Fairy Tale Meet Harsh Reality

Erin intercepted me as I approached the living room. “Don’t wake up Mommy, Daddy. Mommy is sleeping.”

Erin and Emily were playing “Bedtime”, which is a fabulous game that normalizes the sleep routine for your toddler or pre-schooler and makes them champion sleepers who never ever wake up in the middle of the night and they never ever skip their naps and they never ever wake up at 6am eager to play all day. And they never ever sell you swamp land in Florida.


Erin was putting Emily to “bed” on the couch, thus her instruction to me.

Dad, however, likes to play his own games. A wife on the couch with her eyes closed, feigning sleep is just waiting to be woken from her slumber. I indulged my wish to be Prince Charming and I leaned in close, planting a kiss on Emily’s lips as she smiled her eyes open.

Erin, however, has not been exposed to any fairy tale romances in her short life.

“No daddy. Don’t wake up Mommy. Mommy needs her sleep.”

Firm grasp on reality, that one. I think she’s working out the rules to “Dissertation” too, just so Daddy has something to play.

22 thoughts on “Fairy Tale Meet Harsh Reality”

  1. If you want Erin to be exposed to any fairy tales at all, read her "The Paperbag Princess."

  2. Well, for what it's worth, I'll share what I know. I think you will end up being correct sometimes and incorrect at other times in this situation (though, to further your opinion, it makes no difference). Also, as a bit of additional general information regarding quotation and punctuation, American usage places the punctuation inside the quote while British usage does the opposite (which I prefer . . . because it just looks better).

  3. It's just typographically nicer to put it within the quotes. It looks so lonely outside.

  4. No, no. NO. Punctuation goes outside the quotes. Trust your instincts, Bart is right.

  5. If the period is ending the sentence, it goes inside the quote even if there is no period in the original quote.

    If a question mark is ending the sentence, it goes inside the quote only if a question mark ends the original quote; otherwise, it goes outside the quote.

    See http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/quotes.asp for all the confusing rules.

    For what it's worth, I was an English major and would get major marks off on a paper if my punctuation was incorrect. But on my own blog I use whatever the heck punctuation I want, since no one is grading me anymore. Take that, teachers!

    Besides, who actually remembers the correct rules of grammar and punctuation without looking them up somewhere? Not me, that's for sure!

    1. But that's just it: I don't want to know the rule because I'm going to do it

      the right way. My way.

      The rules are just agreements between dead people.

  6. I do the same thing. Which probably makes it right.

    After all, what are the chances that both of us are wrong?

    Zero, that's what.

  7. I struggle with this very concept all the time. I'm on the aesthetic side, I just can't bring myself to be proper for I loathe the quote after punctuation. Call me Team Bart.

  8. Periods and commas go inside closing quotation marks. Colons, semicolons, and footnote numbers go outside closing quotation marks. Question marks, exclamation points and dashes go inside if they are part of the quote and outside if not.

    It seems rather arbitrary – like many grammar rules. I think it looks better when everything goes inside the quote marks. I'm with Suebob. It just looks lonely when it's left outside.

    So sayeth the English professor (but I'm only an adjunct, so I'm not really officially official or anything.)

  9. I think it's important to take a stand on these issues. For me, it's not so much a stand as illiteracy, so I'll adopt your version instead. "Thanks" !

  10. I like that you write about only the really important things. For what my two cents/sense is worth, I think you should use both inside AND outside in the same sentence, that way everyones happy. Thanks for writing about periods. Aboot time. ;)

  11. As an English teacher, I can tell you definitively that it depends. There are many (myself included) who argue the period goes inside. Acorndreaming got it right according to many grammar books, but there is also another school of thought (in other English speaking countries) that a period is end punctuation, and therefore should come at the end. See here: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/marks/quot….

    There are grammar books that support this view, too. And I don't imagine you want to get into the issue of punctuation as politics, but that's what this ventures into. What is "right" vs. "wrong" punctuation/grammar is politically charged. But if I go there, I might be typing all night.

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