3 Vignettes: Parenting 4 and 6 Year-Olds

1. When the kids make a declaration of some sort, I find myself using the same stock responses I heard growing up.

The Little Miss will walk over and whine, “Daddy, I’m hungry.”

“Hi, Hungry,” I say, “I’m Daddy. Pleased to meetcha.”

2. The kids have a strong tendency to repeat themselves over and over again when they want sometime. Like if they repeat the word enough times magic happens.

“Mom!” the Little Man says.

No response.

“Mom! Mommy? Mom! MOM! MOM! MOM! Hey MOM!

“I think she’s all the way down stairs on the elliptical, buddy,” I say.

A short times passes.

“Mom! Mommy? Mom! MOM! MOM! MOM! Hey MOM!” Pause. “Mom, are you still all the way downstairs on the elliptical?”

No response. A short time passes.

“Mom! Mommy? Momma! MOMMA!”

Kelly comes walking up the stairs, “What is it buddy?”

“Mom, I’m hungry.”

And from within my office, I hear myself shouting across the house, “Hi Hungry. I’m Daddy, nice to meetcha!”

3. I seem to fail authority checks every now and then.

“Daddy, can I have a snack?” the Little Miss says.

“Didn’t you just have a piece of cheese?” I reply.

“Yes, but I’m still hungry.

In my head, I think, Hi Still Hungry, I’m Daddy. Nice to meetcha. But I don’t say it out loud this time. “But before the cheese, didn’t you have yogurt?”


“One, or two?”


“Maybe you should wait a little while to let the food settle so that you won’t feel hungry.” I have no idea if this suggestion has any basis in science whatsoever, but I also make the suggestion.

“But I want a snack now. I’m still hungry.”

“I think you should wait,” I say.

“I’m going to ask mommy.” Pause. “Mom! Mommy? Mom! MOM! MOM! MOM! Hey MOM!

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.