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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Kate: Do you have a bra on?

Me: No.

Kate: Good.

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Emma had a friend over.

Elle: HEY! I NEED TOILET PAPER!

Emma: Just shake it off and let’s go!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Me: Your hair is a mess.

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

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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.

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Kate: I wish sunset was a color.

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Kate jumped in my bed. She grabbed my boob.

Me: KATE! Stop!

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

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Emma dropped a piece of food.

Emma: 5 second rule!

Kate: Chloe and I have a 30 second rule.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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?”

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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!”

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Evelyn: I love my mom more than hopping.

Me: Hopping?

Evelyn: Like a bunny.

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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.

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Evelyn: Poop duty.

Me: Huh?

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

 

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

 

How to write about your child comedian.

There’s nothing special about my kids.

My kids are not the smartest kids. They weren’t born with those type of genetics. They are not athletic because the lazy gene runs strong in my family. They also know how to awkward dance and they don’t play instruments. I’m really killing the gene pool.

They’re also not the prettiest kids. I mean, they’re the prettiest to me but probably not to you.

“There is only one pretty child in the world and every mother has it.”  Yeah, that’s it – the Chinese Proverb. That is why I don’t bombard you with pictures of my kids all over the Internet. I know my pretty kids are not your pretty kids. I don’t want to bore you.

I’m rambling. I’ll stop. I had a point here.

Ah, yes. The only thing special about my kids is that they’re funny.

Emma was two years old when I discovered the brilliantness spewing from her pretty mouth. Emma said something funny. I can’t remember what she said but I remember my response.

Me: Oh Emma, you’re such a comedian.

Emma: I don’t change colors, mommy!

I stared at her. I didn’t get it. I don’t change colors, mommy.

Emma stared back at me and laughed. She looked at her arm. She lifted her shirt and looked at her tummy.

Emma: I don’t change colors, mommy!

I got it. A chameleon! Emma thought I called her a chameleon – the reptile that changes colors. She didn’t know what a comedian was.

But I did. I gave birth to a comedian. She’s been spitting out solid gold for the past 8 years.

The difference between my funny kids and everyone else’s funny kids is nothing. My kids were not made from the loins of two stand-up comedians or even one stand-up comedian. I just happen to write about my kids on a public blog. The secret to writing about funny kids: it’s an art. 

It’s like photoshopping kids’ words.

I call it Oh Emma, Oh Kate. It’s a series of posts of the funny things my kids say. They can be a one-liner or a short conversation. I have over 75 Oh Emma, Oh Kate posts. I’m guessing approximately 20 quotes per post for a grand total of 1,500 quotes since 2010. You can read the most current Oh Emma, Oh Kate here and work your way back.

It’s not easy collecting them. It takes work and discipline. The result is worth it. I remembered the chameleon quote but I don’t remember anything else I wrote down when I go back and read old quotes I grabbed. I don’t even remember last week’s post. It’s like reading my kids’ quotes for the first time.

And that’s how I know they’re funny.

Your kids are funny too. I wrote a list to help parents start collecting quotes either for themselves or for publishing on social media. I’ve been publishing these for 6 years. My ears are always listening.

Your ears should be listening too.

Listen. Listen to your kids when they’re in the other room. Listen when they’re in the car. Always keep an ear out to what they’re saying. They say the best things when they don’t think you’re listening. It’s better if you hide and watch them slightly panic when they realize you’re gone. Don’t worry, they’ll always find you.

Talk. It’s ok to prompt them for a funny quote. Start a conversation about their opinion on, oh I don’t know, Trump vs. Clinton.

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Write it down. This might be the most important and most difficult to do. You will not remember what your kid said from the day. You won’t remember what they said ten minutes later. I realize I said my kids are not smart because of their genetics but I have a great memory. I promise you – you will forget. You will only remember that they said something funny but you won’t remember what. Trust me. I have to write it down as soon as I hear it. I write down quotes in the notes app in my phone. If I’m in the car or in a situation I can’t use my phone, I will repeat the few words in my head until I can write it down. You can also send them to me and I’ll screenshot them for later use.

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Always end quotes with the kid. This might apply more towards publishing humor. Any parent that publishes their kids’ quote to Facebook or Twitter is in publishing. The humor is the kids. Let the kids have the last word. Do not end the conversation with your comment or reaction. Let the reader feel your reaction for themselves.

4-year-olds are the best age. I wish I could send my kids back to age 4 for their quotes but then I remember I don’t like meltdowns either. My kids are 7 and 10. They still say funny things although it’s not as innocent as a 4-year-old. I still say funny things at 34 and I wish someone would write them down for me. Every age is a different era. School-age kids can be just as funny.

Use a two-laugh minimum. If I laughed out loud the first time, I write it down. When I read it later, after I forgot, and I laugh again – it’s probably good enough to publish and will make others laugh. I have deleted many things that felt like you-had-to-be-there.

Write how the kids talk. Tom Sawyer was a genius for writing Huck Finn in 1st person. It allowed him to write Huck’s distinctive, youthful voice. Your kids have a voice. They don’t speak perfect grammar and neither do you. Or me. Look at me. Writing all these half ass sentences. My English teachers are cringing.

 

Then again, maybe Scott and I are the only ones that laugh at our kids. All I know is how to save the humor like a photograph of a pretty kid.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. I promise I won’t bore you with pictures of my kids.