Friday, June 19, 2009

Kid Libs

There is a way of speaking about/to kids that only a parent can do. Talking just a little bit louder than normal, stressing the kids name to get their attention, then leading the conversation down a path, with dramatic pauses, so that the kid will try to fill in the blanks in the line of the conversation. This usually happens when one parent is trying to tell the other parent about the days events. Well, I think of these conversations as Kid Libs; like a live version of Mad Libs.

There are two versions of the Kid Libs. When something good has happened, the parent builds the story stressing positive words and uses a slightly higher pitch when describing the events. The result is met by the third party in the conversation giving praise.

Mom: And then after Wyatt ate all of his lunch, he even ate his carrot sticks, he went into the bathroom all by himself and he_________

Wyatt: Went pee on the potty.

Dad: Yay. All right! Give me a high five.

The other version is when something bad happened. When it is bad the parent speaks in a straight monotone voice, stressing bad events or negative words in a loud whisper, where the dramatic pause is sometimes preceded by a question in the hopes the child will admit to the crime or mistake to the third party.

Mom: After I told Wyatt he could not have dessert because he would not eat his chicken, he threw his fork, stormed into the living room and then proceeded to, what did you do in the living room? He took a crayon and he_______

Wyatt: Drawed on the coffee table.

Dad: You know you are not supposed to do that.

I love when the Kid Libs end in unexpected results.

Where a good story becomes even better.

Mom: Max was so helpful today. He helped me change the baby's diaper and he helped with dinner and he helped with______

Max: Mommy's workout. We did sit-ups.

Or when a good story ends up in throwing Dad under the bus.

Dad: The boys were so good in the store this morning. They were well behaved. They helped put the groceries in the cart and they even helped_______

Max: Dad eat a bag of Cheetos on the way home.


Anne said...


eclectic said...

Oh, like Lauren hasn't figured that one out by now... she's probably pleased it was just one bag. ;)

Anonymous said...

I like the Husband and Wife libs where the endings / answers are so different. Example...Wow, the kids are in bed, the trash is taken out, we are both awake, how about we....

Anonymous said...

wife- clean the basement

husband- not that.

Unknown said...

William, If I've said it once, I've said it a million times, you are SO like my brother. He says exactly the same thing. I say Forrest Gump, he says Big Fish. I can never win! PS I loved Mad Libs as a kids. Long before cars became traveling living rooms! Have a great Father's Day! YEAH WILLIAM!!!!! E
"God Bless You" my word verification is "snesses"

Fulton Quads said...

Thank you! You can always bring me a good laugh when having a BAD day! So needed that! (=
Love, Cathy & her quads

Michelle said...

I'm glad it was Cheetos instead of Doritos. Everyone knows that Doritos ruin your appetite but Cheetos are an appetizer.

Melinda said...

It was good of you to take the boys shopping. You deserve the Cheetos.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

It's easier to get the kids a treat for being good, and then when they aren't paying attention, slip a bar of chocolate on the conveyor belt for yourself. While they're busy munching Cheetos, you can stealthily eat your treat. Ta-da! You won't get busted. But then, you won't get Cheetos, either.

Anonymous said...

We love Mad Libs at our house.

And then there's this scene from Monsters Inc., which your post reminded me of . . .

Randall: Okay, I think I know how to make this all go away. What happens when the whistle blows in five minutes?

Mike: I get a time out?

Randall: Everyone goes to lunch! Which means the scare floor will be...

Mike: ...Painted?

A favorite around our house, indeed.

Great post!

(I'm here after seeing a really old article in Time magazine about dad blogs. Couldn't resist after seeing the banner . . . )

Susie said...

I hate when someone tries to help me with my Cheetos.

Happy Father's Day, Bill.

kalki said...

I love this. Never thought of it that way.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

hahahahaha! I'm so using Kid Libs... that is BRILLIANT!

came over from Tales From The Dad Side! :)