1. Giraffes, even French synthetic ones that squeak, do not lay eggs.
Nate: Look at Sophie, sitting on her eggs!
Me: What? Giraffes don’t lay eggs!
Nate: Well, sometimes they do.
Me: I’ve never met a giraffe [could have stopped there] that lays eggs.
Nate: Well, sometimes they do-ooo!
2. Girls are not repulsive.
Nate, disgusted: Mom, what happened to your boobs?
Me: What do you mean?
Nate, apparently sickened: They’re puffing out of you.
3. "Poo-poo pee paw" is not a thing. This cannot be your reply to every question I ask you. You have a very extensive vocabulary with many multi-syllabic words. Use them.
Me: Do you have to pee before we leave? Nate: Poo-poo pee paw.
Me: What do you want for lunch? Nate: Poo-poo pee paw.
Me: Who did you play with at school today? Nate: Poo-poo pee paw.
Me, slightly panicked, at the grocery store: Where’s Sam??! Nate: Poo-poo pee paw.
Me, more panicked, at the grocery store: Who took my wallet?!! Nate: Poo-poo pee paw.
4. It is not customary in Western cultures to disrobe before every single meal. Most fine dining establishments — and even many sub-par establishments — will have you removed for standing on a chair in your underwear as you scoop up gobs of peanut butter with a spoon.
5. There is at least one Seinfeld episode that can provide a solution to every real-life problem. Just because you have a t-shirt that says “Best Big Brother Ever” does not mean that you’re really the best big brother, particularly when you just whacked your toddling brother with a sword — though maybe you were just teaching him to avoid people with swords. Also, clowns are terrifying. And it is acceptable to eat just the top of your cupcake or muffin. In fact, it might be a million dollar idea.
6. Stop whining. “The squeaky wheel gets the oil” is a lie. Like the Tooth Fairy.
7. The mail carrier does not need to hear your life story every single day. At this point, she is well aware of your name, your brother’s name, your parent’s names, your dog’s name, what you had for breakfast, what your favorite shows are, and what your teacher’s names are — because you remind her every. single. day. She doesn’t care. Nor does the nice lady walking her dog by our house. Nor the cashier at the grocery store. Nor the pedestrian waiting to cross the street while we sat at the red light this morning — put your window up by the way.
8. Yes, just as you claim, you are growing into a big boy and will one day, “grow into a dad.” But — contrary to what you may believe — we, your parents, are not simultaneously growing into your son and daughter. Life does not culminate in parents and children switching places — though some middle aged people who care for their geriatric parents would disagree, especially those who care for parents who are incontinent or require spoon feedings.
9. It is not acceptable to carry weapons in public. We could get political on this one and debate the second amendment, but we don’t have time. We need to get to Target before your brother needs his nap, and I’m not letting you bring your Raphael sais and your ninja sword.
10. Knock-knock jokes are inherently not very funny. And they’re especially not very funny when you’re screaming them at me from your spot on the toilet while you poop. If your audience is confused by the joke, it probably needs some revising. And the punchline to every joke is not “poo-poo pee paw.”