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November 15, 2005


Every school-day morning, my wife and I take our 5-year-old daughter, Sophie, to her elementary school. We go to the cafeteria, where we wait, along with many other children and their parents, for the teachers to come and take the students to their classes. It's a loud, happy, social scene, the cafeteria, and a rare chance for parents to watch their children interact with classmates.

There's a boy in Sophie's kindergarten class who clearly has a crush on Sophie. Every day when we get to the cafeteria, he comes right over and says "Hi, Sophie!" She generally ignores him; she pays attention only to her girlfriends. But the boy does not give up. The other day, he brought something to show her: It was the instructions to his father's digital watch -- one of those little booklets, written in like eight different languages, that tell you how to set the time, date, month, etc. -- the booklet you always lose 15 minutes after you buy the watch, which means if the date ever gets off, you have to throw the watch away.

When we got to the cafeteria, the boy came running up, holding out the booklet. He said, "Sophie! Look at this! It's for my father's watch!" Sophie glanced at the booklet for perhaps one millionth of a second, then went back to chatting with her girlfriends. The boy was disappointed; clearly, he had thought Sophie would be wowed by the the watch instructions.

Seeing his face, I had mixed emotions. On the one hand, as Sophie's dad, I'm glad my daughter is not easily impressed by boys. On the other hand, as a former little boy who tended to have crushes on unobtainable girls, I sympathized. My guess is that the boy is in for a lot of this sort of disappointment before he figures out how to impress girls. I personally tried humor, which allegedly is attractive to the opposite gender, but you could not prove that by my experience in grade school: I could make loud farting noises with my hands, but for whatever reason the girls managed to resist me anyway.

So farting noises and watch instructions are not what girls want. My guess is that the boy in my daughter's class will spend years trying to figure out what they do want. I wish him luck.

But not with my daughter.


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yay for sophie....was it instructions for a DIGITAL watch?

Spoken like a budding "Father of a Daughter". Start practicing your rifle cleaning technics for when the dates start coming over.

Famous last line: But not with my daughter.

Do you remember The Wind in the Willows? There is a line in there that we often use with our almost 13 yr-old ADHD son. Mr. Toad is admiring himself in the mirror and gloats, "It's the charm that does it, old boy, it's the charm." And of course, anyone who gets to know Toadie knows how unconcerned about others he is (until the end when he becomes a contrite and reformed Toad).

Our 14 yr-old daughter had a boyfriend for a while. They were happy together. Then one day, she broke up with him. For a year, her friends have asked her why she doesn't get back together with him. She explains that the last time they talked on the phone, she'd called him and then he proceeded to talk all about himself, never asking how she was.

I'm thinking if Digi-Boy wants success in matters of the heart, he should find out what the girls like and deliver.

I can sympathize; as the mother of two boys and two girls, I can also see both sides. Around here the roles are reversed. The girls want Joey (8) to pay attention to them. He is the quiet studious type, and he is totally in love with his mother. No other girl can compare at this point. He quietly rebuffs them and comes home to me, YEAH for me. He better get over this when he hits 18!

Offering a couple of Franklins at show and tell will bring her around.

Once again, proof that you should still be writing a newspaper column.

Doing a little rearranging here, but "Watch Instructions Sung To Farting Noises" WBAGNFARB.


One of these days he'll learn how to play guitar and then you're doomed, Dave..

No, t.c guy, that is not a good name for a rock band.

However I'm pretty sure it was the name of a performance art piece that received a million dollar government grant.


Mark: Hey, who made you judge? Did you get a million dollar grant from the government or something?


I feel sorry for the boy. He's trying to get attention from the girls when he should be wrestling around on the lunchroom floor with the guys. IMO Dave should teach the boy how to make farting noises, and also how to swallow air and belch. This will raise his esteem with his male peers, and will certainly get the attention of the girls, although their reaction will be EEEWWWWW!!! But in an admirable sort of way.

another sign that the times have passed Dave by. Boys no longer strut around with their chests all puffed out trying to woo girls(see any Spring Break or GGW Video)TIMES HAVE CHANGED

Just remember,Dave,for the rest of her life she is going to love you first. You will be the template to which she will compare all other men. Obviously, already she finds then sadly lacking. Poor guys.


My munchkin just started pre-K a few months ago, after spending four years locked away in a tall tower guarded by an over-protective fire-breathing dragon with beautiful flowing red locks (me). So we're really dealing with peer interaction for the first time.

When I picked up Munchkin yesterday, one of the boys from her class was crying to his mom about something. I grilled Munchkin about it--"You didn't have anything to do with that, did you?" And she didn't. Whew!

Same, when another boy from her class kissed my daughter at recess, I wanted to find his parents and beat them up.

Preschool is an emotional rollercoaster, y'all.
I should be working.

Okay, just to get this straight, making realistic fart noises with or without the use of hands - is that not attractive just to elementary school girls or should I remove it from my seduction routine?

Chris- LMAO! That is a great mental picture.

C-bol - as long as you're farting a credible attempt at a Barry White tune, you're good to go.

Yay! A mini-column.

I recommend diamonds.

Marlin Perkins: We see the subject approaching the female here. Watch as he begins a complex ritual, involving dance, song, and what appears to be a possible seizure to gain her favor.

Bob: Is he making fart noises?

Marlin: Well, yeah.

Bob: That's not going too well. She's turned completely away and is talking to that guy who combed his hair. He appears to be buying her another martini.

Marlin: I think he's trying to woo her with humor.

Bob: So, with the fart noises, air humping, and somersaults he figures she'll laugh so hard she might pass out and he can get in a quick mate?

Marlin: Maybe.

Bob: That's never going to work. How the heck can he have survived natural selection?

Marlin: Are you suggesting that his fart dance song gymnastics are the result of intelligent design?

Bob: I don't know. Can the random flux of atoms explain it?

Marlin: We need more beer.

Oh no, C-Bol, the Flying Spaghetti Monster decreed it to be so.

Dave. You're right! I tried the farting thing too and it didn't work for me either. I was dumbfounded for years as to why that great trick failed to impress the chicks.

Dave, this is nothing. Wait a couple of more years and you'll intrigue and emotional upheaval that will mystify you entirely. Because you're a guy. Because it will be all about her girlfriends, which will change at least daily, and sometimes hourly. My husband used to try to deal with it, talking with all the girls and trying to referee. This went on for years. He finally gave up and left all the "emotional stuff" to me. Now, when our 17-year-old daughter slams her bedroom door while screaming, he backs away and quietly shuts the door to his office. Coward.

Wow, a kindergarten blow-off. That's rough.

Hopefully, he'll just drown his sorrows in a few juice boxes & eat a little paste to calm his nerves.

Just to be safe, keep him away from the rounded scissors.

*snork!* @ Lurker

My 7-year old daughter is a champion burper, a skill she likes to show off at every opportunity (it makes a really nice accompaniment to the princess dress she likes to wear). Right now the boys are real impressed, but I don't think it will last. That's why I encourage the burping. If she's still doing it on prom night, hopefully the boys won't even try to get to first base.

Dave, just think of all those pre-teen and teenage years ahead. I am certain that you will have to write a book of your experiences. Good Luck!

ADHD and puberty . . . a sad synergism is at hand.

Dave's Puberty survival supplies:

1.)A vat of Heineken

2.)Several doses of Ketamine

3.)Sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads

4.)Two ounces of weapons grade marijuana

Siggy -
ADHD and testosterone = gray hairitis abundacus

"Sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads"


...Am I easily amused?...

When anyone, (5 years old and up) comes running at you with instructions for a digital watch, you only need to say one thing: "I haven't got time for that..."


So, if I hear what you're saying, Dave...

Thanks to the uber-hotness of your wife, your daughter is now the kind of girl that you could never get when you were in kindergarten?

I'm not sure if that's some kind of karmic justice, or just really, really funny.

However, as her father, you must be grateful that you don't have to practice the 8 Simple Rules yet (the originals, not the TV series).

Of course not, Tamara;)


As long as their not calling each other honey, you're safe.

i was never impressed with farting noises, but a boy who could whistle real loud with his fingers in his mouth..ahhhhhhhhhhh swoon. and yeah, that still gets me hot.

Boy, I would have thought for sure the watch instructions would do it... I mean, what kind of girl isn't impressed with a guy who knows technology... and in multiple languages!

He will probably grow up to work at McDonnalds.

Tamara (RWC) - Yes, but that's not a bad thing.

I remember getting in trouble for breaking in line in the cafeteria when I was in second grade and the monitor's idea of punishment was to make me sit with the girls. (They had the boys sitting on one side and the girls on the other)...

I was already interested in girls even at that young age so this wasn't exactly the torture she had planned. In fact, I got to sit next to this little blond girl who I was head over heels for, Dawn Gullet, the most beautiful second grader in the world...

Needless to say, I managed to get in trouble almost every day at lunch and was sent to sit with the girls until the teacher finally caught on....

Ah, memories... Oh, and Dawn, if you're reading this, call me....

Artchick - Whew! I'm glad my daughter isn't the only world-class belcher in that age range. She's eight, and she and her dad get into belching contests at the dinner table. When it starts, my eleven year old and I usually just roll our eyes and leave the room. We figure hey, that's their quality time.

Meanwhile, my oldest regales me with tales of the boys at school who are doing annoying things to get her attention. Time to shine up the shotgun!!

Poor guy - he thinks it's cool, so he thinks SHE would, too. (Guys, write that lesson down.) Watch, he'll grow up and, being dateless, with all the extra time he'll have on Friday & Saturday nights, he'll invent the auto-set watch that won't need instructions and make a mint. It's just a matter of time.

Kudos to Sophie for not really raking him over the kinder-coals. I've seen kids yell at the other kid, calling him things like 'icky poo-head.'

I could of told the kid that watch booklets never work. When I was that age I showed my belly button for show & tell and it worked so well that I was on my first date only 12 years later.

funny you should mention farting noises. whenever I want to make my wife laugh, I put my hands to my face, elbows out -- yeah, you remember -- and make the double-hand farting sound. never fails. ever.

that is the cutest story Ive heard in a long time! <3... just make sure she isnt hateful to him or he will be scarred for life. he'll write a book one day: 'Dave Barry's Daughter is the Devil.' not good = P

Addicted - LOL!

Just send your wife on a field trip with the class, Dave. It worked for my daughter.

JEFFREY (said with that scathing sarcasm and contempt that only a 5-year-old can insinuate) has caused problems for my granddaughter since the day she started kindergarten in Orlando. My daughter and her family moved there in the middle of August, and, of course, school had already started, meaning that the kids had already made friendships for life, or for the next hour, whichever came first.(Here in Backwoods, Virginia, school starts the week before Labor Day.)

Well, JEFFREY isn't the most socially well-adjusted child in the universe or Florida, so he set out to make my baby's school life a living hell. He bribed other kids not to play with her (with--hold on, it's worth it--rubber bands. Evidentally it's worth a week of ignoring the new kid for 7 rubber bands.). Avery is very mature socially, but this hurt her more than if the tooth fairy had missed her first lost tooth.

Field trip day rolls around and no other parent would take JEFFREY in their group. My daughter offered to take him, hoping to do some mind-meld thing that would help prevent further problems. Well, JEFFREY fell in love with my daughter and ended up promising her that he, personally, would make sure that no one ever did anything to hurt Avery and that he'd make sure she played with everyone.

See? It's easy.

Awww. I have a story, too.

Every day we moms gathered at the preschool playground to pick up our 4 year olds. They were running, shoving and poking each other as usual.

Then I hear my son shrieking for help. He's clearly OK and clearly being chased by the class's hottest little blonde.

I ask him what could possibly be wrong. He tearfully replied, "She said if she caught me we'd have to get married! I can't get married now! I'm still little! It wouldn't work!"

What I want to know is: how come this mating/dating stuff always looks so comprehensible as long as:
1) The participants are at least one generation younger (or older) than yourself; or
2) Are asking your advice...

The obvious situations are never the one that actually have you in it - those questions are about as clear as COBOL while high on peyote...


OK, I was paying close attention;

How about Farting Instructions? I mean, while showing really good pronunciation and all...

I'd be impressed!

"Farting Instructions" WBAGNFARB!

great story and thread .. LMAO

(Mr. C .. "I recommend diamonds" .. are you by any chance a ron white fan? .. "that'll shut `em up";)

As the generally proud and ocassionally horrified father of four girls, I've reprinted the original. I added #9: I have a gun. I been known to stalk. And, I startle easily.

by: W. Bruce Cameron

Rule One: If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure not picking anything up.

Rule Two: You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off my daughter's body, I will remove them.

Rule Three: I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will object. However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.

Rule Four: I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a "barrier method" of some kind will kill you. Let me elaborate: when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.

Rule Five: In order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is "early."

Rule Six: I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.

Rule Seven: As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don't you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?

Rule Eight: The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romance or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which feature chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.

Scat - that's sweet and so cute!!

(-Mom to a 4 y.o. and her big brother Kindergartener)

Jamester - "as clear as COBOL while high on peyote" - SNORK!!

just sayin - Yup. ("It was at that point that I had the right to remain silent - but not the ability.")

I think you must be related to my dad.
case in point; once, while "welcoming" my date into the foyer, dad glanced at his attire, (t, jean shorts, and sandals, .. we were going on a walking tour of old St. Augustine) .. and called up the stairs.. "don't bother to dress!"

You mean you want me to read that WHOLE THING!?!?!?!?!?

I still remember my first kindergarten kiss and my best girl friend at the time. The boy gave both of us rides in the little wooden wheelbarrow and then took us behind a tree to "kiss" us. My friend was really mad at him for kissing me too and promptly "broke up" with him.

28 years later she and I are still friends and neither of us can remember that boy's name to save our lives.

Yeh, guys have it rough..

Ah, I know how he feels. Dave, my feeling is that Sophie's standards are impressively high. I mean there's ONE BOY total who realizes that girls are not just boys in skirts (obviously mature beyond his age... I mean, this kid is, like 1st grade caliber), and she says, "meh." Good for Sophie. I tell you what: give the kid a signed book. A Dave BArry signed book... or a girl... DUH!

Good news, the boy can read,which says she is going to a decent school..But beware of little boys giving tokens of jewelry (the "steady" )Rings, necklaces, bracelets from boys are the tokesn of conquest that is the prize that every girl tries hard to resist, but has a hard time doing, even at five. It marks her as being superior to every other girl...watch out for the colors of these items too...

Or food...Hostess cupcakes are a REAl romantic gift...BUT hey DAD..better start preparing yourself NOW for the time when you here her say to that little oby who WILL connect "You're MY HERO!!" Do stop and consider your options...before you commit any of Slick Rick's mental visions....Remember, she will need to practice these very valuable words to make sure that she does not grow up and settle for a life mate who powders his nose in a woman's bathroom.

AND who knows that later this little guy might just be the one who protects her from the bully who WILL beat up on her because she DOES NOT pay attention to his fart jokes when you can't be around.

So the boy has good taste...I suggest you make him an ally by buying him a Rolex.

When my son was a baby, people used to stop me and give my son free toys and stuff at which ever store we were at. I even had people tell me they just fell in love with him he's so cute. I started dressing him down as it started to weird me out. The last couple of years his hair was longer and he got glasses; but everyone thinks he looks just like Harry Potter in the movies. Everywhere we went people would blurt you look like Harry Potter, and if I had to pick him up early from school these girls would always cross our path or jump up to say goodbye. I would ask him do you know her and he'd say sorta. I told him they probably thought he was cute; and he wouldn't believe me. He keeps his hair really short now, so we don't get much blurting now. I have two girls 4 and 15 months; people go gaga over them also, especially the youngst as she is a redhead.

Heh heh...

farting noises... heh...


Dave doesn't really have to worry unless the boy starts sending Sophie doctor bills. I used to try impressing the girls with my belching abilities. Then one day my throat locked up.

Dave, i agree your words!!! Best of all,
Fart Fart

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