The Daddy Complex

What's Your Function?

Wife:
Hey, Boone. In the sentence "Dad drives quickly," what is the noun?

Boone:
Dad.

Wife:
Wyatt, what is the adverb?

Wyatt:
Quickly.

Wife:
What’s the verb?

Wyatt:
Drives.

Me:
Wow! That’s amazing. I didn’t learn that stuff at school until I was much older.

Wife:
They didn’t learn that at school.

Me:
No?

Wife:
Schoolhouse Rock.

I did a post called “Child Labor” for how2beadad​ recently that listed a few jobs that could easily be done by children. It’s a modest proposal…

Fox News Correspondent
Unlike the algebra teacher, whose lessons apply to almost nothing, the Fox News Correspondent’s gibberish applies to literally nothing—not rationality, known facts, common sense, humanity. And neither do the fits and tantrums of a toddler. You could replace Steve Doocy with a child in the throes of a meltdown about wanting chocolate cake for breakfast and get the exact same amount of useful information about the Affordable Care Act or Benghazi. Plus, Fox & Friends already sounds like a kid’s show anyway.

I did a post called “Child Labor” for how2beadad​ recently that listed a few jobs that could easily be done by children. It’s a modest proposal…

Fox News Correspondent

Unlike the algebra teacher, whose lessons apply to almost nothing, the Fox News Correspondent’s gibberish applies to literally nothing—not rationality, known facts, common sense, humanity. And neither do the fits and tantrums of a toddler. You could replace Steve Doocy with a child in the throes of a meltdown about wanting chocolate cake for breakfast and get the exact same amount of useful information about the Affordable Care Act or Benghazi. Plus, Fox & Friends already sounds like a kid’s show anyway.

We’ve started doing a new thing around the house. We formally introduce each other with the most absurd names possible. It goes like this:

Me (standing next to Boone): “May I present to you, from the Land of Duuuuufflingplaps, the great and honorable Lord Baghlarghlargh!”

The boys do it too, introducing me. And we all think it’s super funny. However, Wyatt just topped us all, possibly forcing us to retire the bit. Last night, while I helped Boone brush his teeth, Wyatt introduced himself thusly:

"May I present to you, from the Land of Farts, the great and honorable Lord Butt!"

I turned to look and he was mooning us.

Last night’s dinner conversation with the boys focused on the difficulty in adapting a book for the screen. Yeah, I know, we’re totally a cliché L.A. family. But, it stemmed from my rule that we finish a book before we watch the movie version.

We just finished the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Wyatt and Boone were so excited by the ending that they ran downstairs to tell my wife just what Charlie got) and they now want to see the movie. My conundrum, however, is that of the two versions that exist, I like the one that strays furthest from the source material better.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the 1971 adaptation, strays wildly (and in some cases creepily) from Roald Dahl’s book. But, Gene Wilder’s take on the whimsical candyman so brilliantly captures the fun and danger of the character, I consider it a truer version than Tim Burton’s big budget affair. And that’s odd because Burton’s version certainly adheres closer to the original text.

Adapting a book for film, I told the boys, is a special skill that requires the writer to walk the line between staying true to the elements that make the book great and knowing what needs to be changed to compensate for the medium. One of the best examples of this I’ve seen is A Simple Plan—great book and great movie, yet there’s a point in the film in which the story deviates drastically from the book, effectively changing the tale that is told.

When it came to our discussion about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we told the boys they could see both (though, not in a single sitting) and decide which one they liked better. So, they can decide which is more important to them: Truth to text or truth to emotion.

Discussing Your Questions With My Kids

Let’s try something new.

Send in a question for my boys via my ask box. If we get good ones, we’ll select one or two to be answered at the end of next week’s Discussing News With My Kids. (Here’s this week’s episode, ICYMI.)

I’m not looking for “What’s your favorite color?” type questions. Be creative. And I have just two rules:

  1. Don’t be an asshole.
  2. Seriously, don’t be an asshole.