Please Don’t Poke the Bear

All of my kids are hilarious. Just ask them.

Strangely, at times, this wears on my nerves. Kids seem to be oblivious to that fact, you know, that they aren’t being hilariously funny to everyone in the room. I feel it’s only fair to warn them in some non-threatening fun way that they are approaching a line where I’m not going to be my normal fun-loving self much longer.

So I say “please don’t poke the bear”.

Of course, teenagers clearly can’t hear the word “don’t”, and often that line escalates the annoying behavior! However the “poke” line is funny enough that it often diffuses tempers and turns it into laughing…

Of course sometimes a bear does actually emerge…

Pauline told me a story about her inner-bear making an appearance – back when she and her sister were assigned to do the dishes as kids…


Pauline had a very specific way that she wanted to do dishes, and her sister would make sure to do small things to undermine them constantly.

Pauline would move the dry dishes to one part of the drain, and her sister would put the wet ones on top of them, or she would literally poke Pauline while she was trying to work. Pauline said none of it was very big, but it was like a gnat, and after a while a gnat can be pretty annoying.

Finally, Pauline would haul off and slug her sister. But in that, her sister felt like she had won, and would stand there and laugh and laugh for the rest of the time – equally or more annoying than the gnat shenanigans in my book.

Pauline is 72 now, her sister is 74. Pauline says her sister is still the same way. Loves to poke the bear until the bear yells, then laughs and laughs…

I wonder if she still gets punched…

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1 Response to Please Don’t Poke the Bear

  1. jasmine hanway says:

    that’s my nama!


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