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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Excuses, excuses

"I have a headache and my nose is running."
"My throat is scratchy, my voice is breaking up. Maybe I have laryngitis?"
"You seem all right. You’ll feel better once you wash your face and have breakfast."
"I have washed my face already. It didn’t help."
"How about nice healthy breakfast?"
"I am not hungry. I am feeling very weak and my neck is hurting. I think I have a fever! Can I not go to school today?"
"Come here. Let me check. Hmmm! Your forehead is actually cooler than my hand. If you are running a fever, then I am having a heat stroke."
"You never take me seriously!"
"I am taking you and this situation very seriously. The rule of thumb that my father used to employ in such situations was very simple."
"And what was that?"
"He would say “You don’t have to go to school, if you are dead"."
"I am not dead, yet. Besides, this strict rule seems like child abuse."
"I never thought like that when I was your age. School is fun."
"I beg to differ!"
"Get ready. Discussion is over."


"Unhhhh! Why do children have to go to school?"
"Listen! You are basically sentenced to spend at least fifteen years of your life in school and college. The sooner you finish this, the better it is. Plus, there is a slim chance that you might actually learn a thing or two."
"Fifteen years! That is not fair!"
"Look at the bright side. If you were in an Amazon forest embedded with Kayapo tribe, you won’t have to go to school but you would rather spend your day running around naked hunting for food."
"That sounds totally cool!"
"How about living without electricity, clean running water or bathroom facilities? They definitely do not use hair dryers, cell phones, internet and sneakers with lights. You won't survive a day."


"I am feeling a little better already. I guess I can go to school. Can you pick me up earlier than usual? I may get sick again."
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Monday, March 28, 2005

Squabbles in the digital age

"I am never going to chat with her again. I don’t know why does she behave like that?"
"What are you talking about?"
"I am chatting with my "friend" online. She is bothering me big time and I had to block her, but she keeps on changing her screen name so even when I block her, she comes back alive online bugging me. She seems to have more than nine lives."
"Looks like you have a situation here!"
"It is not that serious, Dad. It is just too annoying. Did you have cat fights like that when you were growing up?"
"Well, not exactly. Internet did not exist when I was your age. No computer, no email, and no chatting or instant messaging. Life was rather simple."
"Sounds pretty boring to me!"
"Actually, I never felt it that way. All my contacts were “non-electronic” and fully human."
"So, how would you get into a fight, then?"
"Well, the only way to fight was to be mean to someone on the street and you usually would end up getting a bloody nose."
"Yeah! Boys realize early on that if they want to keep their teeth in their mouth they must avoid street fights. They don’t do cat fights either because that is not macho enough for them. They fight for bigger things, like girls, money or land. It’s not worth loosing your teeth over small stuff. Isn’t it?"
"You are so right. All my girlfriends are so emotional, but boys are cool. May be I should have boys as friends?"
"Ahh! On second thought, sticking with your girl friends for now does not seem like a bad idea after all. You can handle a few cat fights, I guess!"
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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Picky eater

"I can’t eat that food."
"Why, what’s wrong with it."
"It has meat in it."
"You used to eat meat all the time, what has changed?"
"I guess I am turning into a vegetarian."
"Meat is protein, it forms the building blocks of the body. You definitely need proteins for growth."
"I just don’t like meat anymore."
"Look at the animal world; meat eating animals are powerful, fast and really good-looking."
"Hmmm! Really?"
"Take for example, the lion, tiger, and cheetah. They are carnivores. They eat meat, not grass. Infact, they eat the grass-eating animals. On the other hand, the animals who are vegetarians are big, fat, black and ugly."
"Noooh! Is that really true?"
"Have you ever noticed an elephant, a hippo or a rhino. They munch on grass and leaves all the time. You don’t see them doing a catwalk or winning any beauty contests. Do you?"
"Fine, fine… You have made your point. I’ll eat meat, I guess."
"Good, I am glad, it’s settled. Now could you pass me the salad please?"
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Monday, March 21, 2005

Shiny spot

"Dad! What’s that shiny spot? Are you loosing hair?"
"Where? Let me take a look."
"Right here, in the back of your head."
"Whoa! I guess the time has come. It’s finally decided. I am going bald."
"I wish you to have gray hair rather than loose hair."
"You don’t want your dad to go bald?"
"Why! I always wanted a shiny spot at the top of my head."
"You know, it helps in direct communication. Your brain is more exposed to the outside world with one less barrier of hair."
"Are you serious?"
"See, you have a thick body of hair on your head and nothing gets across that easily."
"How rude! So, now you want me to shave my head?"
"Houston. Houston. Your voice is breaking up. We have a communication problem here."
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Sunday, March 20, 2005


"Classical music is for the haunted."
"What? Say it again."
"You did not know that?"
"No, in fact, I never heard such a strong statement against classical music in my entire life."
"My friend sees ghosts when she listens to classical music."
"This is a fresh one. What kind of ghosts does she see?"
"The usual type! You know the Scooby-doo type."
"People make stories all the time. Have you ever seen one yourself?"
"No, but I hear voices all the time."
"Hmmm! What kind of voices?"
"I want this. I want that. Give me that or else."
"Nahhh! You must have heard your mom."
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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Shopping pleasures

"Let’s go shopping! You needed a few things. I have made a list already."
"Nah ahn! I am not going with you."
"Why not?"
"Shopping is no fun with you."
"What do I do? Tell me."
"Sorry to break your heart but you are very annoying. You ruin all the fun."
"You don’t like anything. Most things are useless in your opinion. You worry about the cost and then you want to get out of the mall in twenty minutes. This is not the way girls shop. I am going with mom?"
"And what would I do in the meantime?"
"Mommy says that you need to go to the dump site to throw trash? See ya."
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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Body image

"Dad! I think Michael Jackson is a psycho."
"Why so?"
"Did you look at his face lately? He looks like an ugly white woman."
"It sure looks like he has been under the knife many times."
"I saw his pictures when he was a young boy. He had a huge nose."
"So, you think he was justified to change his appearance?"
"I don’t know what that word “justified” means. Simple English please."
"You think it was O.K for him to have cosmetic surgery?"
"I have a big nose too. Do you see me going for cosmetic surgery?"
"Good. I am happy to note that you and your nose are well-adjusted."
"Why do people want to change their appearance anyway?"
"I guess it has something to do with poor body image. You know, you get up in the morning and look yourself up in the mirror, and you don’t like what you see."
"You look horrible in the morning too. Do you like what you see?"
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Saturday, March 12, 2005

Asexual reproduction

"How was school?"
"What did you learn today?"
"We learned some stuff in science class."
"Like what?"
"We learned a few things about single-celled organisms like amoeba."
"That sounds like fun."
"No it was actually really boring. There are no sexes. Are they gay?"
"I don't really know. But don't they reproduce?"
"Yeah. I thought it was cool the way they multiply. They eat and then divide by asexual reproduction."
"I wonder if humans could multiply like that, life could have been much simpler."
"No, it would be really freaky. Imagine people splitting up in the middle. Like, you come out of a restaurant and BOOM."
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Truth hurts

"I have big hands."
"You have big hands and feet. It’s your head that is small."
"I guess I have taken after you, Dad. Your head is small too."
"It may be small but it contains a large brain. See, it is already bursting at its seams."
"Nope, you’re mistaking it for your belly. It’s not your head, but it’s your belly that is bursting."
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Thursday, March 10, 2005

The issue of pimples

"I am getting a pimple on my forehead and it is getting bigger and bigger. Would that go away by tomorrow?"
"Well, by tomorrow, it may get bigger, stays the same or with some luck might decrease in size."
"That's not helping!"
"I don’t think that any serious emotional support is needed here; after all it is one tiny pimple."
"It's not tiny. See it's big, really big."
"I can’t really see it. Where is it?"
"See, its right here. It's on a part of my face, called the "forehead"."
"Get your glasses."
"Ohhh, that one."
"You're not taking me seriously! A pimple is a huge problem! Hellooo? Have you ever gotten pimples yourself?"
"I have had my fair share of pimples. I probably got hundreds of them during my pubescent years. I was like a "pimple farm", a fresh crop emerging every week. I remember getting a big one on the tip of my nose close to my 18th birthday."
"Eww...What did you do?"
"Well, I would ignore the smaller ones but the big ones: these would require some drastic measures."
"What "drastic measures"?"
"You know mostly sophisticated techniques such as wrenching or gouging or a combination of these two. I got mixed results."
"Yeah sure... Did you make all that up?"
"No. Well, may be I exaggerated about the size of them."
"You are not helping. Am I going to develop more pimples?"
"It runs in families? Your mom still gets a lot of them. Doesn’t she? You must have acquired the “pimple genes” from both parents."
"That is scary!"
"You would stop worrying about that one pimple, once you have more."
"How could I go to school with a face studded with pimples?"
"That does not sound like a valid reason to quit school."
"You don't know what it's like to have a pimple when you're a girl."
"What does this have anything to do with being a girl?"
"Pimples are important to girls. They leave both physical and emotional scars."
"I understand that. All I am trying to say is that life is bigger than a pimple on the forehead."
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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Parenting an 11 year old

"Can I have contacts?"
"Why not?"
"They are expensive."
"What If I give up my monthly allowance for 6 months?"
"No you still are not getting contacts."
"Why not?"
"They are difficult to take care off."
"I can take care of the contacts. Every girl in my class has them and they are probably half as careful as I am."
"You are not getting the contacts, even if every blind person in the city has them."
"Blind people don't wear contacts."
"So can I have contacts for my next birthday?"
"No way, not till you are eighteen."
"Is there any way I can convince you to buy me contacts?"
"No, I can’t think of any."
"Ok, I’ll talk to mom."
"Hold on, maybe we ought to discuss it a little bit more."
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