The Kid Always Gets the Last Word
Just a thought from 3 September 2006 about , .

hugh phones homeMy nephew Hugh is two years old. And, as the husband of the sister of his mother, it is my duty to impress him. I am determined to be the Cool Uncle.

Heather and I are in Chicago for a family visit. We're all gathered at a nice restaurant for dinner - Heather's sister Claire, Claire's husband Owen, and their two boys: Eamon, 6, and Hugh, 2. Dinner is lovely, and the paper tablecloth is gradually covered in spent tic-tac-toe grids, doodles, and food scraps.

I've noticed, in the short time I've spent with parents, that they basically do not eat when their kids do. They eat in the spare moments in between questions and/or tantrums, and then chow down on fast forward just before the staff comes to clear the dishes.

So I'm trying to do my part by distracting Hugh while the parents eat. I grab a pen and draw a dog on the table cloth. The same cartoon dog my dad used to draw for me. "Look, Hugh!" I say. "A dog!"

Hugh examines it closely, considers it, and requests a cat instead.

"Okay, sure." I say. And whip up a quick cat beside my cartoon dog.

Hugh examines them both for a while, and then says, in the amusing sing-song of a 2 year-old, "Could you draw another cat, except a little bigger and over here?"

I look at Claire. "He's kind of an art director," she says.

Art director, huh? I know how to deal with them. So I launch into my best high design speak. "You see, Hugh," I say, "what I'm trying to show here is that the idea of the cat really is smaller than the dog. In my experience, I've found that it's better to express the vision of reality, than reality itself. User testing shows that, while it might seem counterintuitive, the large dog problem isn't really a problem at all. In fact, the sheer brilliance of the artistic vision demonstrated on this paper tablecloth is only outshined by its user friendliness."

Hugh's eyes go glossy for a moment, and ever so slowly, a smile spreads across his face. I think I've design-babbled him into submission, but it turns out he was just coming up with the perfect retort.

"Mommy!" he shouts to Claire, "I made a poopy in my diapee!"

This section is called Just a Thought. It's a blog where I post little pieces of what I'm thinking about at the moment. This page is an individual entry called “The Kid Always Gets the Last Word” that I wrote on 3 September 2006.

Before this, I wrote a little something called “Love and Penguins” on 25 August 2006. After this, I wrote “JPG 2.0” on 18 September 2006.

Love and Penguins
There's an old story. I don't know if it's true, but it goes like this. Penguins mate for life. And...
25 August 2006

JPG 2.0
Exactly two years ago today, JPG Magazine began with a simple mission to honor the amazing work coming out of...
18 September 2006

The Fine Print

Working the web since 1995, Derek Powazek is the creator of many award-winning websites, a couple of which still exist. Derek is the cofounder of JPG Magazine and the CCO of 8020 Publishing. Derek lives in San Francisco with his wife, two nutty Chihuahuas, a grumpy cat, and a house full of plants named Fred. More »

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