Tuesday, April 8, 2014

By the way...

Type "most dreaded phrase" into google and you will come up with a plethora of articles written about the phrase "We need to talk".

But for me the most dreaded phrase is "By the way..."

This phrase gets used frequently in my house but somehow it is never followed by anything good.  I have never heard the following:
  • By the way, I got 100% on that test I studied for.
  • By the way, I'm leaving work early tomorrow to come home and take you to lunch.
  • By the way, I loaded the dishwasher for you since I saw you were busy.
Instead the "By the ways..." in our house sound more like this.
  • By the way, I need a check for $200 for band.
  • By the way, I need to go in to work early tomorrow and I probably won't be home for dinner.
  • By the way, all of my underwear is too tight and/or has holes so I've been wearing the same pair for a couple of days.  You should probably buy me some new pairs.
Image courtesy of Iamnee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
My latest favorite came the other night at 9:00pm when Imagination Boy said to me, "By the way, I need assorted candy."

Me:  Assorted candy?

IB: Yes

Me: By when?

IB:  Tomorrow

Me: Why?

IB: For school.  (Imagination boy is a firm believer in never sharing too much information at once. It's like he thinks he is being charged by the word.)

Me: What kind of candy?

IB: Assorted

Me:  But what does that mean?

IB:  You know, assorted.

Me:  (Deciding to try a different tack) What is the candy for?

IB: School

Me: Yes, we established that already.  But what is it for at school?  Are you bringing it in to share for a class party.  Is it for a project?  What exactly are you planning to do with the assorted candy?

IB:  It's for a project.

Me:  Could you be more specific?

IB:  A science project

Me:  Could you be more specific?

IB: I need to create an edible cell model using assorted candy.

Finally, we were getting somewhere.  I could give you the rest of the conversation but if you have ever had school aged children or been one yourself you know where this is going.  Fill in for yourself the "how long have you known about this project", "what is your plan for solving this problem" and so on.

In the end, Imagination Boy turned in a brilliant edible cell made of cake and assorted candies.  I'd show you a picture but we forgot to take one.

I'd be even more frustrated with this behavior if I didn't recognize the pattern in myself sometimes. When there is a project I don't want to do, I also have a tendency to ignore it hoping it will just somehow go away.  I can't say that this strategy has ever been a helpful or useful one for me.


  1. BTW, did you buy some new pairs for the Professor? ::snort::


    1. The good news is the Professor is currently decreasing in size although not quite at the same pace as Imagination Boy is growing. I should buy them both new underwear.