My 9-year-old stepson was in a bit of trouble this week due to his behavior at school, specifically, his behavior with a substitute teacher.

So it’s Friday night, the poor guy wants to have fun and what not. I get it.

So he calls me…

“Hey Rick,” he says. “Can I be ungrounded?”

Mind you he was never formally charged and convicted, thus he was never sentenced to a term of grounding.

“What did you want to do?” I said.

“Nothing, really,” he said, “I just want to play on my laptop and stuff.”

“Have you been helping your mother around the house tonight?”

“Yes, I helped with x, y, and z.”

“Okay, just help sweep the floor and you can be un-un-grounded,” I said.


“Hey buddy,” I said. “Text me when you’re finished, just so I know. Okay?”


“And say finished, don’t say done.”

“Okay, bye.”

I asked him to use the word finished in an attempt to expand his vocabulary. I frequently use words larger than a 9-year-old would normally use, solely for the purpose of expanding his vocabulary.

When we go shopping I don’t let the kids see me enter my PIN number. Kids don’t need to know pin numbers

Anyway. I tell the kids, “Avert your eyes.” Now, when I overhear the children at play, avert is a part of their regular speech patterns.

And YES, I am quite proud, but back to the story.

So a half hour passes and I get this text….

And you see how the text exchange went.

I was not aware he struggled with his past tenses. This is atrocious and unacceptable.

I’m no grammar nazi. I suffer from the a painful case of the midwestern dialect. I am not perfect, nor do I expect perfection, but this is ridiculous.

The minute I walked in the door I sought after some dinner, then I called him into the kitchen.

While smashing half of a medium two topping, we had a little chat.

No, that’s wrong.

While smashing half of a large supreme, he got a lecture.

He said, “it don’t feel right to use the e d.”

I maintained my composure and corrected him.

I informed him we will be working on this. I finished my dinner and compiled a list of 20 words ending with E D.

He butchered more than half of them, but the two that irked the crap out of me are these:

Liked = likt

Washed = washt

(Way better than the midwestern Worshed, but still.)

I laughed at the silliness of the whole thing and sent him off to play.

Kids say some crazy things.

Am I alone in this? Do the children in your house say or do something that makes you feel like putting them up for adoption?

Can you still drop kids off at the fire station? How about illiterate kids?

Totally kidding, but it did point out a major flaw in his education. I’m going to fix this flaw and scout out some others.