I prefer to think of them as “endearing”

Dear children,

It may seem odd to you now, but some day you’re going to make fun of your mother and me. “Oh no, not us, father!” I can hear you cry in unison like adorable Von Trapp children, except without the proximity of Nazis.

It’s true. You’re going to make fun of us, mock us and mercilessly imitate us for the amusement of your siblings, cousins and peers. You might even turn us into one of your go-to stories at social events, depending on whether the event is the type where you can shout out, “WITHOUT PANTS!”

In fact, I would guess that you’ve already secretly made fun of us, and you immediately felt bad about it, guilty even. Please, don’t feel bad, but do feel free to go with the guilt, because your mother and I can use guilt in our favour later on.

Good-hearted ridicule is perfectly natural and a normal part of growing up. All children make fun of their parents, especially as their parents get older and are perceived to be less cool. I say “perceived” because, despite what you may think, your mother and I are super chill, like cool beans, yo.

Believe it or not, Mom and I make fun of our own parents, your grandparents. It’s true. We would give you some examples but at last check we were still in their will, and we’d like to stay that way. But trust me, they’re hilarious.

And so, to enhance your future fun-making and to ensure that I focus on only my finest faults, foibles and flaws (could unabashed alliteration be among them? Read on!), I have prepared the following survey. Please check all applicable quirks and characteristics of me, your still very cool father, that you feel will be worthy of goofing on at some juncture.

__ Sticking my tongue out in concentration and sometimes for no reason at all – though, as I always say, never underestimate the power of the tongue.

__ Refusing to let a “that’s what she said” opportunity pass me by.

__ My deteriorating hearing. For instance, last weekend, we stayed overnight at my eldest daughter’s apartment in Montreal. Early the next morning, Deb and Abby went to get coffee. When they came back, Abby looked at me with concerned eyes. “We killed a toad,” she said. “You killed a toad?” “No! The car got towed!” Oh, that’s much worse. Unless you’re the toad.

__ The way I sometimes miss the obvious, like the big signs all over that parking lot warning that cars left there overnight would be towed. I swear they weren’t there last time.

__ And yet fixating on little details, like the fact that freeing our car from the pound cost $116.10, which is an oddly specific amount, don’t you think?

__ Fussing with the buttons on the car radio when I’m driving, which is perfectly safe, and I wish everyone would just relax. I wasn’t even close to leaving the road that time. Or that other time.

__ Standing with my tongue out and rubbing my belly, WHICH I HAVE DONE MAYBE ONE TIME IN MY LIFE AND IS A COMPLETELY UNFAIR CARICATURE!

The "Who's Whistling? Someone's Whistling? Why Is There Whistling?" Classic!

The “Who’s Whistling? Someone’s Whistling? Why Is There Whistling?” Classic!

__ Fidgeting.

__ Fiddling.

__ Fretting.

__ Unabashed alliteration. (AHA!)

__ Grumpiness.

__ Skinniness.

__ Sweatpantiness.

__ Taking the iPad to the bathroom with me, WHICH I HAVE DONE MAYBE… okay, I do it all the time, but I can assure you I always operate under the ISO 11,610 standards for bathroom iPad hygiene.

__ Making guppy fish noises with my mouth when I’m sleeping. Wait a sec. Who wrote this? Deb, is that you?

__ Sitting on the sofa with my knees tucked up, like I’m 12 or something. But isn’t it impressive I can still bend like that?

__ That’s what she said.

__ Walking that way. Yeah, just like that.

__ Other foibles (please be specific; use additional paper if necessary) ______________________________________________


There you have it. You’re all set for future jokes at my expense. This has been fun.

Ooh! Let’s do your mother next! I’ll help.


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
This entry was posted in Family - whadya gonna do?, It Could Happen... and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to I prefer to think of them as “endearing”

  1. Trent Lewin says:

    Remind me never to handle any of your electronic devices…

  2. I worry that I have given my daughter the tools for future mockery – sarcasm, eyebrow raising (which will, in itself, be mocked) and funny accents. I believe in generational karma and I have A LOT coming my way. Not a relative has been left un-mocked.

  3. Paul says:

    Ha! Too fun Ross – and rife with the truth. When our daughter, Chantal, was 14 she asked her Mom and I to buy her some clothes. My wife refused to hand over the cash (giving cash to teens is another topic entirely) but agreed to accompany her to the mall as it was back to school time. So we headed out to the local mall (Place d’Orleans if you’re familiar). The daughter asked, very politely if we could walk about 10 meters behind her in case some of her friends happened to see her. Ha! Mind you we had to catch up at the cash register. 😀

  4. R. Todd says:

    Ross, I swear, I could have written this. My children love pointing out my idiosyncrasies, not always to my face, but definitely on social media, which… it’s not the same thing, but it is the same thing… kind of thing, thing (it needed one more thing).

  5. pinklightsabre says:

    It’s always a specific amount like that, as if the fine or the penalty is that much worse in its specificity. Like they’re trying to draw it out.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      I expect there’s some “just because we can” charges in there. I heard that somewhere in Burning Columbia — Vancouver, probably — they’re clamping down on outdoor fires. The fine, which I imagine is set by law, was $350, but there was an added arbitrary “administrative fee” of $10,000.

  6. I believe the mocking of elders will skip a generation in my family because my wife and I are so cool. We do allow (and encourage) our kids to mock my parents. Cool parents do that kinda thing.

  7. franhunne4u says:

    Now, the mocking will end with me – not having children. Unless my nieces and my nephew take it up – that is why I avoid contact with them!

  8. ksbeth says:

    i think most of this is forgivable, except maybe the sweatpantiness.

  9. It’s a bloody good thing you’ve got piles of extra cash lying around in case your car gets towed. Imagine the fix you’d be in if you didn’t! Close one.

    No mention of gas or loud chewing sounds? Do you have superhuman powers the rest of us can only envy? What kind of dad are you?

    God, I wish my oldest daughter had her own apartment. But it’s not easy to make the rent at 13. Can she move in with yours?

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Oh, I could go on, but there’s a limit to my self-indulgence, believe it or not.
      I have my problems, but making random noises isn’t one of them. My wife hums under her breath — that’s relatively new. My brother-in-law makes grunting noises, like he’s channeling Billy Bob Thornton in Swingblade.
      My eldest turned 24 yesterday. Imagine that.

  10. Wondering to what extent I can make fun of my elderly parents while still avoiding being sued. Oh, well, I guess being poor is good for something after all.

  11. Cecilia says:

    I hope I don’t do that, but nobody is perfect, isn’t it.

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