Archive for November, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Two Tiny Legionaires

Two Tiny Legionaires

My husband Jack is a witty guy.  Seeing the commercial for those Huggies pull-ups designed for toddlers who can’t quite make it through the night without an accident, he is inspired to provide the perfect line of dialogue for the proud three-year-old who has just tumbled out of his dry sheets to flash a huge, triumphant grin at the camera:  “Now I don’t wet my bed, I wet my pants!!”  Cracks me up.  

I suppose it would be surprising if Jack didn’t have a gift for the humorous observation, growing up as he did among a family of wits.  With his parents setting the pace, and genetics reinforcing the proclivity, Jack and his two brothers started early tossing out quips and pithy observations.  His ten-months-younger brother Paul was the sly trickster of the group while little Terry, six years behind, carried his own weight into the bantering arena.  I would love to have tape recordings of some of their youthful dinner table wordplay.  

The next best thing to an audio soundtrack?  Discovering among their mother’s effects written documentation of some of her sons’ most fondly remembered, and mostly intentional, early witticisms – just plain old cute anecdotes, which flowed from the mouths of her babes. 

I’m reprinting them here, lightly edited, in the same order in which my mother-in-law laid them down on the quarter-folded, yellow-edged sheet she had tucked away with other mementos.  After all, we are her posterity.  They were saved, I presume, for us to savor.  So, bon appétit to all who choose to partake. 

–  “I’m not foolin’, I’m realin’,” a four-year-old Jack replies to the comment, “Aw, you’re foolin’.” 

            And when someone instructs him, “Don’t argue,” he replies, “Don’t you arg!” 

– “I like that song the choir sang, The Lord is Exhausted,” observes Paul upon hearing the hymn The Lord is Exalted. 

-Brother Terry, at around three years of age, to their balding father:  “Dad, bend down and let me see the hole in your head.” 

            And a teenaged Terry, to the humorless surgeon who has just announced the need for an appendectomy:  “Well, you can take my appendix, but please don’t touch my table of contents.” 

-A very young Paul, watching his aunt nurse her first-born, as she shifts the infant from one side to the other:  “That tank is empty, huh?” 

            And on a family road trip, as his parents remark on the pleasant grouping of individual motel cabins, Paul offers, eyes a-twinkle, “I like the way Mom is grouped.” 

-When Jack returns from a day of kindergarten and recounts that a girl classmate was conversing with him while he was sitting on the toilet, his parents express alarm over that scenario.  Jack replies, “Oh, it was alright.  She was just washing her paint brushes.”   

-“Dad, can I have a two-handed bike?” says Terry, apparently thinking that, in quantitative terms, those second-hand conveyances certainly must be better than the mere first-hand ones. 

-While helping to count contributions from Sunday school offering boxes, Paul notices that one box contains a single coin, a quarter, instead of all those nice big piles of pennies in the other boxes, and declares, “Jesus sure got gypped on this one.”  

            Then, two weeks before Easter he drags home a dead rabbit he found in the woods, asking if his medical technologist father won’t operate on the carcass to see if there are Easter eggs inside. 

-Jack, young enough to still be called Jackie by his parents, responds to a girl school mate who has complimented his mother on her appearance:  “She sure doesn’t look that way at home.” 

-Having been raised to honor the virtue of frugality, Jack and Paul boldly announce, as their Grandfather unwraps his Christmas tie,  “It was the cheapest one we could find!” 

-Generous Terry, sizing up a new acquaintance to his pensive and cautious big brother Jack, “She’s a nice girl, isn’t she.”  Jackie:  “Hmm, can’t tell yet.” 

-Paul, rushing through the back door with an accidentally sliced angleworm, shouts, “Mom, quick!  A little tiny piece of tape!” 

            Again, a very young Paul, observing as his mother lay on the floor, playfully jostling his teddy bear on her chest:  “Ted thinks he’s riding a camel.” 

And finally, the holy grail of K family lore, an account of ultimate boyhood cunning versus a trusting, philosophic soul. 

-Five-year-old Jack and four-year-old Paul are receiving a gift of toy race cars from their grandparents.    Unbeknownst to anyone, the bag containing the friction-powered miniature vehicles has been dropped at some point, cracking off part of the roof on one.  Paul peers eagerly into the package and immediately proclaims, “Aw, Jack; yours got broken!”   

            Quick-thinking Dad comes to the rescue here:  “That’s okay Jack.  Yours can be a jalopy!”


I think  most of us have a collection of family stories that bring a grin to the face.  We would love to hear your “tales from the crib” –  from yesteryear or yesterday – so please do leave comments below.  You’ll be passing along a few smiles.


November 13, 2013 at 7:04 pm 1 comment

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