I'm afraid I had a pretty unusual parental situation, too. No words to offer from personal experience. However, one of my favorite The Simpsons episodes, "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish," aired this past weekend, and I took a few minutes out of my busy day eating cookies to watch it. In that episode, Homer Simpson gives some advice to his son Bart:
"I want to share something with you - the three little sentences that will get you through life. Number 1: Cover for me! Number 2: Oh, good idea, boss! Number 3: It was like that when I got here!"
By the way, in that episode, Larry King (as himself) makes the following prediction during a book-on-tape reading of the Bible:
"I love the San Antonio Spurs, by the way... if you're betting on the NBA this year, I think they'll win it all."
That just might be a good bet, actually!
(Spel doesn't follow basketball, but occasionally he does glance at a paper or two...)