Actual transcript of a conversation that occurred between my son and I:
Son: Can I make myself a cup of hot chocolate?
(minutes pass - noises come from the kitchen followed by sighing)
Me (entering the kitchen): What's wrong?
Son: Well, there's no clean cups. The kind of cups I like for my chocolate, I mean.
(he likes to use the plastic Campbell Soup cups)
Me (opening the cupboard): What are you talking about? There's two of them right there.
Son: Those are dirty.
Son: They're dirty. They've got crud in them. The dishwasher didn't get them clean.
Me: (picking up a cup, looking inside - is indeed dirty) Um, why is it still on the shelf?
Son: Because it's dirty.
Me: Yes, I understand. Why didn't you take them out of the cupboard?
Son: I'm not making chocolate in a dirty cup! (gives me a look that says clearly how disappointed he is to have an idiot for a father)
Me: Did you think that they would get magically clean in the cupboard?
Son: Nevermind. Now I don't want any. (He saunders off, leaving me with a vague feeling that I am somehow in the wrong.)
This conversation continues a long downward spiral for me. Apparently I've been getting dumber and dumber as the years go by. It all began when my son was four, prior to that I was fairly intelligent. I remember the exact day I began to get stupid, it went something like this:
Son: (coming home from pre-school, he has a large piece of tagboard covered in green and black blobs of tempera paint. He comes into my office and holds up the paper) Look at what I did in school today!
Me: Wow! That's great.
Son: Do you know what it is?
Me: (Caught completely unprepared for this parental Rorschach test) Well...
Son: (tapping foot impatiently. I take the paper in order to buy more time and study it more closely. No matter how I stare it, it just looks like a bunch of blobs)
Me: (he likes dinosaurs, if I squint my eyes it looks sort of like something from the Jurassic) Um, is it a Tyrannosaur maybe? That big black blob looks like a Tyrannosaur eating that green blob which looks like a .... uh, no?
Son: (puts hands on hips, adopts a disappointed look) Nooooo, it's just a bunch of blobs! I'm only four, I don't know how to paint! Duh! (and he walked off, leaving me feeling like a idiot)
See, I didn't start thinking my dad was an idiot until I was in my teens. My son is obviously way ahead of me, developmental wise. My wife is pretty sure this is a sign that he's gifted. Of course, she thinks I'm an idiot too, so her opinion is suspect.
If you need me, I'll be in the shop - probably doing something stupid.
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