We’ve been dealing with this “nine” thing in prices, such as 29 cents instead of 30 cents, and gas being $2.499 instead of $2.50. You never have four pennies for exact change, so you almost always get a penny back. Meanwhile, they don’t make a coin for one-tenths of a penny, so getting exact…

Question: Why is it that the price of a gallon of gasoline has 0.009, or nine-tenths, of a cent added on? It’s like they think that people don’t know that it’s really another cent! (Asked by a curious penny saver.)

“What do you do when your baby cries?” I asked the 20-something new mom who was already feeling overwhelmed and beginning to slip into post-partum depression. Her mother-in-law had suggested she talk to someone and recommended yours truly.

Question: I enjoy the C.P.S. (Curious Postscript) at the end of your columns. Please do a column on the C.P.S. Thank you! (An anonymous request from cyberspace.)

Q: Our 9-year-old son, Bobby, is very intelligent and capable of doing good work in school when he wants to, but he is generally just downright lazy. As a result, he makes mediocre grades and we have to monitor his homework to make sure he does it. Even then, 30 minutes of homework takes him…

Deep in the belly of many internet comment threads you will sometimes see the letters “tl:dr.” Birthed on the web in 2002, these initials simply mean “too long: didn’t read.” In other words, either my time is limited or my attention span is too short to read the entire article or thread or t…

Q: We held off giving our oldest daughter a smartphone until she was 15, the age at which we allowed her older brother to have one. We read your column weekly in our hometown newspaper and know you disapprove but we had no issues with our son and thought, wrongly, that things would go equall…

As my regular readers know, I am a certified heretic in my field: child and family psychology. To the point, I am convinced that psychological parenting theory, which began to inform American child rearing in the late 1960s, has caused more problems than psychologists know how to solve.

As the calendar pushed into September, I thought we might begin to get more fall-like conditions for late season vegetable gardens and landscape plantings. We need some heat and drought relief for unirrigated turf grass areas in the Piedmont too. Since I have several areas with crowded peren…

Question: A “mandatory evacuation was issued by the governor recently along the coast for Hurricane Dorian. Is it really mandatory? (Asked by a curious hurricane watcher.)

A New York writer named Jonathan Daniel Stern, writing in the Aug. 7 issue of the e-zine “Fatherly,” laments that co-sleeping has destroyed his marriage. As best as I can figure, Stern and his ersatz wife are still married and live under the same roof, but the marriage is gone, kaput, sacrif…

Proving, once again, that fact is stranger by far than fiction, a grandmother recently asked me what she should do about her daughter-in-law who, despite her husband’s increasingly meek objections, is determined to do everything possible to turn the first grandchild, a 3-year-old girl, into …

Question: I’ve always heard that if you put salt in the water, it will boil faster. Is that true? (Asked by Nicole Funk, Martinsburg, West Virginia.)

Q: A Christian (but very liberal) adoption agency recently turned down our application because they disapprove of our parenting approach, which is your parenting approach. We told them we subscribe to your philosophy and do things such as sending the kids to bed early because of whining and …

Question: Our body temperature is 98.6 F, so why do we feel so hot at lower temperatures, such as 80-85 F? We perspire to cool our body, but at these temperatures, one would think the body would be cool enough. Also, if we jump in a pool or ocean with a temperature of 85 F, the body feels a …

While some of you are relishing the sweet solace of another summer Sunday, reality reminds us that yellow school buses will be back on the roads a week from Monday and summer for some is coming to an abrupt halt.

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