Heir Head

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 RIGHT NOW."

"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 belt.


"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.