Watching A League of Their Own—everybody laughs at Tom Hanks’s line, “Anyone ever tell you you look like a penis wearing a hat?”

Rooby: Ha ha! “Anyone ever tell you you look like a penis wearing a hat?”

Me: It’s a funny line in the movie, but don’t actually say that to anyone.

Rooby: Ok, but why? It’s funny.

Me: Because people don’t like to be told they look like a penis wearing a hat, so they wouldn’t think it’s funny. They would think it’s unkind.

Rooby: Unless they actually are a penis.


Rooby to D, who is watching Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure: What’s this?

D: Just come watch it with me.

Rooby, when Pee-Wee (whom she loves) comes on screen: OH. NO. I’ve seen this.

D: I don’t think you really remember it. You’ll enjoy it.

Rooby: Tell me this: Does his bike get stolen? Is he sad?

D: Well yes, but in the end—

Rooby: IS. HE. SAD.

D: For a while—

Rooby: Then no.


Me: Come watch this show! It’s about snow leopards!

Rooby, reluctantly complying: I know this show is about nature.

Me: You get to see where the snow leopards live!

Rooby: Mama, I don’t really want to watch animals walk around all day.


Facebook just reminded me of this conversation from a sleepover we hosted a year ago.

Voices calling to me from the dining room:

Rooby: Mom, are people animals?

Me: Yes

Alice: Are babies animals?

Me: Yes

Alice: WHAT

Avery: What kind of animal are they?

Me: Human beings

Avery: No, babies

Me: Baby human beings

Avery: WHAT

Notes from the front against ableist language.

Rooby: Wait, this movie seems different than the one we saw a preview for. In that one, his dad wants him to find the dragon village, but in this one, he doesn’t want him to find dragons at all.

Me: Right–they’re two different movies. The one in the theatre is the second one. This is the first one, where he first learns about dragons.

Rooby: OH.

Me: In this one, he doesn’t even know you can train dragons yet. He still thinks you can only kill them.

Rooby: What? That’s crazy!

Me: Well, it’s not “crazy”…

Rooby: …”inspiring”?


Me, trying to persuade Rooby: It feels good to pee in the lake. Very liberating.

Rooby: What’s ‘liberating’?

Me: It means it makes you feel free. Free from the constraints of modern—

Rooby: —toilets.