Our oldest two children had progressed rather nicely in the development of
verbal, reasoning, and communication skills. Since our house was always in
some state of communication, it seemed natural for them to develop those
skills at an early age.
However, during the ages of 2 and 3 years old, our 3rd and youngest child
seemed to not be developing the same skills at anywhere near the expected
rate of our home or the expected rate of normal childhood development.
Anytime that we asked him for an explanation on anything (such as, “Why
are your toys in the middle of the floor?”, “Where is your blanket?, or
“Why didn’t you tell us?”), we were always met with the following
response, “I dunno, I fuhgot” (Translation: “I don’t know, I forgot”)
Well, to say the least, we were a little concerned about his seeming lack
of development with his verbal and expressive skills. In our family, all
of us spoke in clear and expository term when discussing a multitude of
issues. As such, he had plenty of exposure to the proper examples of
communication. Yet, we continued to be hit with a barrage of “I dunno, I
We actually discussed the possibility of his sandbagging or scamming us on
the issues, but, at the same time, we couldn’t believe that a 2/3-year-old
could actually scam his parents on a regular basis. The look in his eyes
seemed to indicate intelligence, but his lack of ability to verbally
express his thoughts was of great concern.
So, was it really a case of “I dunno, I fuhgot” or were we dealing with a
CHILDHOOD SCAMMER? We discussed this issue on a regular basis and we
talked about the possibility of getting assistance with his oral language.
Near the end of his 3rd year of life, however, we received our answer to
the “Dunno/Scammer” issue. I had a series of audio CD’s from various
ministers, including Joyce Meyer (, Ed Young, John Hagee, Focus on the
Family, etc., all neatly arranged on shelves according to the speaker. One
day, I noticed that the CD’s had become substantially discombobulated on
the shelf, as the ministers’ CD’s were all mixed up! How could this
happen? I asked my two older children and they indicated that they knew
nothing of the mix up.
I then asked my youngest child, expecting the usual, “I dunno, I fuhgot”
response. His actual response stopped me in my tracks – I then picked
myself off of the floor, got a cold drink of water, retrieved a tape
recorder, and asked him to answer the question again about the mix up of
His verbatim response is as follows: “Well, I noticed that Joyce Meyer, Ed
Young, John Hagee, and Focus on the Family all had messages on the topic
of “Love”, so I rearranged the CD’s to put all of the “Love” messages
together. I then did the same for “Money” messages, “Jesus” messages,
“Conflict messages”, “Healing” messages, “Delivering” messages, “Attitude”
messages and so on and so forth. You see, dad, by arranging the CD’s in
this manner, you can easily find all of the CD’s on “Love”, for example,
instead of searching through each minister’s collection and then possibly
even missing one. This way, they’re all together! This is my small way of
helping the family. So, why don’t we listen to a Jesus message together
right now? We have 7 to choose from. Which one is your favorite, dad?”
Well, alrighty then - the hours, weeks, months, even years of concern that
our youngest child was not developing the necessary oral skills were all
for naught, as we were dealing with a CHILDHOOD SCAMMER the whole time!!
I then told him that I was very proud of his rearranging of the CD’s and
that I was proud of his explanation of the process. I told him that I had
been expecting him to say, “I dunno, I fuhgot”. I laughed, but he looked a
tad embarrassed, as he realized that the scam was over for the rest of his
I then told him that I had just received a new “Jesus” CD from Joyce
Meyer. I asked him if he had filed the CD already. His answer: ………. You
guessed it …… “I dunno, I fuhgot”!!!!!!
Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! Parenthood – gotta love it!!
But, to this day, several years later, if somebody in our family does not
truly know the answer to a question, we respond with, yes, you guessed it
again, "I dunno, I fuhgot"!!!!!
So, how about you? Have your kids run any scams on you? Please write back
and tell me about them!
Paul W. Reeves, a veteran Teacher and School Principal, is a regular
.iTown contributor on the topic of Parenting. Paul can be reached by e-mail at Paul@PaulWReeves.com