Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

I Do Not Think It Means what You Think It Means, Dad

with 6 comments


Standard (Adult) Definition

Child Definition


Time to be in pajamas, with teeth brushed, lights out and sleep imminent

Time to keep finding excuses to turn light back on, bother one another, get out of bed again and again and again until a parent blows a gasket

Be quiet

Make no more noise until further notice

Stay silent for approximately 0.68 seconds, whereupon interrupted noisemaking activity resumes

It’s time to go

Departure is NOW

It’s time to realize I can’t find my socks, shoes or some other essential item



Not until sufficient whining and other pressure is brought to bear


A chance to sleep in

Get up even earlier than one should during non-vacation

Get dressed

Don clothes in timely manner

Lie around until there’s barely enough time to throw a few things on, let alone find the specific items that Must Be Worn Today Or The World Will End

Come here

Move from where you are to where I am, right now

Pretend you didn’t hear me the first two times, then act all innocent and bewildered when finally responding to the third, impatient call, as if the stern tone defies comprehension

Too much

More than you can finish in a sitting, or more than can be safely contained in the relevant vessel



Comestibles with at least some nutritional value, possibly even some protein

Starch, chocolate and/or greasy yumminess


Assignments given at school, to be completed at home the same day

Something about more work, outside the classroom? Couldn’t be important


Animal in the care of all or specific members of the household

Specifically, Mom and Dad, because no one else can be bothered anymore after the initial excitement and professed commitment lasted about four hours


A detail of marginal importance in righting a wrong situation

The end-all and be-all of every single interaction in the universe

In a minute

Approximately 60 seconds after the time this is uttered

I hope you forget you told me to do something by the time 60 seconds pass

Stop that

Cease your current activity and replace it with something acceptable

Pause in your current activity for just long enough to confirm that you heard the statement, then continue as before


Divide use of a resource equitably

Assert as much dominance in use of resource as possible

Flush the toilet

I cannot believe I have to define this for you

See Too much, above

Wash your hands

You can’t be serious

See above


Written by Thag

October 17, 2011 at 9:04 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Child’s definitions of Too Much and Fault are amazing. Also, the last two adult definitions (Flush the toilet and Wash your hands) are so good. I recommend hand smelling as an effective check.

    The Lime

    October 17, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    • Thank you. It’s like I have kids or something…


      October 17, 2011 at 9:30 pm

  2. I think that many adults have a bit of difficulty with the “adult” definition of “time to go” and “in a minute.” Time is such a relative thing…;)

    I agree with the last two, too. Never can be too careful about #2!

    Lorna's Voice

    October 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    • Yes, I just cleaned up some fingerpainting on the walls of the bathroom. The mind would boggle if it were crazy enough to consider the subject matter.


      October 17, 2011 at 10:16 pm

  3. Right on the money with every single one of those!


    October 18, 2011 at 12:55 am

  4. Wow! I found your blog via your post on the middle east myths, which I loved, but this really hits home, having just sent all my (poopoo) grandchildren off to their perspective homes. I especially loved hearing my kids saying all the above and having their kids respond in exactly the same way as you describe. What a wonderful feeling!


    October 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm

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