying around
putting on tiny ant shoes. Even THEY have a better ability to retain
instructions than Robert.