Dad turned, Kenny was walking out the door, “Don’t be late.”
Kenny stopped, “Why do you keep saying that?”
“What?” Dad asked, putting the milk in the fridge.
“Don’t be late.”
“I said that?”
“Yes Dad,” Kenny said, “you say it every time I walk out the door.”
“I do?” he thought a minute, “I guess you’re right...”
“I can’t remember any time I was ever late, or how I’d even know I was late! How can you be late coming in from playing in the yard? But you always say that.”
“I’m sorry, I got it from my father. He always said that when I went out. I guess it got to be a habit.”
Dad suddenly realized he had talked himself into a pickle. He really didn’t want to tell Kenny that when his Dad said it, it was because when he was Kenny’s age, he was always late. He was always wandering off, or forgetting where he was going. But he got his act together when he got older, though his Dad kept saying ‘Don’t be late.’ It became kind of like a joke between them.”
As all this went thought Dad’s head, Kenny got tired of waiting. “Don’t worry Dad!” he said, “I’m not gonna wander off like you always did.”
Shocked, Dad said, “How do you know?”
“Grampa told me. He said you were a real scatterbrain at my age!”
“Grampa said that?” Dad said shocked.
“Yeah, but he said you fixed it all by yourself. I guess you fixed me too. I’m never late.”
“That’s true... well, what should I say?” Dad asked.
“How about “Have a good time!’”
“You’ve got yourself a deal!” Dad said, “Have a good time, my smart and punctual son!”
“What does punctual mean?”