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  • Quoting My Kids

    Facebook has become the 21st century vehicle for “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” the Art Linkletter/Bill Cosby sketch show that started on radio, moved to television, and now — thanks to social networking — is on the keyboards of friends far and wide.

    As I’ve mentioned before, it’s a challenge to be both profound and pithy in just a few words, but fortunately Facebook gives you more than the 140 characters you get with Twitter. (Twitter is too pithy, even for me.) I especially enjoy my sister’s status updates, which show a dry wit that recalls my dad. Of course, with five children — two of them still relatively small — she has fresh material on a daily basis.

    Now that my kids are teens, I don’t get as much “They said what?!?” material as I once did. Still here are a few gems you might have missed:

    A recent exchange with Emma as we drove the obstacle course that is Northern Va.:


    — E: I heard it was pothole awareness month.

    — Me: Do you think they're doing anything about it?


    — E (hoping she doesn't fall into one): Funny, Dad. You're funny.

    • From Ben: "If a boy can still sing 'Gary, Indiana,' then I'm telling you, his voice has NOT changed."

    • From Kate, after drinking a Slurpee to mark getting her braces off: "My tongue looks like my hair did" when it was dyed. "But then, my head looked like a fire hydrant."

    • From the boy in the bubble: "I'm confused. What's this about the Giants drafting a Prince and a wedding involving a Prince? They aren't the same thing, are they?"

    • From Kate, the visual artist (who also kinda likes science): "Lips are tough, but I hate drawing ears. Every time I try to make them look realistic, they look like my small intestine."

    • From Emma: "Sure they tell you that you can eat all the ice cream you want when you have your tonsils taken out. What they don't tell you is you won't want to eat a thing after that happens, and that sucks."

    • From Ben, during his brief trip home to Virginia for the 1st time in months:

    — "Have you noticed that British people don't talk like us, but when they sing you can't tell the difference?"


    — Upon being told that the conductor would be watching him as he rode unaccompanied on the train to New York: "I don't know about that. I'm not sure I want him watching me watching 'Dexter.' That could be a little awkward."

    Of course, raising kids gives you material of your own. Here’s my contribution to the cause:

    • Another way you know you have teenagers: You tell them you're cleaning the bathroom and their response is, "Why?"