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When you marry young and pretty much get pregnant on your honeymoon, sometimes you parent your kids wrong. Or at least, in a hilarious way. I’m not really sure which point in this story was the one where we should’ve backed away from the situation, but I’m sure there was one.

Josh and Magnolia were playing what we call “roughinghouse funny.” You know the game: it always starts with people in hysterics and ends with me coddling someone and kissing away war wounds (usually Josh’s). At the time, Magnolia was in Kindergarten. Roughinghouse funny was in full force on the living room floor with Josh blowing raspberries and tickling Maggie like crazy. I left the room and listened for the game-ending siren – tears.

It didn’t happen. Instead, Josh came in and said, “Um.”

Me – Oh, shit.

Him – “Don’t be mad.”

Me, squinting – “Oooooooohkay.”

Him, desperately trying to hold back a laugh – “I accidentally gave her a hickey on the eye from blowing raspberries.”

Maggie came into the room laughing and showed me, proudly. “See?”

Me – “I sure do.” It wasn’t small.

Josh – “Hey, Mags, let’s not say anything about this to your teacher, okay?”

She nodded. “Why?”

I glared at Josh. “Yes, tell her why.”

Josh – “Wellllllll, just don’t. Okay? Want some ice cream?”

***

The next day, when Magnolia came home from school, I asked her how her day was. She said it was fine. She also said, “My teacher asked me how I got a black eye.”

Me – Oh, hell. “What did you say?”

Maggie – “I said my Daddy told me not to tell you. Can I go play now?”

Me – “Of course you can. I’m just going to wait for the phone to ring.”

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