On not thinking ahead

New parenting mistake #56: Digging a semantic hole.

I’m singing a classic children’s song, and get a little carried away.

Me: “There was an old lady who swallowed a . . um, duck!”

Wife: “No!”

Me: “Um, what terrible . . . luck, to swallow a duck.”

Wife: (looks expectant and miffed, if that’s possible)

Me: “(hem) I guess it’ll . . . cluck. [boy, that’s lame, sorry]. She swallowed the duck to catch the…”

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