Show vs. Tell, in Which My Son Teaches Me About Writing

Writers are always told, "Show, don't tell." The other day, one of my 3-year-old boys gave me an object lesson on why that is:
DADDY: Nathan, that was naughty. You're on a timeout.

NATHAN sits on the step and cries for like an hour.*

N: Timeout over?

D: Your timeout will be over when you're quiet.

Nathan stops screaming for an entire breath.

N: Nathan's quiet already!

D: If you have to tell me you're quiet, you're not quiet.

But you know, sometimes it's okay to tell too.

DADDY: What are you eating, Nathan?

Nathan opens his mouth as wide as he can.

D (holding stomach): Thanks.

* Not actually an hour.

1 comment:

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Hahahaha! No, please don't show us the contents inside! :)

I wish I could get my boys to do a whole lot more telling:

Me: "What did you do in school today?"
Them: "Nothing."

Me: "Really? Nothing at all?"

Them: "Well, we had lunch."