Monday, January 11, 2010

Random v Inappropriate

My kids, particularly the oldest two, have developed this annoying habit of saying something completely unrelated to the conversation that everybody else is having and then when they get funny looks just saying, “What? I’m just being random.” For instance during the middle of a conversation on where to eat one of them will just start singing a song that has nothing to do with food. “What? I’m just being random.”
Well yesterday I’d had enough. I don’t remember what we were talking about but we were trying to figure something out. It was probably about trying to co-ordinate our schedules. Well one of the kids pulled this act again and started talking about something completely off topic. And, you guessed it, I got the same response about just being random. So I went on a diatribe something like this.
“No, you are not being random. You are being inappropriate. A six-sided die is random. Occasionally, when you are looking for a six you will get a six. And when you are looking for a one occasionally you will get a one. If your outbursts are truly random then every now and then they should be on topic and still be classified as random. Since none of your outbursts that you label as random are ever on topic the conclusion seems to be that you are trying to be off-topic. Since you’re trying to be off-topic you aren’t being random. You are just being inappropriate. And I don’t appreciate it.”
At this point Victoria was laughing hysterically and told me that I had to blog this before I forgot about it. My only regret was that one of the prime offenders was not in the car and I’ll likely have to give this speech again soon.


  1. That is indeed pretty funny. I think they got you. Next time I'd either start talking random embarrassing nonsense about, oh, maybe their potty training years or I'd just stop talking to them about the topic at hand (i.e.they don't get to vote on the schedule thing). Little monkeys.

    Oh, I got it! Give them on of those magic 8-balls next time and tell them to be REALLY random! ha ha

  2. Thank you for posting this. Now I just need to print it out on Blurb for posterity.

  3. Sounds like your just shy of having a teenaged boy-- even though I'm a middle school teacher, my 14-year-old is going to drive me nuts with his eye rolling and shoulder shrugging. Hold the line on "random". Everyone, including your child, will eventually thank you!

  4. I think it's great to listen to a child ramble like that.

    My 9 year old does that all the time, and what it does for me, is get me ready to deal with the adults at my job who actually talk like that.

    But I will say, your response is classic parenting. Thanks.

  5. He's 15.
    And I agree. It does prepare me for similar conversations that I have to have with "adults".

    Yesterday I told him that I was going to charge him $1 for every time he said "like" and he wasn't making a comparison.

    And my name is not "Dude".