Mom & Dad Need a Secret Code When Kids Get 'Sick'

Health & Wellness on 11.17.11
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What is my daughter suffering from? Just a case of the sore throat, and nothing much to worry about, based on a recent visit to the doctor and a check on WebMD. But my youngest daughter is tricky, and she tried to get a day off of school today by using mom to fool dad. Which is why I think moms and dads need to establish a parents-only code, so they can talk in front of the kids.

It used to be easier. When our two girls were little(r), we could spell out things we didn't want them to hear. Then they learned to read and write (thanks a lot, school). So we tried using special words, like "muskrat," borrowed from the movie "Meet the Fockers."

But that doesn't always work either. The kids are getting smarter. They're able to figure out the subtle hints that mom and dad try to give each other.

Sometimes, Dad is Dense

Dad isn't always sharp in that regard. For example: Last night, my wife asked if I knew where to find a flashlight. Of course I do, but I'm not about to say that out loud with the kids nearby. Most every flashlight in my home has been taken at some time or another by the kids. And I haven't seen any of those flashlights for quite some time.

So I keep the remaining flashlights hidden. I will never tell. (Maybe, if the kids are at school and the wife and I are driving in car, with the radio on, I'll whisper the secret locations in her ear. That's how Top Secret stuff like this has become).

So I told my wife, "No, I don't know where any of the flashlights are, but I've got an app for that" (it's called iTorch4 for the iPhone, and it turns on the flash and works like a charm).

Bright Lights Come in Handy

So my wife used my iPhone to peer down my youngest daughter's throat. "Stick your tongue out, honey."

Then, I heard my wife call me for help: "Honey, could you come over here and look at this?" I walked over and peered down the smallest girl's throat. "Oh, I do see something," I exclaimed, seeing a little redness back there.

The look in my wife's eyes was of horror. I wasn't supposed to say that. I was supposed to say something like, "Oh, I don't see anything. Now go to bed and I'm sure you'll feel better in the morning."

But I can be pretty dense sometimes. Duh. My wife reminded me of that this morning after we were finally able to get the youngest out the door and off to school after feeding her juice and telling her she could come home at lunch time if she still didn't feel better.

You see, my youngest daughter likely spent the whole night, or at least part of the morning, plotting how she would use dad's diagnosis of "Oh, I do see something," to get out of going to school.

Throw a Curve Ball

Which means it's time to establish a secret code for when mom and dad are talking and the kids are around. What will it be? Spelling doesn't work. Keywords are too easy for the kids to figure out. Perhaps a series of hand gestures, like coaches or catchers use (that's about the extent of my sports/baseball knowledge).

We're going to have to think something up, and it's going to have to be intricate. We're going to have to practice it after the kids go to bed, when they're in REM sleep. Or when we're sure they're at school.

Like any good password, you can't write it down, because someone's bound to find it. You have to commit it to memory, and make it obscure and logical enough (in your own mind) so you can recall it when needed.

I have such a system for alll my computer passwords, and it's served me well. Well, almost. I spent most of the morning trying to remember one particular password for our DSL service. Finally, I had to contact our Internet provider. But now my Internet works again! And my daughter spent the whole day in school.

Photo by Felix O/CC

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