- Daddy?
he asked.
- Are you an old man, or are you just weird?

- Well.
I said.
- One of the two is true, and I'm not an old man yet.

- Oh.
He said.
- I guess you're just really, really weird.

- Thank you!
I said.
- You too!

- No!
he said.
- I said that you're really, really weird!

- I know.
I said.
- Thank you so, so much.

One of the great life discoveries I have made is that one of the most powerful responses you can make in many situations is to aggressively accept intended insults as compliments. But you cannot do it with sarcasm. That is an entirely different beast. You must commit. You must be sincere. And you must be enthusiastic, yet deadpan. Consider yourself advised. Seriously. Take it from a true weirdo. Or, as we Mark Twain fans like to say: from a friendly and cantankerous iconoclast.



- Guess what I want to be when I grow up?
Our daughter asked.

- I am very good at guessing.
I said. 
- I guess...astronaut.

- Whoa!
She said.
- Yes! How did you know?!

- I'm good at guessing.
I said, not modestly.

- If I was an astronaut,
she said.
- I'd be able to do cartwheels in space. That's the main reason.

Her brother jumped into the conversation:
- When I grow up, I want to be a mailman!

- Cool.
I said.
- What inspired that choice?

He thought carefully, and changed careers mid-thought.
- Actually,
he said.
- I want to be a witch when I grow up. 

- Oh.
I said.
- Have you applied for financial aid yet? 

- No.
he said.

- Well,
I said.
You're three years old, and if it's important to you to pursue witching as a career, you need to start figuring out how you'll pay for it.

- Oh.
He said. 
- I might just be a monster when I grow up.

- Sweet.
I said.

- That's a less expensive course of study.

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