This article was originally published on May 13, 2006 at americanchronicle.com
I thought it might be fun to look at some things fathers have said through the years and see if they still apply today. Some of these I have used on my own children.
Have you ever heard something similar to this?
“You need how much for what? Money doesn’t grow on trees you know.”
This is still true and applicable today. I’ve been looking for that money tree for years. In fact, I’d like to find two so they could pollinate. I would pick that first harvest of fruit just for the seeds. I could then travel across the country planting just like Johnny Appleseed did. I’d be Szandor Moneyseed. Soon, money trees would be everywhere. Poverty would be a thing of the past. I’d be famous. But, that’s just a dream. Everyone knows the only money trees in existence are at the Federal Reserve and they’re certainly not going to give those seeds to the general public.
Of course, if my dad ever said that to me I’d say “No. Everyone knows it grows on bushes.” Actually, I’d keep my mouth shut. My dad could whack a guy pretty darn hard.
How about this one?
“Close the door! Are you trying to heat the entire neighborhood?”
We didn’t have central air in the house I grew up in, so we couldn’t cool the neighborhood in the summer. Still, this is an applicable thing to say to modern day children. I don’t know how many times my kids have come in from the cold and forgotten to close the door. There’s nothing like sitting in the living room all comfy cozy when all of a sudden that sharp, biting frigid air wraps itself around you, especially with the cost of natural gas or heating oil today. If only kids would learn to listen. Hey, maybe that’s the answer to global warming. Keep those doors closed, kids.
Another one similar to the last:
“Close the refrigerator door. We already have an air conditioner.”
This is still very applicable today. Kids still seem to have a problem once they open that refrigerator door. Maybe it’s because they’ve been brainwashed, as we were, from watching TV. Perhaps they think that if they watch long enough the food is going to start entertaining them. Or maybe when they open the refrigerator door the cold air freezes their brains. Perhaps that light suddenly coming on freezes them like deer in the headlights, or it acts upon their modern brains like the flickering light of a campfire acts upon the prehistoric brain. Whatever the reason, opening the refrigerator door seems to space out the kids of today just like it did when I was a kid.
Another saying fathers are famous for is:
“As long as you’re living under my roof, you’ll do things my way.”
Though still applicable today, this is one I personally try to avoid.
Unlike the country we live in, a household is not a democracy. Years ago a household was more or less like a dictatorship. This was because the man of the house was usually the sole breadwinner. Since he provided for the family, he made all the decisions. He was the decider. His word was law. Hey, sounds like a certain president I know. “As long as you’re living in my country, you’ll do things..,” oh, never mind.
Today, most households are duel income. They have to be in order to survive. If things keep going the way they are economically, it might not be long before child labor laws might have to be revoked just so some of the working poor households can have enough income to pay their rent. At that point the households might have to become democracies and the children given a voice in the family’s decisions just to make it legal for their parents to collect the “taxes” from them so the rent can be paid.
The last saying to come to mind is one that maybe moms use more than dads:
“I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it.”
That little threat may not exactly be appropriate ever, but it’s still kind of funny.
Finally, I’d like to share a few things I learned from “Sesame Street” a long time ago.
It’s fun to count as long as you do it in a foreign accent and laugh when you finish. This is especially true if done during a thunderstorm.
Cookies taste much better when crammed quickly into your mouth and crumbs are allowed to flow freely down the front of your shirt.
Big yellow birds living in big nests somewhere in the neighborhood don’t seem to know very much.
Furry aliens from outer space find it difficult to communicate with inanimate objects.
Anyone who lives in a garbage can is going to be grumpy.
Oh yeah, I may have learned how to read, add and subtract, but I doubt it. If my memory serves me, I learned all that in school.
Have a nice day.