The Clean Version

Danger Monkey, age 11, buckling seat belt: “Do we have to take your car?”

Me: “What’s wrong with my car?”

DM: “It’s just really messy back here.”

Me: “And why is that?”

DM: “Well, you’re not as strict as Mom on leaving things in the car, so really it’s your fault.”

(long pause)

Me: “Soooo… I haven’t even put the car into gear yet… and you’re complaining that your area is messy… because I don’t make you clean up your mess.”

DM: “Yes, exactly.”

(long pause)

Me: “Alright, then unbuckle your seat belt.”

DM: “Yes! We’re taking Mom’s car!”

Me: “Uh… no. You’re cleaning up your mess.”

DM: “Aw, man.”

Me: “How did you think this was going to end any other way?”

Having a (Fire)Ball

Danger Monkey, age 10: “Please be quiet.”

Little Miss Thing, age 7: (loud singing)

DM: “Dad, I need to cast Mage Hand to put a magical hand over her mouth.”

Me: “Sorry, buddy. We’re not playing D&D. You’re stuck back there with your sister for the rest of this car ride. Can you maybe think of a better way to resolve this?”

DM: “Yes, but I’m not level 5 so I can’t cast fireball yet.”

LMT: “What…?”

Me: “What…?”