One night, late, GoofGirl and I are driving home from a playdate. I am listening to Prairie Home Companion.
“Mi nina, do you like this show? Do you think it’s funny?” I asked.
“I like it, but I can’t see anything.”
“What do you mean you can’t see anything?
“The people talking, I can’t see them.”
“Sweetheart, this is a radio show – there’s nothing to see.”
“Did you think I had a TV up here?”
“You know, before there was TV, there was radio. They would have stories and news. People would gather around it to listen.”
“Before TV,” GoofGirl was incredulous, “You mean like when Bubbe was little?”
Another time, as we were driving, we were listening to a talk show about parent blogs. One of the guests, responding to a question about whether her kids like this blog about them, answered, “You do all of this for your kids and then they are twelve and hate you.”
“Why would a twelve year old hate their mommy and daddy?” GoofGirl asked, shocked.
“When children are twelve they start going through a lot of complicated changes. They grow up and want to become their own person, and part of that is breaking away from their parents,” I explained carefully, channeling Fred MacMurray at “Father Knows Best.”
“Well, I won’t hate you when I am twelve,” GoofGirl insisted.
“Yes you will sweetheart, don’t worry about it.”
Several years ago I was driving with GoofBoy, listening to a radio talkshow. The guest was going to be bishop someone or other about something that I wasn’t that interested in, so I switched it.
At the time I was teaching GoofBoy to play chess. He perked up, “Hey, that was about bishops. Why don’t you want me to learn about bishops?”
“Buddy, this wasn’t about chess. A bishop is a religious leader, kind of like a rabbi but the boss of a bunch of rabbis. Anyway, it wasn’t going to be interesting.”
“Bishops are like super-rabbis,” GoofBoy muttered, “So they put curses on the other pieces, or make them feel so guilty they won’t move…”
And thus was born, the Bishop’s Gambit. Bobby Fishcher's efforts at psyching out opponents will have nothing on GoofBoy.