Scott Graves
Curry Coastal Pilot

Yesterday, my daughter was in elementary school. Today, she’s in high school.

Just like that!

What happened?

I look at her and think, “Who are you and what did you do with my daughter?”

When she acts all teenagy (yes, I made up that word), I keep telling myself, “It’s just the hormones. It’s just the hormones.”

Ah, the emotional roller coaster of adolescence. She’s coming of age. She’s seeking her independence. She’s contemplating ... dating?!

Sigh. I guess we’ll always have Spongebob.

When my daughter was born, a few of my guy friends who had teenage daughters said “Ha! You’re going to have your hands full in 13 years.”

Darn! They were right.

When did my daughter become more like her mother?

Oops. I shouldn’t have said that. Now I’m probably in trouble with both of them.

That happens a lot these days.

It’s tough being the only male in the house. It’s not like a pride of lions, and there’s land mines everywhere.

When I’m around my wife and daughter, I should just keep my mouth shut. Really, I should. But I don’t. I’m a glutton for punishment.

I first titled this column “Living with women.” I should have known then that writing about this topic was a bad idea. But did I pay attention to the red warning lights flashing in my head, or listen to that voice in my head screaming “STOP!”

Of course not.

That’s my life now: tip-toeing through the minefield.

Strike that. It’s more like traveling down a road covered with road bumps — giant ones that knock your fillings out when you run over them.

I love to tell jokes. Occasionally they’re good ones.

There was a time when my daughter, and even my wife (sometimes), genuinely laughed at my jokes.

Like when my daughter asked how many plums grow on a tree and I responded, “All of them.”

Or when she stubbed her toe and I said, “There. There. It’ll feel better when it stops hurting.”

These days, I don’t even get a courtesy laugh. It’s been replaced by (cue ominous music) “the stink eye” — not just from my wife, but both of them. Double-teaming! No fair!

I need to build a man cave — and invite fellow cavemen over to join me in some manly rituals such as making bad puns and super nachos!

Oh, don’t worry. I’d still make time for my family. Really. I love my wife and daughter. I’d do anything for them. I’d even walk through fire. Well, not fire, because that’s super dangerous. Maybe a really humid room, but not too humid; it makes my hair frizzy.

When I think about it, being a husband and a father is the greatest thing in the world — if you don’t include those wonderful years right before I got married.

Now that I think of it, it might be the perfect time to write that parenting book. I’ve had lots of practice writing these columns.


Uh oh. My wife and daughter just finished reading this column. Ah, there it is. The stink eye. Looks like more speed bumps ahead.

Where did I put those plans for the man cave?