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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My son and his wife are both 40 years old. They have been happily married for more than two years. Although we have a loving relationship with them, an important element in our lives is missing.

They have not yet produced a child. They tell us she cannot conceive without medical help. My husband and I are in our 70s. We were told not to mention the childbirth subject, as it is a sensitive one. They claim to be "trying," but reveal nothing else.

My question: Do we have the right to ask them specifically what measures, if any, they have taken to help nature along? Dare I tell them that we feel cheated at not having a grandchild? May we speak of adoption to them? I feel this is a family concern, not just their problem. -- WANTS TO BE A GRANDMA IN L.A.

DEAR WANTS: You would be a mile out of line to harp on your desire to be grandparents, and to pry into your son and daughter-in-law's personal lives. They have already told you the subject is a sensitive one. Listen to them, and for heaven's sake, keep your questions to yourselves!

DEAR ABBY: I'm writing in response to the letter from Charles F. Yarham, who wrote about his pet peeve. The last line of his poem was, "Is when a kid is called a 'sibling.'"

The useful term "sibling" never gets me riled,

It's a sister or a brother, whether adult or child.

But what gets MY "goat" (and always did),

Is when a human child is called a "kid"!

-- MAGGIE RITCHEY, LOS ANGELES

P.S. Actually, Abby, the above is a fib. I quite often use the term "kid" inappropriately, but I couldn't resist!

DEAR MAGGIE:

'Tis a pity

Chuck Yarham's ditty

Within contained

The very thing his verse disdained.

DEAR ABBY:

There are words in English that irk us all,

From me you'll get no quibbling.

And the one that drives me up a wall

Is when a kid is called a "sibling."

-- RENEE IN ALABAMA

DEAR ABBY:

The only time that "sibling" irks

Is when the kid's a baby goat.

I say English is, with all its quirks,

The bestest language ever wrote!

-- MICHELLE LEE, LONG BEACH, CALIF.

DEAR ABBY: In response to Charles Yarham's poem:

When I read your little poem,

A gasp came from my throat.

"Siblings" are our kinfolk,

But a "kid" is just a goat!

-- JAMES WICKINSON, RICHMOND, VA.

Everybody has a problem. What's yours? Get it off your chest by writing to Dear Abby, P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069. For a personal reply, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

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