Are you alone? Good. I need to talk to you about something without any meddling kids around.
If you’re wondering why I’m whispering, I’ll tell you. I’ve got some bad news: I’m afraid my kids are catching on to my Dad Code. And I’m afraid they’ll tell their friends, and before long all of us parents won’t have ANY secrets from our kids.
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to happen. But we need to change some of our Parent Code like RIGHT NOW.
I admit it. I goofed up. I used the same code too many times. It all started about a year or two ago. Any time in the evening when my kids wanted me to watch something, I would say “I think I’m going to stretch out on the couch to watch this,” which is basically our code for “I’m about to go to sleep for as long as this show lasts and possibly (probably) longer.”
Well, everything was fine for a while, but after I did it a couple of dozen times or so, they caught on. THEN they caught on to some of my other code words. Here are some of the basics:
I’m a little bit hungry = Let’s load up the car so I can pick up two or three of Big Macs and a Filet O Fish sandwich (I love saying Filet O Fish!)
Can you help me with cleaning up the house = I’m going to pretend to wash dishes while you two do all the rest of the chores.
I won’t be out too late = Don’t wait up for me.
I’ll be there in a second = I’m in the bathroom.
I’ll be there in just a minute = You may as well watch a couple of movies.
I’m cooking something healthy for dinner = How long does this frozen dinner have to cook in the microwave?
I’m going to buy groceries. I shouldn’t be gone long = I’m going to Wal-Mart to try (and probably not succeed) and find these eight simple items. If I’m not back by tomorrow, please send a search and rescue team for me.
I’m sorry, there was only one cookie left = there was only one cookie left AFTER I ate more than half the package.
I have a date coming over for dinner = This is a person I’d like to see again, so please stay in your rooms until at least tomorrow and maybe longer!
And so it goes.
So I’m afraid I owe you an apology. I’m afraid I’ve ruined things for everyone. I really didn’t intend for this to happen (which = I never gave this a thought.)
I’ll tell you what, how about if I start working on some NEW code words. I’ll be happy to start working on that as soon as I can (which = right now, I’m watching a Canadian Football League game, and then I have a bunch of other important stuff to do . . . )