parenting is planting jokes that will take years to pay off

JULIA: Tell me a story! Tell me a story about MERMAIDS!

RACHEL: Well. Hundreds of years ago when the British were exploring the oceans in huge wooden ships, sometimes the sailors would be months and months away from land and they would start to miss women. Because the sailors were nearly all men. And sometimes when they were in the waters around say Australia or Florida they would see dugongs or manatees and think that they were women with the tails of fish. And that is where mermaids came from. Look, here is a picture of a manatee. Isn’t she lovely? Doesn’t she look like a mermaid?


RACHEL: Manatees like to be thought of as very big. So when you meet a manatee, the polite way to greet her is to say “Oh, the huge manatee!”

JULIA: “Oh, the huge manatee!”

RACHEL: Excellent. Go and tell your daddy.

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