One evening after dinner, my five-year-old son Brian noticed that his mother had gone out. In answer to his questions, I told him, "Mommy is at a Tupperware party."
This explanation satisfied him for only a moment. Puzzled, he asked, "What’s a Tupperware party, Dad?"
I’ve always given my son honest answers, so I figured a simple explanation would be the best approach. "Well, Brian," I said, "at a Tupperware party, a bunch of ladies sit around and sell plastic bowls to each other."
Brian nodded, indicating that he understood. Then he burst into laughter. "Come on, Dad," he said. "What is it really?"
Even with a thousand games, dolls and crafts to choose from, my customer at the toy store still couldn’t find a thing for her grandson.
"Maybe a video or something educational?" I asked.
"No, that’s not it," she said.
We wandered the aisles until something caught her eye, a laser gun with flashing lights and 15 different high-pitched sounds.
"This is perfect," she said, beaming. "My daughter-in-law will hate it."
I was on my way out of the house to meet with a cantankerous client, and I was dreading it. The look on my face must have given me away because my four-year-old daughter asked what was wrong.
"I’m going to meet a woman who always yells at Daddy," I told her.
"Oh," she said. "Say hi to Mommy for me."
Once I’d finished reviewing my daughter’s homework, I gave her an impromptu quiz. “What is a group of whales called?” I asked. “I’ll give you a hint—it sounds like something you use to listen to music.”
“An iPod?” she guessed.
“Close,” I said. “But what I’m thinking of is a little smaller.”