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I don't care in what language my kids say "hello," just say it, por favor.
I don't care in what language my kids say "hello," just say it, por favor.

How do you get a kid to say "hello?"

I’m a friendly gal. I smile a lot, always greet my friends with hugs and chatter and I really try to acknowledge less-familiar people when I see them in public.

For some reason, however, my kids don’t seem to get it. When we run into people we know, they usually start showing off -- in the form of running around and / or counting loudly -- or they act ridiculous and make the most random, offbeat comments.

"Hi, Kai, how are you today?" a neighbor asked.
"I saw bird poop on the car," he said.

Perhaps this is age appropriate for a 6-year-old, but perhaps I need to better instill the importance of politely greeting people. I have tried explaining it, modeling it, demanding it ... Yet I still feel like  it’s not working. So maybe I need to just start ignoring it. Or maybe they are just acting like kids and  it’s OK.

In any case, I’m certainly not going to mimic their unpredictable, arguably rude public behavior. But if I did, it would go something like this:

"Hey, Molly, how’s it going?"
"Pickle power!" I yell out, then start running backwards and singing gross, alternate lyrics to the "Happy Birthday" song.

I don’t think this would work for me.

Are educators robbing today's kids of science room humor?
Are educators robbing today's kids of science room humor?

How do you pronounce "Uranus?"

Long ago, in a Milwaukee public school far, far away, I learned that the seventh planet from the sun was pronounced "Your-anus." And the jokes have transpired ever since.

I’ve noticed, however, that my kids pronounce it "Yer-a-ness." They have a Leapster game that teaches them about the planets, and the computerized voice says it this way, too, leaving the "anus" out of Uranus.

So, which way is correct? And did "they" change to a more polite pronunciation of the planet over the years? First Pluto’s not a planet and now this? I can’t keep up.

Yum or yuck?
Yum or yuck?

The freakiest food I'll ever eat

Some folks at LiveJournal came up with this food and they claim it's a great, kid-friendly edible. Personally, I'm horrified -- yet oddly fascinated -- by this combination of hot dogs oozing spaghetti, Play-Doh Fun Factory style.

To make, stab uncooked spaghetti into the hot dog, then boil. I think I have to make this, perhaps with wheat pasta and soy dogs to healthy up the meal. Granted, it's pretty gross, but I really like the way the inventors of this nasty nosh-able think.

I wonder if the creators have an official name for this hybrid yet, like Hairy Hotdogs or Spag Dog?

"Nice to meet you. I'm adopted."

My kid has gone through some interesting phases. For a while, he only wanted turkey dogs for breakfast. Then he added "mi olde" to everything, like "Mom, where’s mi olde soccer ball?" And recently, he started greeting people he’s meeting for the first time with, "I’m Kai. I’m adopted."

Yesterday, a nurse stopped by our house to take our blood and urine for a new insurance policy, and Kai met her at the door with, "I’m Kai. I’m adopted, so I wasn’t born."

("Kai," my husband said. "Everyone was born.")

People really don’t know how to respond to my son’s new greeting. They usually get a slightly soft, concerned look on their face in recognition that even the healthiest adoption still symbolizes loss.

However, my husband and I know our son is proud of being adopted, and that is why he tells people this tidbit of personal info right off the bat. We know that at some point he will most likely struggle with the absence of his birth parents, but for now, he thinks it’s pretty cool. And so do we.