How to Let Them Learn From Their Mistakes.
No matter how embarrassing it is for you.

There are times you just have to let them try to drink the sour milk, you know what I’m saying?

It is our job as the sensible women of the world to guide them and let them know what’s right and wrong. They’re our responsibility and if they don’t say please or thank you in public, people aren’t going to judge them … they’re going to judge US.

We’ve all done it. Some boy spits on the sidewalk right in front of us and we don’t look at him with distain … we look at her. How could you? It’s your job lady, to teach him right from wrong. Whaddya let him drink milk right out of the jug too? (totally beside the point that we do this all the time in secret)

And gobbing on the sidewalk is wrong. Gobbing anywhere for that matter is wrong.  It’s the second thing boys need to be taught, right after Don’t laugh when people fall down unless that person has a history of being mean to those who are chubby, the elderly, or minorities including gays and lesbians.

Admittedly, once they’re in our care the list of things they need to be taught is exhausting. Put the toilet seat down, use your utensils, don’t laugh at inappropriate times, use your inside voice. We correct their grammar, check their spelling, slather them in sunblock.  All with the hope that one day they’ll be prepared for the world.

Is it an easy job?  Uh … no.  Duh.  It always struck me as odd, these people who’d get a puppy and then decide it was time to “upgrade” to an actual human but spent more time making sure the puppy was well trained for the world.   You made the decision … so you need to hold up your end of the  bargain and create a shining specimen for the world.  He could grow up to be President if you play your cards right!  Or at least the head of a company.  Or at the very least happy with whatever it is he ends up doing.

Over the course, we have to pick our battles. You know that I’m sure. Everything has to be balanced just so, in order to maintain the symbiotic relationship we all strive for. We ignore the Freezie eating on the living room couch for when something worse comes along later in the day. And it will.

And then the mental calcuations begin again.  He’s still crying from when I yelled at him banshee-style for scratching the dining room table so I probably shouldn’t say anything about the mysterious mud caked underwear.

And for the most part with a little training, a lot of positive reinforcement and a bit of cajoling I think we … the women of the world … do a remarkable job.

But, no matter how many times you say “Don’t eat that pizza yet, it’s too hot” or “You need to wear your life jacket, the boat could tip” chances are they aren’t going to believe you until they’re upside down under a kayak with the skin peeling off the roof of their mouth.

So when mine came home a few months ago with a new toy he bought with his own money I thought … this is really stupid.  It is utterly stupid and a complete waste of money.  But I didn’t say too much.  Just shook my head and walked away.

He needed to drink the sour milk.  Fall out of the boat.  Burn the roof of his mouth.  And yesterday, that’s exactly what he did.


Radar Detector


The Scenario:

Lovely Sunday drive home from the cottage


The Results:



the look of remorse


The conversation several months ago went something like this:

Him: I got a radar detector! It was cheap! REALLY cheap.

Me: Are those legal?

Him: Well … no, but it was REALLY cheap. Isn’t it cool?

Me: But you drive like an old woman.

Him: Well … I didn’t really think of that, but it was CHEAP! I could turn around and sell it tomorrow for like $400.

Me: Maybe you should.

Him: No way! It’ll be fun for when we drive to the cottage.  Plus it was cheap.

Me: But you don’t speed.  Aren’t you worried about getting caught with something like that? I mean … it seems stupid on many levels.

Him: THAT’S the beauty of it! It “cloaks” itself so the police can’t detect it.

Me: Uh huh. Here. Have a piece of pizza.

For those of you who are wondering, the ticket for having a “speed detecting device in a motor vehicle” is $165.  Plus they take your Radar Detector.  And if the nice police officer pulls you over and asks if you have such a device in your car, you should just say Yes.  Saying NO! while quickly closing the glove compartment is the wrong approach.

And if you finally shrug and ask your girlfriend to get it out of the glove compartment, know this … she will not do it.  She will instead sit, arms crossed in her lap wondering if it’s too late to just get a dog.

This post has been approved by “the fella”. What he lacks in common sense he makes up for in sense of humour.  Thank God for that.


  1. Gayla T says:

    Has anyone ever told you that you are the Erma Bombeck of the 21st century? Life has not been the same since she died but you are making life livable again. I feel so sorry for my DILs because my boys are just like their dad. It’s in the DNA for sure. Here’s one story about my idiot. We were at the lake and decided to wade and/or swim. It was a family outing, the 3 kids, myself and my man. He decided to swim and his jeans were too heavy so he decided to take them off while safely covered by the water. Now this happened many years ago and to this day I have not had a straight answer to why he had no underwear on but he didn’t. He took off the heavy wet jeans and threw them to me as I was in water only waist deep and surely I could catch them and then throw them on the bank. I instantly thought, while they were in the air flying towards me that it would be funny if I missed them and I’d make him think they were lost in the lake. So I did and they were. Lost in the lake. Really lost. He thought I was kidding and I was wishing I was but for all my grabbing and kickeing around looking for even a feel of them they were gone. So he had to walk to the car w/o the jeans and then from the driveway to the house when we got home with his hiney a shining. The kids were young teens and they were rolling on the lawn with tears running down their faces. I might have giggled a time or two. If he leaned over frontwards his shirt hung down and covered his jewels but then it was shorter in the back. Giggle giggle I think this is the first time I’ve ever admitted dropping the jeans on purpose but he has been dead for five years so I guess it’s safe. I don’t think anything is ever mentioned about swimming, the lake, camping or probably even drinking water that one of them doesn’t say, “Remember when Dad lost his jeans at the lake”. Well worth the price of a pair of Levis.

    • Karen says:

      LOL! Now *THAT* is a good story. ~ Erma (and I have indeed heard that the odd time, although until people started telling me that I wasn’t *entirely* sure who she was other than a writer … turns out … she’s pretty funny)

  2. Andrea says:

    Thank you!! I will be serving more hot pizza and sour milk to my boys and all that tread on my dirty floors.

  3. Hahahaha…hilarious! Did this happen during your 9 hr trek? See I am a good momma I am training my monkeys now so they won’t drive their women too nuts. It is inevitable at some point. :)

  4. heidi says:

    Can I just say your blog is simply fabulous? Because it is! So funny that you made a post about Radar Detectors. My husband has been crazy about those things for…EVER! But luckily for us, they aren’t illegal in all states.

    Thanks to you, if he ever comes home with a ticket for having one, I don’t even think I’ll be mad. Instead I will just say: I need a dog. Today.

  5. Are they really illegal? I always thought they were just “frowned upon”.. huh.

  6. Gail says:

    All men are pyromaniacs, starting at age 5. BBQ grills, fireplaces, M80s,cherry bombs, bottle rockets, chemistry sets, campfires..all must be messed with and/or squirted with gasoline.
    My husband never speeds either and we have a radar detector, but it must be a stealth one because the police have not yet pulled us over.
    I moved to Minneapolis 12 years ago and I have never seen such a place for people spitting on the sidewalk. Usually it is men, but not always!
    Male wardrobe is my area of concern. I know no one thinks I dressed him, but I think he needs to look less like a derelict when we leave the house.

  7. Shannon S. says:

    I have to admit I almost always laugh my butt off when I read your blog!! That is way too funny! He’s a keeper if he’ll let you tell this story to the world tho :) Thanks for sharing!!

  8. Pam'a says:

    Several years ago I found the *perfect* card for my husband, who resembles many of the above remarks. It was a cartoon of a man standing in a store, looking at a crazy-looking object. The shopkeeper is beaming as he says, “This gadget serves no useful purpose whatsoever!”

    The man says, “I MUST have it!”

  9. Langela says:

    I love the way he rationalized the crime of using it by stating that is was CHEAP!

    BTW, was he pulled over for speeding or for using the radar detector?

    Our “natural consequence lessons” usually involve fire or how close to mow to the pond. The best story for pond mowing was that I had to go pull the mower out of the pond because he was close enough to see the fish swimming and got distracted watching them and drove right into the pond. Seeing as how he is always so right about everything, I find great enjoyment in these times. Thanks for triggering that memory with your post today. I will make sure to remind him about it again tonight!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Langela! Nope. My fella wasn’t speeding. He never speeds. That’s what made a radar detective such a ridiculous purchase. We were pulled over because the police detected a “self-cloaking” radar detector in the car. Yup.

  10. Sherry (BTLover2) says:

    Aren’t our men clever? Couldn’t you just burp ’em?

  11. Kate says:

    $165, Ouch!

    I loved that the boyfriend instantly lied. That was always my first line of defense. When I was 3.

    Re. Men do the darndest things:

    We just bought a small portable gas grill over the weekend, to replace our old pot grill. This baby uses the 16.4 oz. propane cylinders. To me, a sensible woman (I’m so sensible, I immediately googled propane cylinder to find out where I could get the best price. I should also add, I got the grill at a reduced price from our local hardware store, because I asked the owner for a birthday discount. Hey, it was my husband’s birthday. And I got it, 20% off!), a propane cylinder is an object of utility. To the non-female among us, it is apparently a fantastic object to shoot at with a shotgun. I must admit, doing so makes a pretty good show. NOT that I would ever do such a thing.

    Men people have also placed a propane cylinder in a tree stump, squirted copious amounts of LIGHTER FLUID on it, then run a fuse (read string) and lit the darn thing. Nice little explosion resulted and the men people involved did some sort of tribal dance with lots of hollering. There is a YouTube video. Of course there is. FYI, there is also a YouTube video for a toilet that incinerates your poo. A good giggle, and pretty creative. Found that when I was searching for eco friendly toilets a couple of months ago, during our bathroom reno. BTW, we bought a Toto.

    Anyway, I found all this propane mayhem when I innocently googled prices for propane cylinders.

    Men. For sheer entertainment value alone, I vote we keep them. As long as they pay the resulting tickets and do the jail time.

  12. Uncle Shifty says:

    The point is, you get what you pay for. The Beltronics STI is too low end. Now if he had the Escort SC55 on board (comes with GPS & protection from red light cameras) he would have breezed through and they’d have to put up road blocks to catch him. I’ll take care of it. Tell him to check under the tree this Christmas.

  13. Angie says:

    Brilliant!! Love this post! Thanks for sharing ;)

  14. My husband is sometimes just like your boyfriend. He recently bought a blow torch. His reason, it would make it so easy to get rid of the weeds around the creek. My answer, “Sure it would, and it’s just another TOY for you to play around with.” He tested it out last night and complained a little about how heavy it was. OH, and you should have seen him playing with bottle rockets and the firecrackers that go BOOM over the weekend. You would have thought he was a teenager. He is a great husband and father though, so I am not too worried, lol.

  15. michelle says:

    FUNNNEE! I laughed and laughed again. Well told. Glad I waited for the post.

  16. Liz says:

    Ha, amazing. Never seen one of those.

    By the way, you mis-spelled public in the third sentence of this entry, with hilarious (for me anyway) consequences.

  17. Nicole says:

    it…cloaks…itself? is it wonder woman’s radar detector? from the invisible plane?

    that’s hysterical! and also, your man is a good sport, letting you write about it :o)

    (ps: I laugh inappropriately when people fall. I do, I’m sorry! I fall *spectacularly* at least 3 times a week, in public. so I think I get a free pass.

  18. Shauna says:

    OMG!! This is soooo funny and so Male!! Sorry guys…but this is the way it goes! Thank ‘the fella’ for some great entertainment!! I appreciate it, but not enough to donate to his cause. Lol

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