Sunday, September 25, 2005

Life lessons.

The programming brawler and I went to a terrible little diner recently. The service was horrible. The food was over-described in the menu yet mediocre. Every surface seemed just a bit sticky. Also, the food was overpriced. We were in a bit of a hurry and they didn’t have any line. Which, now that I’m thinking about it, explains quite a bit.

My fella had to leave early for an appointment and I was left in the grimy booth by myself. The waitress was neglecting me. The patrons were sparse. There was no music for ambiance. Because it was so quiet, I was able to eavesdrop on a conversation two booths down where a father was advising his son about life.

The boy was probably 8 or so. His father spoke to him in low tones instructing him on how to politely decline when a stranger offers him candy. Counseling him to dodge an adults request to enter a strange home. Advising him to never, ever play doctor with anybody.

“So, you never take your clothes off, right?” Father asked, “What will you do if someone is asking you to remove something you’re wearing?

“I’ll yell ‘NO!’, the boy dutifully responded.

“What if you and Mom are going into someone’s house and they ask you to take your shoes off?” Father asked.

“I’ll take my shoes off, but not my socks.” The boy said.

“Very good. And what if it’s a hot day and your friends are taking off their shirts?” The father asked.

“Yeah, I’d take off my shirt.” Said the boy.

“What about your pants?” Father asked.

The boy pulled long noodles of spaghetti up into the air above his plate. “Nope, I wouldn’t take off my pants.” He said in a bored, distant voice.

“That’s right. You never take off your pants, not even for friends as a dare, not even if an adult tells you to, unless Mom and I are there. And you don’t play ‘doctor’ with anyone, right?...” The father said, and continued in a lower voice.

I could only think to myself that ‘never’ is a very long time to abstain from playing doctor, and that being a parent must be very frightening and difficult. By the time a kid rejects all parenting (age 17 perhaps?) they are probably ready to play doctor with somebody.

God, I’m glad I don’t have any kids.

Noir: Ok, to recap: you never take food from a stranger – right?

Programmer Junior: No. Never. Unless it’s organic and thoroughly washed.

Noir: That’s right, only if it’s organic. Now as far as your clothes, what do you do?

Programmer Junior: I only wear blues, reds and dark colors that go with my skin tone. I don’t wear yellow or orange because it makes me look sallow.

Noir: Yes, very good. What about green?

Programmer Junior: Green is ok if it’s a blue-green, not a yellow-green.

Noir: Correct. Do you remember what we talked about regarding fabric choices?

Programmer Junior: Um…Wool, cotton and silk are good. Polyester is bad.

Noir: Um-hum. And if it’s a polyester blend remember to always ask your mom or your dad if it’s ok first. Now, do you remember the rule of four?

Programmer Junior: Brush my hair, brush my teeth, wash my face and wash my pits.

Noir: Good job. These are the most important life lessons I can teach you my son. You may not understand them all right now, but if you follow my advice, when you are 17 and have your own car, you’ll thank me.


Blogger greyguitar said...

Greatest post ever.

I even detect tears from laughter.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Latigo Flint said...

"And for heaven's sake Junior, what happens if you forget to null terminate your strings?"

"Daddy--I mean the Programming Brawler, will cry and then disown me."

"Right, so don't do it."


8:30 PM  
Blogger Seanachie said...

lol - well done. You'll make great parents. He or she will grow up well fed, fashionable, and non-stinky - what more could you ask for?

8:44 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Wow. You know jsut about eveything I know about parenting.

And it took you 3 years, 8 months and 21 days less to learn.

"well fed, fashionable, and non-stinky" - just what my wife wanted...

11:08 PM  
Blogger Jennifer & Michael said...

You are too much. Looooove this post. I was laughing out loud and as we are slowly closing in on this whole parenting thing, I'm sharing your wisdom with Mike.

7:00 PM  

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