Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

Oh Emma, Oh Kate is a series of funny things my kids say. Emma is 10 and Kate is 7. 


I rented the movie Twister. There is a scene when the tornado picks up a cow and the cow “moos” in the air.

Kate: NO! THE COW! I don’t like this movie!

Me: It’s all acting and computers. It’s not real, Kate.

Emma: Kate, just pretend it’s a steak flying through the air.


Waiter: What would you ladies like to drink this evening?

Emma: Sprite.

Kate: Shirley Temple.

Me: I’ll have a chardonnay.

Kate: Ha! Wino.


Kate: Remember when I broke my leg?

Me: Yes.

Kate: I was a baby, how do you remember that?


Me: Emma, I’m just going to drop you off at the door of your gymnastics since you’re late. Get out and go!

Emma: Hold on.

Me: No. GO! Now! We’re holding up a line now. Are you picking a scab?

Emma: Yeah, hold on.

Me: You are so gross. You are just like your dad. Hurry! Just go! And don’t flick the…

Emma: (flicked scab, opened door, and then left)


In the car, after school.

Kate:  A girl gave the middle finger to two people today.

Emma: She did? Did she get in trouble?

Me: STOP. How do you know what the middle finger is?

Kate: People told me.

Me: What do you think it means?

Kate: A bunch of bad words put together.


Kate: A KU player talked to our class in school.

Me: What’d you say?

Kate: Nothing.

Me: What’d you do?

Kate: (sighs) I gave him a thumbs down in the audience. We don’t like KU, right mom?


Emma: Is the eye doctor going to dilate my eyes?

Me: I’m not sure. They did last time so maybe they won’t this time.

Kate: What does dilate mean?

Me: There’s a medicine, like eye drops, that doctors put in your eye to keep the pupil open when a light shines in. It’s so the doctor can see the back of the eye.

Emma: Ew, so you can see the back of my eye when they dilate them?

Me: Well, people can’t see just looking at your eye but I’m sure we could see using the correct instruments.

Kate: Like a piano?


Kate and I waited for Emma in the waiting room at the eye doctor. The magazine I write for was next to us. I opened to one of the articles I wrote.

Me: Look.

Kate: What? Oh. By. Julie. Burton. Mommy, that’s you!

Me: Yeah, this is the magazine I write for.

Kate: WHAT?! Your name is in here!

Me: Yes, I write for them. I wrote this article.


Me: No, not famous. Just the writer. Writers get their name printed. It doesn’t mean they’re famous.


Me: Shhhhh. People are looking. Stop it. Not famous. No one knows who I am.

(People stare at us)

Kate: (continued to flip through magazine) HERE IT IS AGAIN! BY JULIE BURTON. FAMOUS! TOLD YOU!

Me: Did you not realize after two years that I write for a magazine?

Kate: No, I didn’t know you write for a magazine. I didn’t know you’re famous. Can I take these home?


Emma: Mom, can I have a sucker?

Me: (I grabbed a tissue with the sucker and made a “ghost” out of it) BOO!

Emma: (giggled and took the sucker)

Kate: Mom, look.

I looked at her. She held two tissue covered suckers at her chest, one in each hand.



We built a bonfire with friends on Scott’s farm. Kate sat on my lap.

Kate: I have to go to the bathroom.

Me: Well, hold it. I’ve already squatted with you once.

Kate: Ok, I’ll hold my pee until it’s completely overflowing.


Emma: So the vet said Penny weighs 9 pounds. How much does Belle weigh?

Me: Hm, I forgot. Go weigh yourself then weigh yourself again while you hold Belle.

Emma: Nah, I don’t need to know that bad. I don’t want to do the math.


Me: Hey Scott, do you like my new bikini for vacation?

Scott: Yeah! Turn around. Yeah, that’s cute.

(I walked away)



Kate: How do you spell “head”?

Me: H-E-A-D.

Kate: Check your phone.



Kate was emptying her backpack on the last day of school.

Me: Oh wait! Did you guys make Father’s Day gifts in school?

Kate: Yeah! I’ll go hide it.

Me: Oh, I love it when teachers do that! Father’s Day is overlooked.

Emma: Let me see it first, Kate. Hey mom, can we edit her spelling and sentence structure? This is all wrong.


Me: Ok, daddy said he would bring us back dessert from the restaurant he’s at with his co-workers. What about sopapillas? It’s served with ice cream and coffee.

Kate: I’ll just take the coffee. You guys can have the rest.

Me: WHAT?!

Kate: Gotta deal with it. Just gotta. (snaps)


We took the girls out to a restaurant. Scott mentioned to me that Trent Green (former KC Chiefs quarterback) was at the table behind Kate and me. I went to the bathroom and came back.

Me: Did you hear daddy say who is sitting behind us?

Kate: No, who?

Me: Trent Green. He used to play for the Chiefs. Quarterback. I think he was quarterback when Aunt Jessica was a cheerleader for them.

Kate: Oh. But does he know who we are?


Kate made a “mom coupon” book for Mother’s Day.

Me: Hey, Kate will you help me put the dishes away?

Kate: Sure.

After Kate was in bed, I found my coupon book in the kitchen drawer with “help with dishes” ripped out and crumpled next to it. The next night…

Me: Hey, I forgot to ask you. Did you rip out one of my mom coupons last night?

Kate: Yes. You used it.

Me: (laughed) Fine. Go put your PJs on, please.

Kate: No! Good thing you don’t have a coupon for that one! Ba BAM! (snaps)


Emma: It looks like the new neighbors moved in.

Kate: I saw them. They’re boys. Our age.

Me: I heard there were boys moving in. We should go say hi.

Kate: Boys on bikes with no shirts on. No shirt on at all. Just riding their bikes up and down the street with no shirts on.


Kate: You know that metal in a pencil?

Me: Yeah.

Kate: Can you go on an airplane with that? I don’t want them to beep me.

Me: (laughed) Yes, you can go on with a pencil.

Emma: It’s like hard metal, Kate.

Kate: Like a sword?

Emma: More like a gun.


I took the girls to Scott’s work. We were talking to our friend, Brittany, also one of Scott’s employees.

Brittany: Your dad is one of the smartest men I know. This stuff is so hard to learn.

Kate: Oh. Well, who’s your principal here? Maybe you can ask him?


Emma: Can we use my telescope tonight to look at stars?

Me: Uhhhh, it looks like it’s too cloudy right now.

Emma: What about the front yard?


Me: Girls, go pick up the Slip N Slide from the backyard. It will ruin the grass.

The girls pulled the Slip N Slide to the patio.

Kate: MOM! Look! There’s a worm! Ha! He’s doing the worm down the Slip N Slide.


In the car.

Emma: So you have to be in the right lane to turn right? And the left lane to turn left? Is that how it goes?


Special Edition: Oh Neighborhood Kids.

It’s summer. My front door is a turnstile of kids. I hear everything.

Kid: Miss Julie, do you mind if I pour my limeade back in your pitcher?

Me: What? Why?

Kid: It’s kinda gross and it taste like a lemon cookie or something. You don’t mind if I pour it back?


Kid: Hey, can you text my mom something?

Me: Sure, what do you need?

Kid: Will you text her and ask if you can take us to the pool?

Me: Oh. I didn’t know I was going to the pool?

Kid: Well, I want you to ask my mom if you can go because I know they won’t take me.


Kid: Those things are so loud. I touched the button once.

Me: Oh. The carbon monoxide button? It’s a tester button. But yeah, they’re loud because they have to be able to wake you if you’re sleeping and carbon monoxide is in your house.

Kid: And my dog will protect me.


I lit a candle with a lighter.

Kid: Those make fire and it’s very dangerous.

Me: That’s true. That’s why I’m the only one lighting the candle.

Kid: Can we go light it in your car? I’ve always wanted to do that.


Are your kids hilarious? Of course they are!

If you have any kid sayings that you would like to see here, please email me at: jbugbytes@gmail.com

Your child’s name will be kept anonymous.


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2 thoughts on “Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

  1. I had a similar experience to your magazine article story. Last June when we were holding a release party for my last book, it was at a venue where other, much larger events were going on at the same time. My son thought the hundreds of people were all coming to see me. “Do all these people know you’re famous?” he asked. The truly important people know we’re famous, right?


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