Saturday, April 26, 2014

When Your Kids Start Spying on You on the Internet

"Uh, Traci," I said. "Have you read the comments on the Manifesto lately?" 

"No, why?" she replied. "Who left a comment?" 

"Your eight-year-old daughter." 

Blogging is a tricky thing. The whole idea is that it's supposed to be an online journal--i.e., a place where you can share your unfiltered thoughts and feelings. But you really can't. You can't say stuff about your neighbors or your coworkers or your family or your third grade teacher. If it's on the internet, people end up seeing it and it's there forever. 

So what's left to write about? When I started blogging a decade ago (holy cow, A DECADE AGO!!!), I'd write about music and TV and life. Now I just write about my kids...which is pretty much all my life is these days. But now, apparently, it's not even safe to write about my kids anymore. 

The other day, I wrote about Paige signing up for the school paper. In the post, I referenced Paige being  embarrased by me: 

"I know what you're going to ask me," she said, in the voice she uses to show me that it's totally annoying to even have a dad, "you want to know about the school paper."

A couple of days later, I saw this comment on the post:

"Hi!Its Paige!(The girl in your article)I just wanted to say that I didn't mean to sound like it was annoying to have you.(Sorry,if that ruined the article.)"

Great. Now I've not only embarrassed my daughter, but I've offended her, too. :)

After she looked at the comment, Traci asked me the same question that I'd been thinking, "How did she even find your blog?"

I envisioned Paige googling her own name or even setting up her Google Alerts or RSS feeds. (I wouldn't put it past her. She's very smart.) 

But then Traci answered her own question. "I must have been reading the post and then left it open on the laptop." 

So that's it. There's nothing safe to blog about anymore. I'm going to have to go back to writing my journal with pen and paper...something my kids will also discover. I guess I'll have to get the kind with the tiny lock and key.  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Texts From My Dad

I know my dad loves me. We don't hug or kiss or say "I love you." We're not that kind of family. But we love each other nevertheless.

A while back my sister forwarded me a text my dad had sent her. "I miss you," it said.

I called her immediately. "I miss you?" I asked. "What does that mean? Why did he send that to you?"

"I don't know," my sister replied. "I have no idea.'"

"Weird," I said.

"Weird," she said.

It was so weird, in fact, that my sister decided to get to the bottom of it.

After quizzing my dad, she found out that though he sometimes send us texts, he doesn't really know how to write a text. He just knows where the pre-written text templates are stored -- texts like "In a meeting" or "Be there soon" or, apparently, "I miss you." When he gets a text, he just chooses the the best auto response.

So it wasn't surprising that when I sent this text to my dad:

"Saturday's game is at noon,"

He responded:

"Good morning!"

It's nice to know that he cares.

SEE ALSO: My Dad's Thoughts on Email

Monday, April 14, 2014

Extra! Extra! Paige and the School Paper

When I got home from work the other day, Paige had some exciting news for me.

"Dad," she said, "I've decided to be editor of the school paper."

"Wow, okay," I replied. (Paige and I have spoken a few times about my illustrious career at the Murray Go Round. That's right. The high school paper was called the Murray Go Round.) "I didn't know that your school even had a paper."

"I just saw a poster in the hallway. It said to ask about it in the office."

So the next day, she marched right into the school office and did just that. Only, the results weren't so great.

"How'd it go?" I asked.

"The office ladies said they didn't know anything about it." (Shocking.)

I asked her if she knew which teacher was in charge of the paper or where else she could turn for info. She said all she knew was what was on the poster--and the poster just told her to ask at the office.

And that was the end of that.

Until the next day when I picked her up from her book club.

"I know what you're going to ask me," she said, in the voice she uses to show me that it's totally annoying to even have a dad, "you want to know about the school paper."

"Yep. I was going to ask that."

"Well," she said, while turning and walking away from me--only to spin around dramatically and exclaim, "I GOT THE JOB!"


"I got the job" means something a little different to a grownup than it does to a second grader. To me, it meant someone had told her that she could, in fact, be the editor of the school paper. To Paige, it meant that the office ladies still didn't know about the paper, but the poster now had a signup sheet attached to it. Paige, being the first (and only) one to sign up, wrote her name and "editor" on the list.

Still pretty proud of her.