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Act Two: And If That Diamond Ring Don't Shine

Ian Brown explains the lengths a normal dad will go to give his daughter a memorable birthday party, including a birthday stunt so crass that he and his wife shocked all their friends.

Act Two: The Girl Next Door

What happens when the kid next door wants to be your new friend...and comes over, tries to talk to you, befriends your dog. Are you a bad person if you don't want to accept the tiny hand of friendship? Cheryl Wagner tells the story of her young, persistent next-door neighbor.

Act Two: Tell It To The Void

We hear a series of letters that originally appeared on the brief-lived, little-known, but well-loved webzine Open Letters. They're written by a woman who signs her name as "X" and are addressed to the father of her adolescent son.

Act Four: Runaway Mom

In Seattle, Dan Savage and his boyfriend adopted a son, DJ. It was an open adoption, so the birth mother could keep in touch with her kid.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks to two different people who have stories they just can't get over...stories that make them cringe...and stories from which we can glean what makes a cringe story different from other kinds of stories.

Act Four: The Wonder Twins

Ira talks with journalist Jason Bleibtreu about Luther and Johnny Htoo, twelve-year-old twins, and the leaders of a rebel army of Burmese separatists called God's Army. Everyone around them, both their own forces and their enemies, believed they possessed superpowers, that they could not be harmed by bullets, that they had the power to command ghost armies.

Act Two: What's French For "Steeee-rike Three?"

Adam Gopnik reads a story from his book Paris to the Moon, about living in Paris with his family and wanting his son to be a bit more American. He tells him a bedtime story about the most American thing he can think of: baseball.

Prologue

We listen in on a ritual that happens in millions of families every week: kids getting dropped off at the babysitters. Six-year-old Dylan and nine-year-old Sarah explain what they can and can't get away with when they have a babysitter.After that, host Ira Glass has a few words about Mary Poppins, who is the Gold Standard of all fictional babysitters.

Act One: What Big Teeth You Have

Lots of babysitting is done by family members. Hillary Frank reports on what can happen when a teenaged son is put in charge of his younger brothers.

Act Three: Yes There Is A Baby

Myron Jones and his sister Carol Bove explain what happened when they were teenagers, and they ended up babysitting children who didn't exist.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass reads an excerpt from Nick Hornby's novel About a Boy. The narrator, Will, recalls a time when he was a child that he convinced a friend that a portal to another world existed at the back of his closet.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass describes a children's book from the 1970s called Nobody's Family Is Going to Change by Louise Fitzhugh, the author of Harriet the Spy. On the surface, it sounds like a rather menacing title for a kids' book. But in fact, the story is about how kids can finally find peace if they stop hoping that their parents will ever be any different.

Act Three: The Artist Formerly Known As Dr. Sarkin

What happens when you want your dad to change—and he wants to change, too—but there's literally nothing that can be done to change him. Jon Sarkin was a chiropractor with workaholic tendencies.