Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Can I be good?

Every parent knows the phrase that pushes his or her buttons. The child pulls it out at the least opportune moment, driving Mommy or Daddy up the wall. In our house, that phrase is, "Can I be good?"

Say a girl spills milk (as happened this very morning, as a matter of fact). Mom grumbles about it, tells the child to be more careful next time, and starts to wipe it up. Child stands there, looks at the spilled milk, and says, "Can I be good?"

Now I have to confess that this just drives me bonkers. Don't ask if you can be good, just be good! Being good is an action, not a philosophical quandry to be debated with oneself over the puddle of cow juice. But spilling milk is an accident -- asking "Can I be good?" after you've just hit your sister and made her cry is an oxymoron.

The roots of this probably spring from us asking the girls in church, "Can you be good?" after they've had to be taken out and spoken to. Still, I can legitimately ask someone else, "Can you be good?" One shouldn't have to ask oneself, "Can I be good?" Either you are being good or you aren't! Make up your mind!

Grr....

8 comments:

MomLady said...

But the top question on the List of Questions that Drive Your Parents Mad and Into an Early Grave has got to be, "Why, Mommy?" That was my oldest son's constant question when he was a toddler, and I seriously suspected him of being engaged in subtle psychological experiments designed to find the breaking point at which a parent would descend into madness.

Rick Lugari said...

What about, "It's been three weeks, can I come out of the closet now?"

That one always gets me...

;)

will said...

cow juice?

rhonda lugari said...

Or what about "I'm hungry" after you've just fed them the day before.

MrsDarwin said...

Cow juice, dude. I heard it in one of those 30s gangster movies where the one character was a teetotaler and ordered "cow juice" at the bar. It's milk, if you must know.

jenny said...

No, no, the phrase is "moo juice"

will said...

I've been calling the milk jug "The Cow" for a while now. The milk machine here is "Bessie." So "cow juice" shouldn't be a stretch.

drunkenferret said...

"Dooooown, Bessie....."