Arguing with a six-year-old is like nothing else in life. There are simple “argument rules” that they simply don’t abide by. For instance, when entering into a debate, each statement you utter should be backed up by reality. But, they are unaware of that restraint.
Also, in a six-year-old’s rationale, they can begin, substantiate and end an argument with one word: No. Here’s what I mean:
“Dad, give me $1,000”
“Son… I can’t give you $1,000. I don’t have it to give.”
“Just go to the ATM.”
“You can’t just print money from an ATM. You’re wrong.”
At this point, he rests his case.
And I’m left there wondering how I could have been so stupid. You can’t argue with logic like, “No”.
“Son… it’s midnight. You need to go to bed.”
It’s as if my next line is supposed to be, “Oh… you’re right. It’s already morning, being that it’s 12:00 am. You should just stay up at this point for the whole day. If I only had a brain.”
“Son… it’s lunchtime. You should change out of your pajamas.”
“Oh… you’re right! You’re just being proactive by preparing for bedtime ten hours early. Not that you’ll actually go to bed at that time, but still… I tip my hat to your genius!”
Here’s another one that actually happened in my house:
“Dad… what’s the day before tomorrow called?”
“That would be today.”
How on earth do you respond to that?! He knows everything. Just ask him! And then, when they turn 18 they know everything again.
Now, Riley’s daughter hasn’t entered into this “know-it-all” phase. At two-years-old, her argument style is just cute.
“It’s time to put away your toys and get ready for your bath.”
“Ahhhh… but how?” (when you know she means “why”… but she’s just so dang cute!)
“Okay… let’s not do bath time. We’ll just play some more!”
Next, my buddy Steve Geyer calls into the show. Apparently, his two-year-old grandson finally showed Steve how to use his iPhone.
Steve has a new book out, titled Shameless: Set Free from the Mask. He started writing it about three years ago out of a blog. He didn’t seem to be able to finish the blog, so he simply kept writing, kept writing, and kept writing. Eventually, his editor said, “I think you just might have a book here!”
“Oh, no… you’re mistaken”, Steve thought. “I’m a comedian, not an author.”
Authors wear glasses and puff on pipes. Steve is just a joke teller.
Oddly enough, Steve’s book is about finding your true self.
You see, after a hiatus from 15-years of doing stand-up comedy to raise his kids and seek family counseling to undo all the damage from being on the road all those years, Steve learned that a lot of us find ourselves handcuffed by shame in our lives. That epiphany is what lifted his 500-word blog into a 70,000-word book!
But, it’s not a how-to book. Steve simply shares stories that are personal, yet conversational, aiming to shed light on shame: the shadowy force that has controlled people’s thoughts, actions, and lives for centuries. Steve takes you on a personal and poignant journey as he peels back his own mask and shares insights, life lessons, and a few well-timed laughs along the way.But, on a completely different note, Steve has noticed some distinct differences in our political culture than years ago. Once upon a time, when one person was planning on voting for one presidential candidate and another person was planning on voting for their rival, the two constituents could agree to disagree and live happily alongside one another.
But, today… if one person is backing Candidate A, Candidate B’s supporters shout from the mountaintops, “You stupid idiot! You stink! Don’t you know that person is EVIL!! They are going to eat your children!”
It’s maddening enough to make any peace-loving person vote for Pedro (watch the movie Napoleon Dynamite if you don’t get that comment).
Then again, if someone doesn’t know who Pedro is, or what he was running for… maybe they shouldn’t be allowed to vote! Maybe that’s the bar we should abide by.
Finally, my good friend, amazing funnyman, and as he likes to hear “the greatest guy I’ve ever met”, Bob Smiley joins the show. Bob has had a really rough year-and-a-half or so. Around 18 months ago, Bob’s wife left him and filed for divorce. It’s been tough on him, on their kids, and all their family and friends.
Now, many people say that laughter is the best medicine in times like this; but Bob says it’s Vicodin with a Nyquil chaser… but laughter works sometimes.
Their split was a shock to almost everyone who knew them, since they looked like they had it all together. Even Bob was more surprised than perhaps he should have been, since about a week before she left she started turning off the car’s airbag every time Bob rode in the passenger seat.
One thing that has been comforting for Bob – especially since he has become more open with his divorce – is that he’s not alone.
Yet, even as he talks to people about his own marriage falling apart he maintains that if you are going through a divorce like him, you can make it through the storm. And, if you haven’t gotten to that point, but you marriage may be heading in that direction… DON’T BAIL ON YOUR MARRIAGE!
Get the help you need to make your marriage work. Bob still knows and tells others that marriage is one of the most amazing gifts God has given us.
Recently, after performing in Detroit, a man came up to Bob and told him that his wife had left him just the day before.
“I did not want to come to this comedy show. I didn’t know who you were. My friends dragged me out. Now, not only did I not expect to be able to laugh after my wife left me… but I never expected to hear from someone who is going through what I am going through and encourage me like you did!”
As Bob puts it, “Even in life’s darkest seasons, God shows the brightest light. From words of encouragement to perfectly times snowfalls, God has been right alongside Bob and his family. As his son said recently, “God’s not even trying to hide His blessings, He’s just laying them all out on the table!”
Even though the people you love in this world may leave you, the truth is that God will never, ever leave you.
And speaking of having someone beside you, Bob says that the best advice he ever received was to never go through life’s tragedies alone. Don’t barricade yourself indoors in front of Netflix. Get out and surround yourself with loved ones. Also, don’t keep every thought and emotion pent up. Talk about what you are going through with other people. Or… if you are on the road and away from your friends, family, and church family… do what Bob does and share your thoughts and feelings with hundreds of people from a stage each night.
The key is to know that you’re not alone, God is right there, so keep praying.