My 6 year-old just figured out the key to life in one simple statement.


Today he said the wisest thing I’ve heard from a child or any aged philosopher. He later said the dumbest thing and then the weirdest thing too, but we’ll get to those in a bit. It inspired me to get back to trying to inspire with our occasionally inspirational tales.

Leave it to the youngest to figure it all out. Like him, I’m also the youngest of three. That means I can identify with him. But usually I identify with what I put my Dad through by being a big wuss. As the “baby of the family” we are coddled the most, but anxious to grow up fast to play with the olders. The youngest are often the most creative and the most expressive. With less pressure and expectations than their elders, we youngest are allowed to be introspective observers of life. WTF am I talking about? My point is I’m writing this so if he ever grows up to doubt himself and give in to the pessimistic thoughts, then he’ll have this post to remind him that at age six, he figured it all out.

Don’t ever tell my wife this or I’ll hurt you, but sometimes when Mom goes away, it’s a good thing. Out of their comfort zone, without all-knowing Mom to save the day, dads and children make breakthroughs. “You and I have to have a man to man talk about your Wubby.”

This week Mom went on a business trip which meant Dad was losing it the very first hour of the first morning she was gone. I couldn’t prepare a breakfast anyone would eat, pack a lunch anyone wanted, and nobody was ready for school with the clock ticking. The middle child was dressed but the youngest wasn’t which makes for a problem.

The youngest is too scared to go get dressed on his own for whatever reason. I blame my wife allowing him to watch scary movies. And then also for indulging his fears. And I also tend to blame her for any other faults our children have. Father of the Year needs some work. Since the boys share a room, he will only go to his room if his brother or someone accompanies him. He claims he’s scared of the giant cyclops from some movie, and the dark, and everything else that we’ve tried to reason with him about endlessly.

So here we are this morning. (who knew there was so much back-story but we’re almost to the pay-off) I’ve got no time to escort him. I’m in the garage knee-deep in boxes of Costco snacks trying to make a school lunch. I scream at him, “Go! Get! DREEESSSED!!” Maybe I was scarier than a one-eyed giant because when I emerged from the garage he was coming up the dark stairs from his room alone and dressed.

Shocked I said, “You did it. How did you do it?”

He replied simply, “I just didn’t listen to the bad thoughts in my head.”

(clap, clap) Bravo! There it is. All these years, I’ve never been able to put it so simply. Now I know what all those therapists have meant.

Just don’t listen to the bad thoughts.

Sure, replace them with positive thoughts or focus on the task at hand instead of dwelling on the bad ones. I wanted to put him on a pedestal and let him shout it to the world but, alas, we had to get to school where, I’m told, he shouts plenty.

I had spoken to the wise man and I could climb down the mountain and teach it to the people. Or, at least, the few people that follow me (Mom?).  I know this is common practice for many of you positive thinkers out there. For a proud pessimist like myself, it can be hard to see the reason we do what we strive to do. We get buried by the endless amounts of burden that lay in our path. And we fear the scary cyclops waiting for us in the unknown. Leave it to a stressed-out little six year-old to teach us how to cope. He at least inspired me to ignore my excuses and get back to blogging immediately. And now, a week and a half later, I am. Of course, I was supposed to be doing the taxes. Ugh.


I usually resist posting all the silly, wonderful things that kids spill from their naive, under-developed minds. Yet some are worthy. Just subscribe to a couple of parenting blogs and you’ll be covered in inspirational, funny, and stupid cute things kid say that will change your life. But, don’t really. Just follow mine.

I told you he said the stupidest and weirdest thing I’ve heard a child utter. That’s a day in the life of a child, I guess. Since I’m breaking my rule of quoting kids, I’ll repeat them.

The dumbest was he somehow downloaded Kidz Bop (my tormentor) player on his Leapster. For friggin’ days he’s been playing the screeching child renditions of Taylor Swift and Bieber everywhere we went. In the car ride home I finally told him, “If you play that one more time, I’m going to lose it.”

He replied foolishly, “Dad, why wouldn’t you want to hear Kidz Bop Justin Bieber all of the time?” He was genuinely puzzled.

Finally, later in the day, out of the blue and unprompted, he said the weirdest thing I’ve heard from him. “Dad, will I ever get to watch 12 Years a Slave???” I have no idea why he’s interested nor could he explain his desire. However, after finally overcoming the fear of the cyclops, I’d say he definitely has to wait a few years to watch anything rated higher than PG.

Perhaps next week I’ll tell you my answer to his bedtime question, “Dad, is being a dad hard?” I’m still trying to formulate the proper answer to that doozie. I think I’ll relate his overcoming the fear of the cyclops with being a father. One day you’re a kid who’s scared of spiders. Then you’re a dad and suddenly you are the one who has to take out the spiders.


In the meantime, I’m not really a Eminem fan but I’ll definitely play this over Bieber. And lyrics are fitting.

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