My wife briefly tries to teach me basic skin care

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“You’re being creepy,” my wife whispered. “Stop it.”

We were sitting next to each other on an airplane that hadn’t left the gate. I was within my ultra narrow economy seat space, and I knew better than to bring up the Mile High Club until the seatbelt sign was off.

“How am I being creepy?” I asked.

“You’re staring at me from a foot away. Stop it.”

“I’m trying to figure out what you’re doing,” I admitted.

Allie had been diligently applying sunscreen to her face and neck. …

And ten minutes ago, I was the coolest dad ever

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“So how was your first dance?”

My daughter nodded and avoided eye contact. For a twelve-year-old, that’s a positive response.

“Any particularly fun moments?” I continued.

“It was really dark,” Ricki shrugged. “So you couldn’t see people dance.”

“And that’s a good thing?”

“Of course, Dad! Look how bad you dance and you’ve had centuries to practice. We’re in junior high, so nobody knows what they’re doing. Dark is good.”

I nodded and avoided eye contact. For a parent, that’s the end of the conversation.

“And there was this one song I really liked,” Ricki continued. …

Should I encourage or discourage my kids from scaling the house?

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Credit: me. A snazzy stock photo doesn’t really capture this moment.

I walked into Ricki’s room and froze. Rushing toward my daughters would startle them, maybe fatally. I chose my words carefully.

Ricki! Josie! What the hell do you think you’re doing?

My twelve-year-old looked back through the window.

“Uh… hi Dad,” Ricki said. “Don’t worry. We’re being safe.”

“Walking on a slanted roof is never safe! Get back in here!”

“But we are safe,” Ricki insisted. “Look, I tied Josie to the window frame.”

My ten-year-old came to the window and smiled. She had a rope around her waist. …


Marshall Brickeen

Helpless dad, amateur husband, responsibility denier.

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