And that’s how Emma and Kate skipped school today.

Day 21 of consecutive writing.

Are you sick of me yet?

Oh.

I am.

Do you know who’s not sick of me?

My damn kids. They want to be in the middle of the Thanksgiving action. They asked if they could skip school on Monday. I said no and shoved them out of the car door. They asked if they could skip school today. I said no.

Kate called my dad.

I don’t know her conversation with him but I can tell you my dad wasn’t being a dad. He was being Funny Papa. He was filling Kate’s head with ideas on how to skip school.

“Start coughing a bunch around your mom. Act like you’re throwing up in the bathroom. Say you have diarrhea. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Remember that. Papa can write you a note. Do you need a note? You’re not going to school tomorrow – you tell your mom her dad said so.”

I told Emma and Kate they could take a vote with the extended family in town. Surely there had to be a few adult-minds.

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I told the girls the only people that count on her list are Scott and me because we’re the parents. Kate instructed me to text my sisters. Next, she wanted me to message the rest of the family, coming in from out of town. She needed their vote. Every vote went Kate’s way.

I wrote an email to Kate’s teacher and I explained Kate’s school situation and attached the picture of her family poll.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

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Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

Oh Emma, Oh Kate is a series of funny things my kids say. Emma is 11 and Kate is 8. 

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Me: Why are you so evil?

Kate: Must be genetic, MOM.

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Me: You jealous I saw Bruno Mars in Atlanta?

Kate: You jealous I saw Bruno Mars in Kansas City and he said, “Hey, Kansas Citaaaaayy!”

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Me: Were you guys hot or cold last night?

Emma: Hot.

Kate: Hot and cold.

Me: How can you be hot and cold?

Kate: I got hot but then I just put one leg outside the blankets.

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I chaperoned one of Kate’s field trips. It was at the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop, a working farm where kids learn about 1860s Kansas and the trails to the west.

Employee: What did the kids do for fun on the Oregon trails? Remember they had to walk the whole way to Oregon.

Boy: Play on their iPads.

Employee: No, they couldn’t do that because they didn’t have….anyone?

Kate: WIFI!

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At Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop.

Employee: Welcome to the California Trail! You read in the newspaper that someone found a little bit of gold in the Sutter River in California! 2,000 miles away, a 4-month trip! Would you give up your home and drag your family to California for a tiny bit of gold?

Class: No!

Kate: YES!

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Me: Let’s go to the pumpkin patch!

Kate: I want to bring a friend with us.

Me: I’m your friend.

Kate: No, you’re my mom.

Me: Your friend too.

Kate: No, my mom.

Me: And friend.

Kate: No.

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I picked up Kate from school.

Me: Where did you get gum? Did your teacher let you have some?

Kate: My friend gave it to me at the end the day. Because, you know, it’s the end of the day and I’m outta here so the teacher can’t tell me no.

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Stella put her head on my chest while I was laying on the couch.

Kate: I think she wants milk.

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Me: Take a shower!

Emma: Nah, ponytail day tomorrow.

Kate: Good one, Emma! Ponytail day.

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Me: See, Kate? That’s it. The eye doctor is the easiest doctor you’ll see. No needles.

Eye doctor: Yep! Easy!

Kate: Hair cutter doctor is easy too.

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Kate: What are you doing?

Me: Watching our Uber Eats guy drive on the map.

Kate: What?

Me: You can see his car. Look.

Kate: No, I’m not a stalker like you.

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Me: Any other questions before you babysit Ethan?

Emma: So when he goes to bed, do I just sit in the corner of his room and watch him sleep?

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Me: Hey, do you two have any floss in your bathrooms? Can I borrow some?

Emma: I’m out.

Kate: No floss in my bathroom either.

Me: So what have you been flossing with?

Emma:

Kate: I have one string left for me tonight.

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Me: Your teacher gave you such a good report at conferences, Kate! You’re the kid that is friends with everyone!

Emma: Pssh. She’s not like that at home. She’s evil here.

Kate: One time I saw Emma’s name on a test and I crossed her name out.

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I took Kate out to eat at a restaurant while Scott and Emma hunted.

Me: You want guac, don’t you?

Kate: How did you know what I was thinking?

Me: I’m your mom and I always know what you’re thinking.

Kate: What am I thinking now?

Me: You’re thinking I don’t know what you’re thinking.

Kate: WRONG. I’m thinking of Eric Hosmer eating a taco. (KC Royals first baseman)

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Emma: Which celebrity do I look like?

Me: Probably anyone that looks like me.

Kate: I know! You know that one actress…she’s in that one movie…Oh! Yes! I remember! POOP!

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Emma: Who was your first concert, dad?

Scott: Smashing Pumpkins.

Emma: Play them.

Scott put on Smashing Pumpkins in the car.

Kate: WASTE OF MONEY!

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I put on Snoop Dogg. I start singing and dancing in the car.

Me: “Drop it like it’s hot….Drop it like it’s hot. When the pigs try to get at you…Park it like it’s hot…park it like it’s hot.”

Emma: Gross, mom. This sound so old.

Kate: You’re dying mom, face it.

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Me: Ok, looks like one of you will take your cousin Ben for Christmas. And one of you will take Lucy.

Kate: I CALL LUCY! I like her style of stealing Ben’s toys away on FaceTime.

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Me: Did you brush your teeth?

Emma: Yes, we both did.

Me: Floss?

Kate Who does that?

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Me: Hey, Emma? Can you pour me a little bit more wine?

Emma: Sure. Hey, wait, how do I open this?

Me: It’s already opened. Just pull the cork with your hands.

Emma: It’s not working!

Kate: Got it.

Kate walked over to Emma. Put the cork in her mouth and yanked. And then poured the wine.

Kate: You don’t pour a lot of wine in a glass, Emma. Just like a few inches. And there we go. Ready to serve!

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And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

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Should have drank the whiskey.

How did you sleep last night?

How did I sleep last night?

How did you sleep?

I’ll tell you how I slept – shitty. I slept shitty.

I wasn’t prepared to sleep shitty. In fact, I was going to have an amazing night’s rest. Scott went out with some friends last night and he left me in all my fabulousness in the middle of my king size bed. I pulled the comforter back and crawled in. I opened my phone to start scrolling, and poof. 

The hiss of the pillow blew out the sides of my head. There was half an inch of pillow in between my head and mattress.

What the hell.

I examined the pillow. The pillow case was mine. I squeezed the pillow. I could feel my palms touching each other between the pillow.

This is the world’s flattest pillow. 

I threw the pillow on the ground and grabbed Scott’s pillow. Poof. 

My head fell to the mattress.

Is this a joke? It’s like laying on a pillow case. Did Scott change our pillows? Why would he change the pillows? I’m so tired. I’ll ask him in the morning.

I fell asleep. Scott woke me up.

Scott: Hey, I’m home. Brett, Colby, and I are going to keep drinking in the kitchen. Come drink whiskey with us.

Me: No. What? Hey, wait. Did you change our pillows?

Scott: Huh? Why would I change the pillows?

Me: Feel how flat these are.

Scott: I didn’t touch the pillows. Come out if you want to drink.

Scott closed the door.

Now I’m wide awake. Maybe I should have a drink. Pillows. Flat pillows. These must have come from upstairs. I don’t have pillows down here. Guest room? But Brett and Colby are using the guest pillows. Hmmm…who would do this? Emma? Kate?

An old picture buried deep in my phone flashed in my mind – something about it stood out – a certain facial expression or the way she stood. It was like my brain pulled a file out for me to consider while searching for an answer.

I opened my phone. I scrolled back two years. There it was.

The tilt of her head and her small smirk. Her smile was not for the camera. Oh, no. Kate doesn’t smile for photos. The smile was for herself. The mischievous sparkle in her eye. It’s a sparkle she can’t hide from her mother.

Who changed my pillows?

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It was Kate.

The mastermind behind the great pillow switch was Kate. Kate changed my pillows. I looked at the time. 12:54 in the morning. There was no way in hell I was going to wake her up and Kate knew this while pushing her flat pillow into my own pillowcase.

I fell asleep. I slept shitty. There was no pillow to hug. Nothing to flip to the cool side. Nothing. My head rested on nothing.

7:50 a.m.

Me: WAKE UP.

Kate stretched.

Kate: Yes, mommy?

She smiled with her eyes closed. I yanked the pillow from under her head.

Kate: HEY!

Me: I KNEW IT. MY PILLOW! YOU JACKED MY PILLOW! YOU TOOK YOUR DINK PILLOW AND PUT IT IN MY PILLOW CASE AND NOW YOU HAVE MY PILLOW HIDDEN IN YOUR PILLOW CASE.

The picture flashed in my head again.

Kate: Emma did it too! It’s so much more better.

Me: So you decided to take my pillows?

Kate: Uh, YOU took them from ME. Nana gave me and Emma those pillows and YOU took them first! YOU!

Me: That was like two years ago. Whose idea was this?

Kate:

Me: I’m switching them back.

Kate: No, you’re not.

Me: While you’re at school. Yes, I am. I didn’t sleep at all last night on that pancake pillow.

Kate: Not very fun is it?

Me: Stop it. I’ll get you new ones.

Kate: You’ll get yourself new ones.

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I should have drank the whiskey. Scott slept great.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

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Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

Oh Emma, Oh Kate is a series of funny things my kids say. Emma is 11 and Kate is 8. 

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I asked Kate for my phone while we were walking through a parking lot. She handed the phone to me and it dropped. We both looked at the phone at our feet.

Kate: That’s your problem.

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Kate made a fake cast to wear. Emma signed the cast with “hope you feel worse.” For whatever reason, Kate left the cast on. I took the girls to downtown Kansas City. We sat in the KC Streetcar (like a bus). One of the employees walked down the aisle to make sure everyone felt welcome.

KC Streetcar employee: Oh no! A cast! What does that say there? Hope. you. feel. worse. Well that’s not nice.

Emma: (laughs)

Kate: (growls)

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Kate was in my shower.

Kate: HEY, MOM! YOU’RE OUT OF SOAP!

I walked in and grabbed Bath and Body Works “Vineyard” soap from under my sink.

Me: Here you go. Open the door.

Kate’s hand grabbed the soap and she shut the door.

I walked off.

Kate: SERIOUSLY, VINEYARD?!

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Emma takes the bus home from school. I passed her walking home on my way to pick up Kate. I rolled down my window.

Me: Hi, Emma! Do you want to ride with me to pick up Kate?

Emma: (takes a drink of water and spits it at my car) Nope.

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Scott: I’m going to kiss mommy right now, just to freak you two out.

Kate: Put your tongue in her mouth like you did at your wedding.

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One evening, I was outside on my patio with my computer, playing music. Kate walked outside and sat with me.

Kate: Put on Bruno Mars.

Me: No, I can’t write with Bruno Mars. I like this Spotify station. It’s called Relax and Unwind.

Kate: I’m taking away your wine.

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Kate: I have twins in my class.

Me: Aw, that’s cute. Are they boys or girls?

Kate: One boy and one girl. They don’t look alike.

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I woke up to Kate jumping on my bed.

Kate: Wakey, wakey! Eggs and Starbucks!

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Emma: MOM! Kate called me a butthead!

Kate: Uh, it’s called SARCASM!

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Kate: What should I be for Halloween?

Me: Be the Mother of Dragons from Game of Thrones. You can borrow my good wig.

Kate: No one knows who that is. I’ll have to tell my class with that wig on my head and say, “my parents watch this show.”

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I got a new calendar. I filled in the girls’ school activities through the year. I opened up May.

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Kate: I think I want to be the witch from Snow White.

Me: Good one! We can get you a basket of apples and….

Kate: Make Emma be Snow White so I can poison her.

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We took the girls to a popular sunflower farm near Lawrence, Kansas. Home of the Jayhawks. (A friendly reminder we are Kansas State Wildcat fans.) We ate at a restaurant in Lawrence for dinner.

Kate: I gotta go to the bathroom.

Me: Emma, will you take her?

Emma: Yeah.

The girls walked back to the table a few minutes later.

Emma: Kate said she wasn’t going to flush the toilet because she’s in Lawrence.

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Me: Scott, did you see Emma’s arm after the soccer game? Some girl from the opposite team dug her nails in her arm so bad she’s bleeding and now it’s bruising.

Kate: Ha! For once it wasn’t me.

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Kate went to the KC Royals game with some friends. Her friend’s parents drove her home.

Josie, Kate’s friend, told Kate she could rap. Josie starts rapping in the car.

Josie’s dad: Josie, that didn’t rhyme.

Josie: Yes, it did.

Kate: Just use the word “chicken.” Chicken rhymes with everything.

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I drove Kate to school.

Me: See how it’s all cloudy this morning? Kinda hazy?

Kate: Yeah.

Me: Those clouds are from Hurricane Irma.

Kate: They are?! Sounds like Hurricane Emma.

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Emma and Kate were fighting in the backseat of my car.

Kate: KNOCK IT OFF, EMMA!

Emma: I didn’t do anything, KATE!

Kate: You sound just like your mother.

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I took the girls to Panera for lunch. We were leaving when Emma said she needed to use the restroom. I told her to meet Kate and me outside when she was done.

Kate: Let’s just go. She can figure out how to walk home.

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Me: Kate, you’re trapped in an elevator. Which one person would you want trapped with you?

Kate: You.

Me: Me?

Kate: So you’re trapped too.

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Special Edition: Oh Kids.

Email me at: Jbugbytes@gmail.com if you want your child to be featured here! I only need first names and ages.

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Lane, 7: Hey dad, is it a good idea to light a fart on fire?

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Lane: Teeth are like torture for food.

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Lane (jumping into his mom’s car from a friend’s house, as she pulls away): Well, that felt like robbing a bank.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

 

Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

Oh Emma, Oh Kate is a series of funny things my kids say. Emma is 11 and Kate is 8. 

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I walked in the living room. Emma and Kate were watching Princess Diaries 2.

Me: Hey girls. Oh, I love this movie! Did you know Julie Andrews is Mary Poppins? (singing) Just a spoon full of sugar helps the….

Kate: Princess Mia is 21 and she can drink wine now.

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Me: Don’t put a lot of salt on your food, please.

Emma: That’s your own opinion.

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We took the girls to an outdoor concert in Minnesota. Kate followed me to the port-a-potty. I used the handicapped stall so we could both fit inside. I didn’t want her waiting outside in the dark by herself.

Me: Here, hold my wine glass.

Kate: Ok.

Me: And here.

I pulled my phone out of my back pocket. Kate “cheers” the wine glass to my phone.

Me: Hold my phone too.

Kate: Oh, I thought you wanted to cheers.

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Scott: LET’S GO, KATE! WHAT’S TAKING YOU SO LONG?

Kate: Knock it off, mommy’s teenage son.

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Kate: Can I make lunch?

Me: Sure. We have mac and cheese, sandwiches, and ….

Kate: Blah blah blah.

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Emma: KATE! Oh, my gosh! I think there’s a rat in your room!

Kate: WHAT!

Emma: Oh, wait. It’s you.

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Scott: You can never have boyfriends, Kate and Emma.

Emma: Neither can you, dad.

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Me: Let me pull that tooth out, Kate. It’s just hanging there.

Kate: No! I’m going to pull your teeth when they fall out!

Me: Mine already fell out. I have adult teeth.

Kate: I mean when you’re an old granny.

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Kate: Where did you go?

Me: I did a workout class with Cody.

Kate: Did Cody make it funner?

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In a crowded grocery store aisle.

Kate: Oooooo!! MOM! Remember these things?! Sooo good!

I took the margarita mix out of her hands and put it back on the shelf.

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Me: You better not be texting boys on your iPod, Emma.

Kate: I have a boy I text.

Emma: What?!

Kate: Papa’s my boy.

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I tried on a new shirt in front of Kate. I was checking out my backside in a mirror.

Kate: NOT cute on the back.

Me: What?

Kate: Just my opinion.

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Scott, Kate and I went shopping at Nordstrom for their Anniversary Sale.

I took Kate to the kids section while Scott shopped in the mens. I checked out at the register.

Saleslady: These socks are nice colors.

Me: Oh. My husband picked those out for himself downstairs. He’s down there now.

Saleslady: Such a good deal too.

Me: Yeah, he’s good at finding deals.

Saleslady: These jeans are adorable.

Me: For my other daughter. She’s not here.

Saleslady: And I’m guessing these are for you, young lady?

Kate: Yeah.

Saleslady: And what about you? The whole family got something but you!

Kate: HERS IS COMING IN THE MAIL. SHE SPENT ALL DAY SHOPPING YOUR SALE ONLINE.

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Kate walked in my writing room with one of my expensive charcoal facial masks smeared all over face.

Me: KATE! HEY! Is that my charcoal mask?! Those are so expensive! You need to ask me before you go through my face stuff.

Kate: (lips not moving because the mask hardened) Don’t make me laugh.

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My in-laws were driving the girls somewhere.

Nana: People with food allergies are getting bad nowadays, huh? Even Southwest Airlines won’t serve peanuts if someone is allergic to them.

Kate: Maybe those people need to think about driving to their place.

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Scott, Emma, Kate and I were driving in the car.

Emma: Can we go to Winstead’s? I love their shakes.

Scott: No.

Kate: Mom, you don’t have to let dad decide. You’re the mom, you know.

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Emma knocked down Kate’s hula hoop.

Kate: HEY! Dad! She knocked down my hula hoop!

Scott: Then defend yourself, Kate. Hit her back!

Me: SCOTT. Don’t tell Kate that! She’s going to …

Kate hit Emma.

Emma: OW! I’M TELLING NANA AND PAPA HOW YOU’RE PARENTING, DAD!

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In the car.

Emma: Stop smiling, Kate. It’s annoying me.

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Kate: Can I have a Luden’s? My throat hurts.

Me: Ok, but your friends can’t come back over.

Kate: What?! Why?

Me: If you’re throat hurts, that tells me you’re sick. I wouldn’t want your friends to catch something contagious from you.

Kate: (swallows) Just checking. Yeah, my throat doesn’t hurt anymore. Weird.

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Special Edition: Oh, kids

Lane, 2nd grade: Has anyone ever told you that a candy cane looks like a crow bar?

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Lane: Wyatt, rain is just God sweating.

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Gabby, kindergarten: You can call me Cicada now.

Me: Like, the bug?

Gabby: Yes. That’s my name now. Cicada.

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Me: Goodnight, girls!

Savannah, preschool: But I want to talk about booties.

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Colton, 1st grade: I remember when Stella was a puppy!

Me: Aw, I know! She was so little!

Colton: She was tinier than my sister’s head.

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Evelyn, preschool: Can I watch Sofia on your TV?

Me: Well, the TV isn’t working.

Evelyn: Maybe it’s dead and it needs to be charged.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

Oh Emma, Oh Kate is a series of funny things my kids say. Emma is 11 and Kate is 8. 

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Me: It’s 9:00! Go to bed!

Kate: Mom, it’s 8:49.

Emma: Yeah mom, stop rounding.

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Kate: Wait, a minute. Are you writing down what I’m saying?

Me: Yes.

Kate: Write to the people that I said you have a big butt.

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Kate: Happy New Day’s Eve!

Me: What?

Kate: Every day is New Day’s Eve.

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Kate: Can you imagine the first person to eat an egg?

Me: Yeah, can you imagine someone saying, “I should eat that thing sliding out of a chicken’s butt.

Kate: What?!

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Emma: MOM! I picked off a scab where Kate scratched me and now I’m bleeding again and basically this is all Kate’s fault and needs to be grounded again.

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Kate: My temperature is 89.1.

Me: That’s low. Pretty sure you’d be dead. That’s not right.

Kate: I put it on my chest.

Me: Well those kind of thermometers need to be put inside your body – like under your tongue. Or up your butt.

Kate: Butt?

Me: Sometimes they do that for babies since they can’t hold a thermometer under their tongue.

Kate: What about poking inside the eye?

Me: It’s placed somewhere in your body that wouldn’t hurt, crazy.

Kate: So putting things up your butt doesn’t hurt?

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Kate: What was your first job?

Me: I worked at a daycare.

Kate: Yeah right.

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Leaving for the pool.

Me: Anyone need to pee before we go?

Kate: Nah, I’ll just go in the pool.

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Hostess: If you can follow me, your table is ready.

Kate: I’d rather just sit at the bar.

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Me: STOP. FIGHTING! Kate! Stop being bossy. I’m going to start calling you momma bear!

Kate: Stop it, mom! I’m going to start calling you mommy bear don’t care!

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Me: Girls, today is the first day of summer!

Kate: It is?

Me: Yep, longest day of the year.

Kate: In real life?

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I asked Emma and Kate the same question, but separately. They didn’t hear each other’s answers.

Me: So who’s the cutest boy in your grade?

Emma: Ugh, mom. They’re all so annoying.

Me: So who’s the cutest boy in your grade?

Kate: Why are YOU askin’?

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Emma: Mom! Kate’s being rude to the neighborhood kids!

Me: What did she do?

Emma: She said we live in the biggest house on the street and she’s making people feel bad.

Me: KATE! GET IN HERE! NOW! Kate, you watch your mouth. Stop saying we live in the biggest house on the street. One – it’s not true. Two – Stop saying things like that. How would you feel if someone said that to you?

Kate: Sorry. The words just come out of my mouth.

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Emma walked in the kitchen.

Me: Hm, I don’t think Kate will like my dinner tonight.

Emma: Looks good to me. Who cares? The kid will survive.

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Kate had a friend over.

Friend: What’s this?

Kate: That’s a National Geographic Kids book. My mom gets free stuff from them because she writes for them. They’re in Washington, DC.

Friend: Where’s Washington, DC?

Kate: (points) Like, way over there or something.

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At Target with Kate.

Kate: I need a new bikini.

Me: You have a lot of swimsuits! No, you don’t.

Kate: Only one bikini.

Me: You’ll have to ask your dad about that one.

Kate: He won’t understand. He’s a boy.

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Kate rambled something.

Me: Sorry, I was reading something. What did you say?

Kate: Don’t make me waste my voice again.

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Kate: Emma has lipstick on!

Me: I don’t care.

Emma: Kate, you wear lipstick too!

Kate: No, I don’t. DON’T make me raise my voice at you, Emma!

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Me: Ready for math camp next week, Emma?

Emma: Ugh, I don’t know why you’re making me do this.

Me: Because your teacher highly suggested it before middle school. I put you in the same week as one of your friends. I figured you’d have a funner time.

Emma: Funner is not a word, WRITER.

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I was working on an article for SimplyKC magazine. Kate walked in my writing room.

Me: Hey, this is a work day for me. You need to get out of here.

Kate: Sorry. Can’t. I’m not old enough to leave the house on my own.

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Me: Oh my gosh, girls. 105 heat index today.

Kate: No wonder I’m so hot! I thought it was my shirt.

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I took the girls out to get things for our upcoming road trip to Minnesota. I pulled up to the library.

Emma: Can we stay in the car?

Me: No. It’s too hot. And I need you two to pick out some library books here for our road trip.

Emma: I thought we were going to Barnes and Noble.

Me: We are because I need to get something from there. You’re going to get books from the library. It’s free here.

Kate: But everything in life is free to me and Emma.

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There’s a new grocery store in our part of town. I took the girls in to check it out on the first day. A lady handed Emma a store map. Emma opened the map.

Emma: We are here. And this is where mom made us follow her into the exit door because she doesn’t read signs.

 

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Oh Kids: Nieces Edition. 

I put sunscreen on myself before I got my nieces ready for the pool.

Evelyn, 4: You smell like swim lessons.

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I took my nieces to the library. I let them walk around the kids’ section with other kids playing.

Kid: Is that your sister?

Evelyn, 4: Yes, her name is June.

Kid: Oh.

Evelyn: You should say hi to her.

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Me: Do you take naps with your nana, Evelyn?

Evelyn: No, I don’t take naps.

Me: Oh. Hm, are you lying to me?

Evelyn: No.

Me: I’m going to ask your nana.

Evelyn: But you can’t ask her because she doesn’t lie.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

This picture cost me $20.

I don’t post many pictures of my kids on social media.

It isn’t because I don’t want others to know what my kids look like or I’m trying to protect their digital footprint.

I am in a unique position when it comes to social media – I have public accounts. Anyone can look at my Facebook page, Instagram page or Twitter page. We don’t necessarily have to be “friends.” I made those public because it’s a platform to showcase my work. I’m a writer.

And to be honest, an Instagram account with pictures of my kids would be boring to everyone but me. It’s the same concept as handing someone my kid’s scrapbook – anyone can look at it and enjoy it but I am the most proud of it. Social media only shows the good memories. Happy moments. Sometimes people forget that and families appear to be perfect.

I’m not perfect.

My family is not perfect. Happy – yes, most of the time, we are. Do I patiently wait for my family to run out of clean clothes before they realize I’m retired from picking up their dirty clothes? Why yes, I do, because I’m a mean mom and evil wife.

I don’t post many pictures of my kids because I ask my kids’ permission to post pictures. Emma is eleven and Kate is eight. They both realize people they’ve never met will see the pictures. For the most part, Emma always gives me permission and Kate never does. I also never ask Kate because she rarely smiles for posed pictures. Her reason is because she “doesn’t like fake smiling” and no one needs to be in her damn business. Ok, she didn’t say damn but I know she’s thinking it.

I asked Kate to take a selfie with me at a neighborhood party this weekend.

She agreed.

I was shocked.

We took the photo.

Kate: That will be $20.

Me: What?

Kate: You heard me. I know you sold one of your books and you have a twenty dollar bill in your pocket.

Me: I’m not giving you twenty dollars to smile for a picture.

Kate: What if I let you put this picture on Instagram or Facebook?

KateJulie.jpg

This picture cost me $20.

___________

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And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?” 

Kate will take your money.

Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

Oh Emma, Oh Kate is a series of funny things my kids say. Emma is 11 and Kate is 8. 

__________

Kate: Do you have a bra on?

Me: No.

Kate: Good.

__________

Emma had a friend over.

Elle: HEY! I NEED TOILET PAPER!

Emma: Just shake it off and let’s go!

__________

I was driving the girls somewhere.

Kate: Telling dad you turned on a red light.

Me: You can turn right on a red light after a stop.

Kate: Oh. Still telling him.

__________

After school.

Me: Hey, where did you get that band-aid on your toe?

Kate: School.

Me: What happened?

Kate: Nurse said it’s infected and I told her YOU yanked off my hangnail this morning. It was all YOU.

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Kate: One time, I told the school nurse my throat hurt so she gave me a cough drop. I told her one time I asked you for a Luden’s cough drop and you took one too. And then I told the nurse that your throat didn’t even hurt, you just ate the Luden’s cough drop and told me not to tell dad.

__________

Emma opened presents on her birthday.

Emma: A magic 8 ball? What’s that?

Me: You ask it questions and you shake it and then it will tell you the answer.

Kate: So like Siri but better.

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Me: Emma, help Kate write her birthday thank you notes, please.

Emma: Ok, Kate. After you write “to,” write “thank you” and then whatever gift they gave you. Then write, “Love, Kate.” And then write “this friendship is OVER.”

Me: EMMA!

Emma: What? It would be hilarious.

__________

Me: Your hair is a mess.

Kate: Thank you for telling me that. How sweet a mother you are.

__________

Kate and I were waiting in line at Chipotle. The line was long.

Kate: Hey, mom.

Me: Yeah.

Kate: I bet you we could cut in this line.

Me: We’re not doing that.

Kate: I know. But I bet we could.

__________

Kate: I wish sunset was a color.

__________

Kate jumped in my bed. She grabbed my boob.

Me: KATE! Stop!

Kate: What? I saw you playing with daddy’s nipple in bed.

__________

Emma dropped a piece of food.

Emma: 5 second rule!

Kate: Chloe and I have a 30 second rule.

__________

Me: Hey, Kate. Come here. I can’t see my back. Is this a tick?

Kate: Hm. No. It’s like red and it has a white nipple in the middle.

__________

In the car.

Me: Ready for your soccer game, Emma? Do you have your soccer ball for warm ups?

Emma: I don’t know where it is. So yeah.

__________

I picked up the girls from school.

Emma: MOM!

Me: Oh God.

Emma: MOM! Kate and her SQUAD. Kate’s the leader, by the way. Kate and her SQUAD sat on the sideline of my soccer game during PE.

Me: How did she sit in on your PE?

Emma: We played outdoor soccer and Kate had recess the same time. Every time I got the ball, her and her squad chanted “BOO! EM-MA!”

Me: KATE!

Kate: Mom. I don’t have a squad.

__________

Kate’s teacher emailed me.

Kate’s teacher: By the way, Kate’s hair is totally cute today. I told her I love her braid and she whips it off and says, “thanks. It’s fake but still cute.”

__________

I took Kate grocery shopping. We passed the pre-packaged Rice Krispies.

Kate: One time, at school, I found one of those Rice Krispies in my lunch and I thought I didn’t like it. But I tried it and liked it and I was like, “Mommy, why you holding out this long?”

__________

Kate: I was at gymnastics today and they played your song, mommy!

Me: What song?

Kate: Bruno Mars! 24 Karat Magic. I was like, “UGH! MOMMY!”

__________

Me: Hey, Kate. Go tell Emma to come down here.

Kate: Can I yell?

Me: No. Go get her.

Kate: Is daddy here?

Me: No.

Kate: EMMMMMM-MMMMMMMAAAAA!

__________

Me: Kate, are you wearing Emma’s PJs? She’s going to be mad when she gets home.

Kate: Well, Emma is just going to have to deal with it.

__________

Me: How are both of you already tanner than me? I’m the half Mexican here.

Emma: Then maybe you should stop sending us outside all the time.

__________

Emma: Mom, look. It’s a swimsuit.

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Kate: Yeah a swimsuit with a ….

I glared at Kate, waiting for her to finish.

Kate: What daddy has.

__________

Scott: No one listens to me in this family. If I were to say “the earth is round” one of you would disagree.

Emma: Actually, the earth’s atmosphere isn’t perfectly round.

__________

I’ve been helping my sister, Jenna, these past few weeks with watching her two daughters, Evelyn (4) and June (2). Aunt Jules is always listening.

Me: Where’s Evelyn? I’m ready to take her.

Jenna: Pooping.

Me: Oh, I’ll wait.

Jenna: I shut the door to the bathroom and she told me to leave it open.

Me: What?

Jenna: She said she wants you to see her pooping as soon as you walk in.

__________

Evelyn: You look 40. Are you 40?

Scott: I feel 40 but no, not 40. Next time you see me I’ll drink from the fountain of youth and look 20.

Evelyn: It won’t work.

__________

Evelyn: I love my mom more than hopping.

Me: Hopping?

Evelyn: Like a bunny.

__________

Evelyn: Who held me first when I was born?

Me: I wasn’t in the room. You would have to ask your mom that. I’m sure your mom or dad held you first.

Evelyn: I remember this. I remember my mom holding me.

__________

Evelyn: Poop duty.

Me: Huh?

Evelyn: Poop duty. You think Emma and Kate would like those words?

 

___________

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The birth of Kate.

Good evening.

It’s May 7, 2017. Kate is eight years old today.

It’s story time here on the blog.

I can’t think of a better story than the birth of Kate. I’ve never written Kate’s birth story. I’m a little surprised at this because birth stories are one of those staple stories we, as parents, tell one another. Placentas, foot-long needles to the spine, a smear of poo on your baby as it slides out – I mean, there’s no filter when it comes to birth stories. No, I didn’t poo on Kate.

Before I begin the story, I will tell you I am feeling more pain now than I did eight years ago. That’s because my dumbass decided to book a dugout suite to watch the Kansas City Royals play the Cleveland Indians on the afternoon of May 6th. This normally wouldn’t be a huge deal but the group of people we joined are good storytellers and their stories always include a party bus, two stripper poles, fireball shots, and Prince’s power ballad, Pussy Control.

Back to my daughter’s day of birth –

Kate was due May 17, 2009. On the evening of May 6th, I felt contractions. I couldn’t sleep through them. Once the contractions were five minutes apart, we called my parents to pick up Emma and headed to the hospital around 2 am on May 7th.

I changed into a hospital gown and monitors were wrapped around my belly. The nurse checked my cervix and we waited.

Nurse: No change. You’re at a 3.

Me: No change?! They’re five minutes apart!

Nurse: I’ll wait another hour but if you don’t move, I might have to send you home. You are welcome to walk the hallways and see if that helps.

I walked the hallways with Scott. Another nurse pushed a baby burrito past us in a clear bassinet.

Nurse: Look at this little girl! Her daddy is a Sporting KC player!

Scott: Really? That’s cool!

I stared at the baby. And then looked at the mountain attached to me.

Me: Don’t let anyone upstage you, Kate. GET OUT.

I waddled back to my room. The nurse checked me again.

Nurse: No change. I’m sorry, Julie. I’m going to have to send you back home.

Scott: And do what?

Nurse: Come back when the contractions get stronger or if her water breaks.

Scott: If her water breaks at home, I’ll be delivering a baby at my own house. You better send me with a handbook on how to deliver a baby.

Me: SCOTT.

Nurse: You’ll be ok. It’s probably false labor.

Scott: No, you don’t understand. She’s Mexican. Last time she had a baby and her water broke, the baby just flew out of her vagina. And the doctor said she’ll be faster with this one. Get ready for us to be on the news with a highway birth.

Me: Scott, it’s fine. We’ll go.

I walked into the bathroom to change into my own clothes. I held on to the sink. The contraction took my breath away. I walked out to the nurse’s station where Scott was still arguing with the nurse. He was writing down notes on the hospital admittance form.

Scott: So I’ll take the shoelace and tie it around the umbilical cord?

Me: Oh my God. Let’s go.

Scott: This nurse is making a huge mistake. Sending us home like this when you’re clearly in labor.

Scott drove me home. The morning light was just starting to fill the sky with color. I was quiet. The contractions were intensifying.

Scott: I guess I’ll call my parents and tell them false alarm. They’re probably almost to Kansas City by now.

Me: Uh huh.

Scott: Why don’t they induce you? What kind of nurse is that?

Me: Mm.

For the next 30 minutes, Scott drove back to our home. We turned down our street. I felt liquid on my legs. I jumped out of the seat.

Me: SCOTT!

Scott: WHAT’S WRONG. WHAT.

Me: Scott. I think. I think my water broke. It’s all wet. Everything is soaked. Scott this can’t happen. Why did she break my water on our street? KATE!!

Scott: Are you sure? Are you sure your water broke?

Me: I know I didn’t pee. It’s gushing. Scott, I can’t stop it. I’m wearing your pajama pants. It’s all over my car! She’s not letting anyone upstage her.

Scott: What?

Me: Just go.

Scott turned around and floored it.

Scott: Damnit. We’re going to hit the morning rush hour traffic.

Scott started to make phone calls. I cried with the pain and the fear of my fast deliveries.

Scott: I DARE A COP TO PULL ME OVER. THIS IS THIS STUPID NURSE’S FAULT. I’M GOING TO FIND HER AND RAISE HELL.

Me: Don’t. Don’t kill us. Scott, you need to hurry.

Another 30 minutes passed and Scott pulled up to the hospital again. A nurse ran out of the emergency department with a wheel chair. I stood up out of the car. Water gushed again. I cried.

Nurse: Yep, your water broke. Let’s go. Dad, park the car and meet her in labor and delivery.

My room sat untouched since I left an hour before. Another nurse walked in.

Nurse: Yep, that’s amniotic fluid. Go change into a gown in the bathroom. If you need to, go ahead and pee too.

I sat on the toilet and peed. I wiped and looked inside the toilet. White flakes were everywhere.

Me: HEY! What is all this? Is something wrong? There’s white flakes in my pee!

The nurse walked in.

Nurse: That’s amniotic fluid. It’s normal. Nice and clear. That’s good.

Me: Oh. Hold on, another contraction. Ok. What happened to the other nurse in here?

Nurse: We had a shift change.

Me: Oh, thank God. No ass ripping.

Nurse: What?

Me: Nothing.

Nurse: I’m going to check you and if you’re far enough, we’ll call the epidural team in here.

Scott arrived. I was at a 6 and the epidural team wheeled their cart in. I finally sat in my bed, relieved I couldn’t feel anything anymore. The nurse walked in again to check me.

Nurse: Wow. You really go fast, don’t you? You’re ready to push!

Me: But I didn’t even get to close my eyes.

Nurse: I’ll call your doctor.

The hospital staff prepped the room. Lights came down out of the ceiling. Stirrups were placed in front of me.

Nurse: Bad news. Your doctor is stuck in traffic.

Scott: Are you kidding me? Can’t one of you deliver her?

Nurse: We could but legally can’t. I’ll call a doctor off the floor. Oh, honey. This baby is falling out.

Another nurse ran in and held Kate’s head. The nurse ran out of the room and ten seconds later a female doctor walked in. She put her hands up, like she was being held hostage.

Doctor: I don’t deliver babies.

Me: WHAT!

Doctor: I didn’t sign up for this. I’m not an obstetrician. I’m a D.O.

Me: You’re not a doctor? What the hell is a D.O.?

I looked at the nurse holding Kate’s head. My legs were spread as far as they could in the angry D.O.’s face.

Oh my God. She’s scared of my big vagina.

Scott: Looks like you’re delivering one now. Someone better catch my daughter or I will.

Nurse: We’ll talk you through it.

I didn’t push. Kate fell into the doctor-but-not-an-obstetrician-doctor’s hands. Kate cried. The nurse took Kate and put her on my chest.

Me: Oh, Kate.

Scott: Hi, Kate! Happy Birthday.

Me: Scott, her hair! She has blonde hair.

My real doctor ran in as the nurse helped Scott cut the cord.

Me: Oh, thank God. Don’t let that woman near me with a needle and thread.

Doctor: I’m so sorry. The traffic. I’ll finish you up. We’re going to deliver the placenta. You might have to push again.

A nurse took Kate away.

Doctor: Beautiful. Placenta looks good. I’m going to stitch you up. What’s your daughter’s name?

Me: Kate. Her name is Kate Audrey.

Scott: Hey! I won the baby football pot! It’s 5-7-9! And 8:30 am!

Me: SCOTT!

Happy birthday, Kate! May 7, 2009 at 8:27 a.m. – you never did let that other baby in the hospital upstage you. You always have the best stories.

___________

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The letter O.

Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

Is there any other O than Oh?

In high school, I worked at a day care. A red-headed mom picked up her 4-year-old red-headed son. Her son said something to her that made her laugh. She looked me in the eye and said, “when you have your own kids, write down the funny things they say. You’ll forget as soon as they say them so write them down. I keep a notebook in my purse. It’s hilarious.”

My 17-year-old self never forgot that motherly advice. That little boy is 22 years old now. I always wonder if his mom kept her notebook all these years. I don’t remember their names and even if I did, I doubt she remembers me. I hope that 22-year-old red-haired boy has a book of his own quotes to read.

I’ve been writing down what my daughters say since Emma was two. It started as an email to family members then found its way to my blog. The mom was right – I forget almost as soon as it’s said. I have to write it down fast.

This is my 80th blog post titled Oh Emma, Oh Kate. I always wonder if it will be the last. I worry one day I’ll wake up and Emma and Kate will be adults. The world won’t be funny anymore.

Yet, somehow they seem to top themselves without ever trying.

The letter O.

Oh Emma, Oh Kate. 80th edition.

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Emma: Let’s play hide and seek in the dark outside.

Kate: Hold on, let me download this heat sensor app on my iPod.

___________

Me: Emma! Where are your soccer cleats? Help me look. Do you know where they are?

Emma: Do I look like Siri?

___________

Kate started rolling her tongue.

Me: Where did you learn that?

Kate: (rolling tongue) Beginning of a Pitbull song.

___________

Kate busted into my room on a Saturday morning.

Kate: WAKE UP!

Me: UGH.

Kate: Mommy! Look!

She walked up to the side of my bed.

Me: Kate, I don’t have my contacts in. I can’t see you that well. Get closer.

Kate rests her stuffed boobs next to my head.

Me: What the?

Kate: Grew me some big ‘ole boobies! HA!

Me: Put my bra away, NOW. Get out.

___________

The girls needed some new flip flops for summer. I took them to Old Navy for some cheap pairs.

Kate: UGH. Why did you take me here?

Me: You need some flip flops and they’re cheap here. And I don’t know your shoe size unless you come with me. Your feet keep growing.

Kate: I mean, why did you take me HERE? I want everything. I want this. This too. Oh, and this. These are cute. This was a bad decision to take me shopping with you.

___________

Inside Old Navy’s dressing room.

Me: Cute shirt, Kate! Let’s get this one. A little cold shoulder top. Love it. Clearance too!

Kate: Yeah! (Kate shimmies)

Me: Are you shimmying?

Kate: I love shimmying in this shirt.

Later that night. Kate wore her new shirt.

Me: Show daddy your shirt.

Kate shimmied.

Scott: Are you shimmying? Do you know what that is? Don’t do that.

Kate: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m just showing my shoulders.

Scott walked off. Kate shimmied at him behind his back.

___________

I was writing on my laptop in bed one afternoon. I could see the girls playing hopscotch from my window.

Emma: YOU LOSE, KATE! I WIN!

Kate: (stares at Emma. Walks off to my outside master door. Drags the welcome mat over near Emma, hurls the mat at Emma’s back, then crosses her arms.)

Me: KATE! I SAW THAT!

Emma: MOOOM!

Me: I know. I saw. Kate, did you just hit Emma in the back with a welcome mat because you lost?

Kate: No. I hit her because she won.

___________

I took Kate on a sushi date. We talked while we waited on our sushi.

Kate: Let’s play truth or dare.

Me: Ok, truth.

Kate: Have you or dad ever picked your butt in front of a video camera?

Me: No.

Kate: Wrong. I saw an old video of you picking your butt.

___________

We were at Scott’s parents for dinner.

Kate: Daddy and I were playing softball in the house and daddy hit the sailfish on the wall with a softball.

Me: SCOTT!

Nana: Oh, Scott.

Scott: Kate, why would you tattle on me?

Kate: Because I can tattle to your mom too.

___________

Me: Hey! Emma! Girlfriend, bring your empty plate to the sink!

Emma: Oh, I thought someone would do it for me.

___________

Scott practices softball with Kate every night.

Scott: Ok, so what is your take away for tonight?

Kate: That I like myself.

___________

Scott sent a video of Kate hitting softballs to his friend, Hunter.

Scott: Hunter said Kate hits better than his own son.

Kate: Obviously.

___________

I poured myself a glass of wine in a darkened kitchen after the kids were in bed.

Emma: Seriously, mom?

Me: AH! You scared me, Emma!

Emma: This is what you do when we sleep?

___________

Me: Go to bed.

Kate: No.

Me: Uh, yes. Go to bed.

Kate: You wanna make an ice cream run?

Me:

Kate: You like that, don’t ya?

___________

Me: Go to bed!

Emma: No!

Me: Yes. It’s 8:30.

Emma: It’s really 7:30 with the time change.

___________

The girls went upstairs after school one day. It was silent for about 20 minutes.

Me: Scott, do you hear how quiet they are? They’ve been so good lately. No fights.

Emma: KNOCK IT OFF, KATE OR I WILL HOLD YOU DOWN AND FART IN YOUR FACE!

___________

Kate: Mom! Stella got into your bathroom trash and now there’s those white things you put up your butt all over!

(Tampons)

___________

Emma: Wouldn’t it be cool to paint on toilet seats?

Me: Huh?

Emma: Like quotes in pretty handwriting. Like, “Have a seat. Take your time.”

___________

Our neighbors’ were out of town. But their kids were home with their grandma. She’s a good grandma. She always plans some kind of activity for all the cul-de-sac kids to participate in. We received a note at our door.

Me: Cool! A St. Patrick’s Day breakfast! Have the kids come by anytime from 7 am to 9 am on St. Patrick’s morning for a green breakfast!

Kate: 7 AM? I’ll be sleepin’. Guess, I’m coming over at 9.

___________

Kate walked in my room, brushing her teeth with my toothbrush.

Me: Gross! Kate! That’s my toothbrush!

Kate: Emma put my toothbrush in the toilet so I’m using yours.

___________

Kate: Can we make a leprechaun trap?

Me: A what?

Kate: You make a trap and the leprechaun leaves you money.

Me: Uh, we’re not Irish.

Kate: Our neighbors do it.

Me: Are they Irish?

Kate: They’re from Colorado or something.

___________

Scott: Kate, pick up your shoes!

Kate: Knock it off. You’re mommy’s teenage son and don’t pick up either.

___________

I pushed through radio stations in the car.

Me: Ugh, Justin Bieber. I don’t like him.

Kate: Why?

Me: He’s doesn’t seem very nice.

Kate: Well, his music makes me feel nice.

___________

Kate: Hey mom! Will you check my cursive on the computer?

___________

Scott put Kate to bed.

Scott: Good night, Baby Got Back Becky.

Kate: Good night, little nipples.

___________

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