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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"!


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


'Tis a pity

Chuck Yarham's ditty

Within contained

The very thing his verse disdained.


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."



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!


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!


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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