Fatherhood Fragments: Featuring Nee


At school, Nee was assigned a project to develop a new product. My budding marketing genius came up with Flight Sprite. One drink will give you incredible power to soar the skies like an eagle. I can’t wait until it’s in production.

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Nee came running down the stairs screaming, “Daddy! Daddy!” I dash over to see what’s wrong.
“Ink got in my mouth,” she yelled.
“How did ink get in your mouth?” I asked.
She stood quietly for a moment and then hung her head and said, “I don’t know.”
“How can you not know how ink got in your mouth?”
“Never mind,” she said as she ran back upstairs. “I’ll just go rinse my mouth out.”

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Here is Nee’s idea of the Best Day Ever:

  • An early morning visit to Chuck E. Cheese’s
  • Having lunch at Taco Cabana (quesadilla, chips and queso, juice)
  • Shopping at Half Price Books
  • Playing in the backyard
  • Logging on Webkinz
  • Watching Word Girl
  • Eating frozen pizza for dinner
  • Watching American Idol
  • Going to bed (but not too early)

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

My wife was in the kitchen when my son, N, burst in screaming, “Mommy come quick, and Nee is really, really sorry.” Of course my wife was curious as to why Nee felt the need to apologize in advance, so she went to the bedroom to investigate. It turned out that Nee had been playing in my wife’s closet and locked herself inside.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

“Mommy,” Nee said to my wife as they left the school’s parking lot. “I got my color changed today.”

“What?” My wife replied, nearly slamming on the brakes. Let me explain why she was so shocked. Each child begins the day on green. If they misbehave, their color can be changed to yellow and red. When a child gets a red he/must go to the principal’s office. Nee is a quiet and respectful child who has not even received a disciplinary warning in the three years she has been in school. She received a color change because she inadvertently started her standardized test before she was instructed to do so. My wife was livid and went to the school to give the teacher and the principal a piece of her mind.

Nee was terrified to tell me that her color was changed. Her brother didn’t make it any easier for her because he kept yelling, “Daddy! Nee has something to tell you. Something that she did that was really, really bad.”

“Quiet, N,” I replied. “I’m sure that you’ve done something really, really bad, but you’ve managed to hide it.” I looked at Nee who was demurely staring at her shoes. “Tell Daddy what happened.”

After she explained the situation to me, I could tell that she was waiting on me to dole out her punishment. Instead, I told her, “Everybody makes mistakes, sweetheart, but next time you have to do a better job of following directions.” I gave her a hug and a kiss on the forehead. She looked at her brother with a sly smirk as if to say, “Na na na na na na.”

Stay Strong,
Mocha Dad

About author

Frederick J. Goodall

Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at or on Twitter at