I'd say that 99.9% of every piece of advice/kernel of wisdom I try to impart to the spawn is completely ignored, and ends up sounding like the muted-trombone adult voices from the "Charlie Brown" cartoons. But every once in a while, I see modified behaviors that can only have resulted from some sort of internalization, by the spawn, of some do-as-I-say blatherings from my face-hole. Case in point, this actual conversation we had as we drove back from "Office Max" yesterday, while passing a McDonalds:
MR. Z: Eew, there's a McDonalds. That place is so gross.
MISS O: [snootily]I don't think I like McDonalds very much anymore, either.
MR. Z: You know what, Dad? McDonalds is like an anglerfish. But instead of a glowing lure on its head, it has a Happy Meal toy that it uses to lure kids in. AND the food's bad for you.
MISS O: And the toys aren't even that fun.
MR. Z: You know, Dad, toys and fast food don't mix.
ME: Wait a minute -- are you the same kids who whine your brains out every time we pass a McDonalds on our way to Chicago?
MR. Z: Not anymore.
MISS O: Yeah.
[SFX: sound of my very being imploding]
You could have knocked me over with a limp, trans-fat engorged french fry. These two were like Mayor and Comptroller McCheese whenever we took a fucking road trip. We'd try to fight it, but we'd always succumb to their pleas, and they'd end up with their goddamn toys, the car would smell like McNuggshit for the rest of the trip, and they'd both wonder why they had the fucking McSquirtles for the next couple of days.
And then, all of a sudden, it's over. Might I never have to set foot in a McBurgerBell again? No more dessicated french fries crammed into the car seat cracks? No more stray ketchup packets lurking on the floorboards? No more goddamn movie toy tie-in plastic pieces of fuckshit in every nook and/or cranny in the house? Ah, who am I kidding -- that shit'll still be there. Like I'm gonna clean it all up. The key is that there won't be any NEW shit piled on top of it.
Excuse me... I have to take a moment to soak all this in.