Halloween is the beginning of the holiday shopping season. That’s for women. The beginning of the holiday shopping season for men is Christmas Eve.
Halloween is the beginning of the holiday shopping season. That’s for women. The beginning of the holiday shopping season for men is Christmas Eve.
Try as she might, our granddaughter couldn’t grasp the concept of potty training. Then one day … Success! Jumping up and down, she threw her arms in the air and yelled in excitement, “I went potty all by myself, and now I can go to Harvard!”
Jan and Jack McCloskey, San Francisco, California
“Has your son decided what he wants to be when he grows up?” I asked my friend.
“He wants to be a garbageman,” he replied.
“That’s an unusual ambition to have at such a young age.”
“Not really. He thinks that garbagemen work only on Tuesdays.”
We use a really strong sunblock when we go to the beach with the kids. It’s SPF 80: You squeeze the tube, and a sweater comes out.
My 11-year-old grandson spent a beautiful Saturday playing video games. His older sister tried coaxing him outside by warning, “Someday, you’re going to be 30 years old, single, and living in Mom’s basement playing video games all day!”
His reply: “I can only dream.”
Sylvia Cardenas, Hacienda Heights, California
I got my first full-time job, but I could have sworn I was making more money in college, working for my parents as their daughter.
Hanging up with my 90-year-old mother, I sighed, then said to my 96-year-old uncle, “She’s so stubborn.”
He shook his head sympathetically and warned, “You’re going to have trouble with her when she gets old.”
Angie Kiem, Irwin, Iowa
A Scottish mother visits her son in his New York City apartment and asks, “How do you find the Americans, Donald?”
“Mother,” says Donald, “they’re such noisy people. One neighbor won’t stop banging his head against the wall, while the other screams and screams all night long.”
“Oh, Donald! How do you manage to put up with them?”
“What can I do? I just lie in bed quietly, playing my bagpipes.”
Submitted by Noah Jorgensen, Silsbee, Texas
“Has your diet changed?” I asked an 87-year-old woman I was admitting into the hospital.
“Yes,” she said. “For Lent, I gave up whipped cream on my Jell-O, hard candy, and my two beers a night. [Pause] And look where it’s gotten me.”
L.K., via Internet
The latest parenting fads, according to the Onion:
• Couples are waiting to announce their pregnancy until after their child has graduated college and become a partner in a successful law firm.
• Parents are choosing not to learn the gender of their obstetrician.
• As part of the new Infinity Womb trend, women are using a wide range of Lamaze, strength-training, and yoga techniques to forcefully prevent their children from ever leaving their wombs, forever protecting them from the harsh realities of the world.
The cool part about naming your kid is you don’t have to add six numbers to make sure the name is available.
Texting acronyms can stump even the best parents:
Mom: Your great-aunt just passed away. LOL.
Son: Why is that funny?
Mom: It’s not funny, David! What do you mean?
Son: Mom, LOL means Laughing Out Loud.
Mom: I thought it meant Lots of Love. I have to call everyone back.
Daughter: I got an A in Chemistry.
Daughter: Mom, what do you think WTF means?
Mom: Well That’s Fantastic.
Mom: What do IDK, LY & TTYL mean?
Son: I don’t know, love you, talk to you later.
Mom: OK, I will ask your sister.
The water I was heating for pasta refused to boil, and if my 12-year-old son was right, I wasn’t helping by constantly checking on it.
“It’s like that old saying,” he said. “ ‘A watched website never loads.’ ”
Helen Russ, Medford, Oregon
My young son ran to me, crying. “Daddy, I stubbed my toe,” he sobbed.
“Let me kiss it and make it better,” I said. “Which toe was it?”
“The one that has no roast beef.”
Gary Neal, Clearwater, Florida
“Wanted to buy: playpen, cradle, high chair; also two single beds.”
Matthew Cole, Plant City, Florida
A child psychologist had twin boys—one was an optimist; the other, a pessimist. Just to see what would happen, on Christmas Day he loaded the pessimist’s room with toys and games. In the optimist’s room, he dumped a pile of horse droppings.
That night, the father found the pessimist surrounded by his gifts, crying.
“What’s wrong?” the father asked.
“I have a ton of game manuals to read … I need batteries … and my toys will all eventually get broken!” sobbed the pessimist.
Passing the optimist’s room, the father found him dancing for joy around the pile of manure. “Why are you so happy?” he asked.
The optimist shouted, “There’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!”
My three-year-old sat in the bathroom with me, watching as I removed my dentures and brushed them. After a few minutes, he asked, “Can you take your ears off too?”
S. W., via mail
Dad rarely dresses up, so when he left the bedroom decked out in a suit and tie, he wanted to commemorate the moment. Handing me a camera, he asked, “Mind taking a selfie of me?”
Rachel Hester, Clover, South Carolina
Events had left my son-in- law’s sister feeling sad, and she started tearing up. Luckily, our two-year-old grandson was nearby to dispense words of wisdom. “Don’t cry,” he said. “Sometimes batteries die and toys break.”
Perry Finkelman, West Hempstead, New York
To get my cousin to write to her even once, my aunt resorted to sending him a check with this note: “Do not cash until you write me a thank-you.” A few weeks later, the check had cleared, yet no message had arrived. So she called him.
“I told you not to cash the check until you’d written to thank me,” she complained.
“I didn’t cash the check,” he said. “I deposited it.”
Mark Forman, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey
Where there’s a will, there’s a relative.
I asked my brother-in-law, the father of four boys, “If you had to do it all over again, would you still have kids?”
“Yes,” he said. “Just not these four.”
Sheila Lee, Lorain, Ohio
I was nine months pregnant and browsing at a garage sale when the homeowner asked me if I knew whether I was having a boy or a girl.
I told her I didn’t.
As I left a few minutes later, she yelled after me, “I hope you get the sex you want!”
Melanie Riley, Lakemoor, Illinois
Here is the best-ever backhanded compliment from a kid about a present: “Dear Genie, thanks for the toy. I’ll play with it when I’m bored.”
Debbie Skolnik, Scarsdale, New York
My young son declared, “When I grow up, I’m going to marry you, Mommy.”
“You can’t marry your own mother,” said his older sister.
“Then I’ll marry you.”
“You can’t marry me either.”
He looked confused, so I … Read More
“Dad?” —Zebra looking at a piano
When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant, I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
Father’s Day is important because, besides being the day on which we honor Dad, it’s the one day of the year that Brookstone does any business.
I gave my father $100 and said, “Buy yourself something that will make your life easier.” So he went out and bought a present for my mother.
I got all my looks from my father. Mostly just the look of disappointment.
My daughter-in-law was driving on the freeway when the sight of flashing lights in her rearview mirror made her pull over.
“Do you know why I stopped you?” asked the state trooper. “You were going 85 miles per hour.”
“Impossible… Read More
During my mother’s memorial, my five-year-old granddaughter could not stop staring at the urn that contained her ashes.
“Is that really Great-grandma in there?” she asked her mother.
“Yes, it is.”
“Funny,” she said. “I … Read More
My husband was cramming all his chores into one day, but each job revealed another problem. For example, while touching up paint on a wall, he discovered gouges in the wood that needed to be filled in. Later, I found him sitting in … Read More
We had just finished tucking our five kids into bed when three-year-old Billy began to wail. Turns out, he had accidentally swallowed a penny and was sure he was going to die. Desperate to calm him, my husband palmed a penny that he had in … Read More
I’d like to have a kid, but I’m not sure I’m ready to spend ten years of my life constantly asking someone where his shoes are.
“I’d like to discuss something with you,” my husband told our nine-year-old son. He was about to launch into The Talk.
“What is it?” asked Michael.
“We’re going to talk about girls.”
“What about girls?”
“Well… Read More
After a rough day spent corralling my rowdy kids, I’d had enough.
“I think I’m going to sell them,” I hissed to my sister.
“You’re crazy,” she said.
“For thinking of selling them?”
“For thinking someone would buy them.”
—Sheri Mueller, Lehi, Utah
Two babies are sitting in their cribs, when one baby asks the other, “Are you a little girl or a little boy?”
The other baby shrugs. “I don’t know how to tell the difference.”
“I do,” says the first baby. He carefully climbs… Read More
Shortly after my grandmother passed away, I took my daughter to her grave site, which was located beside a row of pine trees.
“How nice,” I said. “Grandma has a great spot here in the shade.”
My daughter replied, “Mom, they’re… Read More
I tell my kids that Santa is fat because he eats the children who get up early on Christmas morning. That way, I get to sleep in.
James Knowles, on topfive.com
Human beings are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back home.
My cousin always “borrows” money from her older brother’s piggy bank, which drives him crazy. One day, she found the piggy in, of all places, the freezer. Inside was this note: “Dear sister, I hope you’ll understand, but my capital … Read More
Sometimes you have a mess on your hands that defies description. Not anymore. Clorox teamed up with comedian Carol Leifer to create The Clorox Ick-tionary, a Wiki-style dictionary for everyday messes. Here are new words that define … Read More
“My great-grandma gave me this money,” said my three-year-old, happily clutching a $20 bill he’d gotten as a present.
“That’s right,” I said. “How did you know that?”
Pointing to Andrew Jackson’s face in the middle, … Read More
Needing to look up a phone number at a friend’s house, my teenage daughter asked for a phone book. She might as well have asked for a papyrus scroll.
“A phone book?” asked her friend.
“You know,” said my daughter. “A book … Read More
Little girl: I want cotton candy!
Mom: You can have some cotton candy after you eat something healthy.
Little girl: I want cotton candy now!
Mom: I said no, you’re going to have something healthy! How about a corn dog?
—Laura … Read More
During a science lesson, my sister-in-law picked up a magnet and said to her second-grade class, “My name begins with the letter M, and I pick things up. What am I?”
A little boy answered, “You’re a mommy.”
—Robert Boyer, Marion, Indiana
Scene: Playground A young girl is reading a book about knights. Girl: What does our family crest look like, Mommy? Mom: Poor people being crushed by a boot.
Did you hear about the identical twins who robbed a bank? After they were caught, they finished each other’s sentences.
I can’t tell the difference between a rose and a dandelion. So when it came time to fix up my garden, I had no clue which plants to keep and which ones to remove. Until, that is, my mother gave me this handy tip: “Pull them all up. If it … Read More
My two daughters were discussing the less than desirable physical attributes they had inherited from their father. The older one: "I hate my freckles from Dad." Her unsympathetic younger sister: "At least you got his … Read More
People’s parents actually give them sage advice, like “Do what you love, and the money will follow” or “The early bird gets the worm.” All I remember is “Don’t fill up on bread.”
"You shouldn’t be eating candy so early. We have doughnuts." "The key is to put the mousetrap outside the house. That way, the mice don’t come in." "Your aunt couldn’t make it, so I brought the cat." "… Read More
I arrived home from work to find all the windows and doors wide open. Apparently our puppy had had an accident.
“Yeah, it really stank,” my daughter told me. “In fact, when we first walked in, I thought you had come home early and were … Read More
Our 25-year-old son moved back home with an eye toward socking away money to buy a condo. We never bothered asking how long he’d planned to stay, but I got a pretty good idea when I walked into his room recently. In the corner was a milk … Read More
My wife is a by-the-recipe baker. But that attention to detail still hasn’t made her chocolate chip cookies taste any better. One day, after the cookies had been in the oven a while, I smelled a familiar odor. “They’re burning,” I shouted… Read More
I was not thrilled with the idea of letting my clueless 13-year-old son babysit his younger sisters, even though he begged me to.
“What about a fire?” I asked, referring to my No. 1 concern.
“Mom,” he said, rolling his eyes, “I’m a Boy … Read More
My sister is a know-it-all who bristles at anyone’s well-intentioned advice. But when our older sister gave her several clever tips, she was impressed. "I have to hand it to Pat," she told me. "She really is smart. Not … Read More
“Why doesn’t your mother like me?” a woman asks her boyfriend.
“Don’t take it personally,” he assures her. “She’s never liked anyone I’ve dated. I once dated someone exactly like her, and that didn’t work out at all.”
“What happened… Read More
My mom wants me to name my kids after people in our family. So I’m naming my firstborn Uncle Karl.
Before my daughter went on her first date, I gave her "the talk." "Sometimes, it’s easy to get carried away when you’re with a boy," I said. "Remember, a short moment of indiscretion could ruin your life." &… Read More
Once I’d finished reviewing my daughter’s homework, I gave her an impromptu quiz. “What is a group of whales called?” I asked. “I’ll give you a hint—it sounds like something you use to listen to music.”
“An iPod?” she guessed.
“… Read More
I was on my way out of the house to meet with a cantankerous client, and I was dreading it. The look on my face must have given me away because my four-year-old daughter asked what was wrong. "I’m going to meet a woman who always … Read More
Even with a thousand games, dolls and crafts to choose from, my customer at the toy store still couldn’t find a thing for her grandson. "Maybe a video or something educational?" I asked. "No, that’s not it," she said… Read More
Dad is from the old school, where you keep your money under the mattress—only he kept his in the underwear drawer. One day I bought my dad an unusual personal safe—a can of spray paint with a false bottom—so he could keep … Read More
One evening after dinner, my five-year-old son Brian noticed that his mother had gone out. In answer to his questions, I told him, "Mommy is at a Tupperware party." This explanation satisfied him for only a moment. Puzzled, he … Read More
As she slid behind the wheel for her first driving lesson, my daughter couldn’t contain her excitement. "You need to make adjustments so the car is comfortable for you, the driver," I began. "Now, what’s the first thing you … Read More
My doctor friend moved his family to a small town in Montana. An Italian American raised in Philadelphia, he wanted his kids to enjoy clean the benefits of air and the outdoors. The locals were thrilled to have a doctor of their own, and … Read More
Don’t ever pay a surprise visit to a child in college. You might be the one getting the surprise. I learned this the hard way when I swung by my son’s campus during a business trip. Locating what I thought was his fraternity house, I rang … Read More
Since I am a busy mom of four, I rely on my children to help me out with everyday chores around the house. One morning I was running around trying to get the children and myself ready, when I suddenly realized it was trash pickup day. So I … Read More
Driving with my two young boys to a funeral, I tried to prepare them by talking about burial and what we believe happens after death. The boys behaved well during the service. But at the grave site I discovered my explanations weren’t as … Read More
My two-year-old cousin scared us one summer by disappearing during our lakeside vacation. More than a dozen relatives searched the forest and shoreline, and everyone was relieved when we found Matthew playing calmly in the woods."… Read More
One night about 10 p.m., I answered the phone and heard, "Dad, we want to stay out late. Is that okay?" "Sure," I answered, "as long as you called." When I hung up, my wife asked who was on the phone."One … Read More
It had been a nerve-racking experience for my attorney husband. He was working with the FBI on a federal sting operation. Worried for his safety, they put him under protective surveillance. Finally the agency told him they had rounded up … Read More
My sister felt she was well prepared for her in-depth interview with several members of the police-academy board who would determine her suitability as a candidate. The first situation they presented to her was: "On routine patrol you … Read More
This couple was heading to the hospital with their 16-year-old daughter, who was scheduled to undergo a tonsillectomy. During the ride they talked about the procedure."Dad," the teenager asked, "how are they going to keep my … Read More
Several months ago, my daughter and I had similar virus symptoms. She decided to consult a doctor so as not to lose any more time from her job.“I’ll see the doctor,” she said, “and then tell you what’s wrong … Read More
Mother and I were discussing our mutual weight problem one evening, when I challenged her to a contest. If I lost the most weight in the next month, I wouldn’t have to pay her the $6 that I owed her. If she lost the most weight, I would … Read More
My husband bought an exercise machine to help him shed a few pounds. He set it up in the basement but didn’t use it much, so he moved it to the bedroom. It gathered dust there, too, so he put it in the living room.
Weeks later I asked how … Read More
One evening I was commenting on my bad exercise habits and tight clothes. Whenever I criticize myself, my four-year-old son always has something charming to say. Using a new word this time, he smiled and said, "Oh, no, Mommy! You look … Read More
One rainy morning, my mother went for her daily run. As she returned to the house, she slipped and fell, hitting her head on the driveway.
I called the paramedics. When they arrived, they asked my mom some questions to determine her … Read More
After my wife had a sonogram, I asked my mother-in-law to guess the sex of the twins her daughter was carrying."Two boys," she said.I shook my head. "It must be two girls," she offered. Again I told her no. "Well, … Read More
I spent an afternoon helping my boyfriend move into a new home. In one carton I found a crockpot, with an odd-looking and very dirty metal lid. Later I ushered my boyfriend into the kitchen and asked why he hadn’t mentioned this perfectly … Read More
My wife and her friend Karen were talking about their labor-saving devices as they pulled into our driveway. Karen said, “I love my new garage-door opener.”
“I love mine too,” my wife replied, and honked the horn three times. That was the … Read More
My sister decided to go on a diet, and that first evening she phoned me. I could tell her mouth was full, so I asked her what she was eating.
“A cupcake,” she mumbled. “I just got on the scale, and it read 149 1/2 pounds. I decided that … Read More
My sister and I were out on the town one night when we ran into a man I knew. "You’re sisters?" he asked incredulously. "You look nothing alike.Pointing to her nose and my chin, my sister said, "Different plastic … Read More
My mother was away all weekend at a business conference. During a break, she decided to call home collect. My six-year-old brother picked up the phone and heard a stranger’s voice say, "We have a Marcia on the line. Will you accept the… Read More
While I was dining out with my children, a man came over to our table and we started talking. He asked where my kids go to school. I told him we home-school them. With a raised eyebrow he asked if my husband is the sole breadwinner for our … Read More
I am a first-grade teacher and a new empty nester. One night I was trying out an art project: making a person with simple materials. I took a coat hanger, attached a paper-plate face, put a shirt on the hanger and stuffed it. Then I sat it … Read More
When my friend got a job, her husband agreed to share the housework. He was stunned by the amount of effort involved in keeping a house clean with small boys to pick up after, and insisted that he and his wife shop for a new vacuum cleaner… Read More
My husband and I both work, so our family eats out a lot. Recently, when we were having a rare home-cooked meal, I handed a glass to my three-year-old and told her to drink her milk. She looked at me bewildered and replied, "But I didn… Read More
A couple of hours into a visit with my mother she noticed I hadn’t lit up a cigarette once. “Are you trying to kick the habit?”
“No,” I replied, “I’ve got a cold and I don’t smoke when I’m not feeling well.”
“You know,” she … Read More
My cooking has always been the target of family jokes. One evening, as I prepared dinner a bit too quickly, the kitchen filled with smoke and the smoke detector went off. Although both of my children had received fire-safety training at … Read More
My daughter had absentmindedly left her sneakers on our kitchen table. "That’s disgusting," my husband grumbled. "Doesn’t she realize we eat off that table?" Then he went out back to work on the car. I cleaned the table … Read More
As my 40th birthday approached, my husband, who is a year younger, was doing his best to rub it in. Trying to figure out what all the teasing was about, our young daughter asked me, "How old is Daddy?" "Thirty-nine," I … Read More
My mom had always wanted to learn to play the piano, so Dad bought her one for her birthday. A few weeks later, I called and asked how she was doing. "We returned the piano," said Dad. "I persuaded her to switch to a clarinet… Read More
Recently visiting my hometown, I ran into Bev, a classmate I had not seen in years. We updated each other on careers, marriages, children, and found common ground discussing the joys and hardships of being the single parent of a teenager.… Read More
It seemed that all our appliances had broken in the same week, and repairs were straining our budget. So when I picked up the kids from school and our Jeep started making rattling sounds, I decided that rather than burden my husband, I’d … Read More
We purchased an old home in northern New York State from two elderly sisters. Winter was fast approaching, and I was concerned about the house’s lack of insulation. “If they could live here all those years, so can we!” my husband … Read More
To keep their active two-year-old from roaming onto the busy street in front of their home, my sister and brother-in-law decided to put a gate across the driveway. After working over two weekends on the project, Robert was ready to attach … Read More
Rushing to get to the movies, my husband and I told the kids we had to leave "right now"—at which point our teenage daughter headed for the bathroom to apply makeup. Her dad yelled for her to get in the car immediately, and … Read More
My family has a tradition of naming the cruise control on our cars. We were used to hearing my father proclaim, "Take it, Max," as he flipped on the cruise control during long trips in our station wagon. Recently, I was traveling … Read More
I was with a friend in a café when a noisy car alarm interrupted our conversation. "What good are car alarms when no one pays any attention to them?" I wondered aloud. "Some are quite effective," my friend … Read More
My sister Darlene has the courage—but not always the skills—to tackle any home-repair project. For example, in her garage are pieces of a lawn mower she once tried to fix. So I wasn’t surprised the day my other sister, Jesse, and I … Read More