Devlyn Brooks, Published July 28 2009
Parenting Perspectives: No, Bug, I am not a witchFortunately for me my youngest son, “Bug,” doesn’t learn all of his life’s lessons from his older brother, Garrett. But he does learn just enough to continually keep me wondering what myth, rumor or outright lie I have to knock down next.
I understand the game; I had seven older siblings. I get that it’s their job to see what they can make their little brother believe. And, sure, the bigger the lie believed, the bigger the accomplishment for the older sibling.
So I recognize that Garrett is only playing out his natural role in the three-act drama we call life. But, man, what I wouldn’t give for the Bug to have been born with a more mature “BS” detector. It’d save me so much exasperation.
For instance, consider this recent conversation:
“Dad, are you a witch?” the Bug asked.
“No, buddy, I’m not a witch,” I said. “Why would I be a witch?”
“ ’Cuz Garrett said you bought medicine to take off the warts on your knee and toe.”
“Yes ... ?”
“And witches have warts!” Bug said with a scrunched up face.
“OK, who told you this?”
“Well, buddy, don’t worry about it. I just have warts. ... I promise you I am not a witch.”
“Dad, what is a wart?”
“Well, it’s kind of when your skin doesn’t grow right and a little bump of bad skin forms. So I bought some medicine to take them off.”
“Do they hurt?”
“No, not really. Mine never have.”
“Dad, am I going to get warts?”
“You might, but I don’t know for sure. No one else in the family really has them, so I don’t know if you’ll get them. Why are you worried about it?”
“ ’Cuz Garrett said that because you had warts, that I was going to have warts and that I will be a witch, too.”
“Bug, you’re not going to be a witch. ... I promise. But I can’t guarantee you won’t have warts, OK?”
“Good ... I didn’t want to be a witch.”
“Don’t worry about it, buddy. ... Now where’s your brother?”
Devlyn Brooks is a news editor at The Forum. He lives in Moorhead with his two sons. Read his parenting blog at