Indoctrination 101: How Will I Know?

There are certain areas of life where beliefs must be arrived upon using one’s own freewill. Padres baseball is not one of those areas.

Summer months move along with a particular cadence in my home.  Children’s activities separate each passing hour of the day, establishing a familiar rhythm, until we sit down for dinner and then prepare to watch the beginning of the Padres games each night. It is a game that marks the end of another summer day. Children go to sleep asking the score and awake the next morning forgetting that the contest had ever taken place. But good or bad I always let them know the outcome.

Perhaps that right there, baseball on the mind as their heads hit their pillows, is proof that each small effort at indoctrinating my daughters is taking hold. But there is another example, a more concrete one, that reaffirms my decision to give the Padres to my daughters. One day on our way to swimming lessons I asked my daughter a question . . .

It was late June and I had recently sold my car, deciding to move from a 10 year old Nissan to a Toyota of the same vintage. The purchase was a calculated gamble but one in which, at the very minimum, I could enjoy a functioning air conditioning unit for the first time in years. So in the comfort of my new Toyota Camry I looked over my shoulder at my daughter.

“What do you think about the new car? Do you like it?” I inquired.

The daughter looked at me and said, “Yeah. I like Ev-e-yeth Cabrera.”

Did she just name my car? Good lord, she did. She just named the car. I don’t know where she could have gotten such an idea as I had never named a vehicle in my life let alone during her short time in this world.

I helped to clarify her chosen name by adding, “You mean Everth Cabrera?”

She replied, “Yeah. But that’s kind of a long name.”

I began to process what she had said to me and in my mind I prepared to suggest she call the car “Cabby” as a shorthand name. But before I could offer my idea she spoke.

“We’ll just call it Norf.”

I smiled and we continued down the road.


This story might seem a bit contrived based on internet non-sense earlier during the week (chronicled here) but I swear my daughter said this. It makes me laugh just thinking about it today and had she offered the name “Deno” . . . well I’d still be laughing.


I contribute to Padres Public on Thursday mornings and when I’m feeling particularly inspired. I can also be found on twitter at @AvengingJM. The dusty archives of AJM are located at

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  • Lonnie Brownell

    Even Cabby gets Norf’ed. You have magical conversations with your kids. You’re a rich man.

  • leila

    Like “Car-brera?” Daughter Avenging is a genius (But “Norf” is also a good, and more more efficient, name).

  • VM David

    Sounds like someone’s in need of a trip to Olive Garden for a lesson in Italian culture.