Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

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


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.


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)


Kate was in my shower.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


I woke up to Kate jumping on my bed.

Kate: Wakey, wakey! Eggs and Starbucks!


Emma: MOM! Kate called me a butthead!

Kate: Uh, it’s called SARCASM!


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


Emma: I didn’t do anything, KATE!

Kate: You sound just like your mother.


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.


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.


Special Edition: Oh Kids.

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


Lane: Teeth are like torture for food.


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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Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

I was getting dressed when Kate walked in.

Kate: Boobies!

Me: Stop.

Kate: I want boobies.

Me: You’ll get some when you’re older.

Kate: Then can I wear a string up my butt like you do too?


Me: Your face gets so red when you’re hot.

Kate: I’m just mad.


Kate: Will you make me oatmeal?

Me: Yeah, ok. I’ll get up.

Kate: Finally! I’ve been waiting for, like, 1,000 miles!


Kate: What if you had boobs on your eyes?


Emma: How much is 12 pounds?


Me: I gotta go pee. Be right back.

Kate: Well, don’t just sit there on Pinterest.


I rented the movie, Big (with Tom Hanks) for the girls to watch.

Emma: Do you wish you were a kid again?

Me: Hmmmm. No. Well, maybe. I would like to re-do some things.

Emma: I don’t wish to be a grown up. I don’t have a wallet.

Me: Ha! You mean, like, money?

Emma: No, like a real wallet to put my money.


I also rented the movie, Now and Then (with Christina Ricci) for the girls to watch. Mistake. Why isn’t that movie rated R?

Emma: Kate, truth or dare?

Kate: Truth.

Me: STOP. Where did you hear about this game?

Emma: I made it up.

Me: No, don’t lie. Where?

Emma: That movie you let us watch. Now and Then.


Kate: (runs in the room with Q-tips in her ears) I’m an elf.

Me: Wait! Let me get a picture of you!

Kate: (runs off) Can’t hear you!


Kate: Would you rather…eat REAL dirt and worms. Like REAL ONES. Or jump in a volcano?


Kate: How do you spell “bow and arrows straight ahead.”


I was shopping with the girls.

Kate: Do you have a ponytail holder?

Me: No. I have one in the car though.

Kate: I’ll just take that clip from your hair then.


Me: GIRLS! Why is my bra in the middle of the living room?

Emma: Kate was wearing it under her shirt after school.


Me: Happy Cinco de Mayo, girls! Let’s make margaritas and tacos for our Mexican heritage!

Emma: Ok! Can we have margaritas?

Me: Well, I bought a mix that you can drink. So yeah.

I dipped their glass rim in salt, added ice, margarita mix and a lime wedge. I made myself the same but I added a few shots of tequila.

Kate: This is yummy! Hey, what’s that?

Me: It’s the stuff you can’t have in a normal margarita. It’s called tequila.

Kate: Can I smell it?

Me: Ok. I’m sure you won’t like the smell though.

Emma: (smells, makes a face)

Kate: (smells) Mmmmm…smells so good.


I took the girls to the pool. We were walking out the door. I had on a tank top over my bikini.

Kate: That’s a cute bikini.

Me: Thanks.

Kate: What’s those holes on the sides?

Me: Oh. It’s just decoration on the bottom sides.

Kate: Good thing that decoration isn’t over your vagina!

Me: (Glare at her)

Kate: (Eyes get big)


Me: Kate! It’s your last day of being 5! You’ll be 6 tomorrow! Can you believe it?!

Kate: Can you believe you were REALLY, SUPER FAT 6 years ago? Your big belly probably went way out to here!


Kate: Do I have school today?

Me: No.

Kate: YAY! Dark lipstick day!


Kate climbed into bed with me. (Scott was out of town)

Kate: I had a dream I cut daddy’s ear off and I got scared. So I just laid there with my eyes shut, hoping it wasn’t real.


Emma: Can I have a brownie?

Me: No. You’ve been fighting all morning with your sister.

Emma: (leaves then comes back with a picture) Do you like this picture I drew?

Me: AW! Yeah! Lightening bugs in a mason jar! That’s SO CUTE, Em!

Emma: You can have it for a brownie.



Me: What? Why?

Kate: Because I’m mad at you.


Emma: Can I have some more Pez for my dispenser?

Me: Yeah, I’ll have to look at the store. They might be hard to find.

Kate: Target. At check out. To the left. The left side, mom. Like this side.


Kate: No, I don’t want sushi tonight for dinner.

Me: Why? I thought you love that place!

Kate: I do. But I eat too much of it because it’s so good then my tummy hurts. So I’m never eating there again.


Kate: Why do dogs have black lips?

Emma: Because it would look weird if dogs had pink lips, Kate.


Kate: Why are you wearing a Killin’ It shirt?

Emma: Yeah, mom! You don’t hunt with daddy and me!

Me: I’m wore it at the gym because I’m ‘killin it’ at the gym. You know, like, getting it done. Working out.

Kate: Oh. I thought you were going to say you killed someone at the gym.


I was on my computer and Kate was in the room, looking out the window, talking to herself.

Kate: Ugh. Boys. Get off my street.


Me: Did your teacher like your braided pigtails?

Kate: They’re called piglets.


Me: Girls, I might interview Eric Hosmer for the magazine!

Kate: Who’s that?

Me: Royals player. Here’s his picture.

Kate: Why don’t you interview daddy?

Emma: Kate. Daddy needs to become WAY more famous for mommy to interview daddy.


Me: KATE. You’re in so much trouble. Go to your room NOW!

Kate: Good thing I was walking there anyway.


Me: Ok, Kate! You can come out of your room now!

Kate: NO! NEVER!


Emma: Are Medusa and Bloody Mary sisters?


Me: Girls, please be quiet. I’m trying to take a nap. I didn’t sleep well last night.

Kate: Mom, I have to talk out loud when I’m writing my book. Been working on it for years.


Scott: You girls don’t know who Popeye is? He eats spinach and his muscles blow up big! (flexed his bicep)

Kate: You think spinach blows out his butt too?


It was the Royals home opener day. The girls were in school when the game started. The school must have been talking about the game.

Me: Hi girls! Hurry up, get in the car.



Kate: Knock it off, you little J SNAP. (snapped twice at me, in a J formation)


Me: Ugh. That turkey fan stinks so bad. Brett (our friend) needs to get that thing out of our garage.

Kate: Yeah! I’m going to tell Brett to take it back to Florida when he leaves.

Emma: Uh, you know, mommy will deliver it and just stay in Florida.


Scott: You girls are going to start doing chores to help your mom out. We will pay you if you do a few things around the house. Today, you can put away all your clothes.

(the girls put away their clothes)

Emma: I will keep a list of how much money you owe me.

Kate: (walked up to me with her hand out) CASH.


Me: Go put away your clothes. I’ll have money for you.

Kate: I have too much money from putting away my clothes too many times.


Kate: When will I get some boobs?

Me: I don’t know…like 12 or 13?

Kate: (held out fingers) 6…7…8…9…10…11….12. Yay!! Just 7 more years!


Special Edition: Oh Kids.

Kid: Can anyone break wire?

Mom: Well….

Kid: God can break through wire

Mom: Yep! God can do anything.

Kid: I know someone who is stronger than God.

Mom: Who:

Kid: God’s mom.


Is your kid 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.

Lies I told myself before kids.

Lies I told myself before kids:

1. I want a houseful of kids. I’ll keep popping miniature humans out until I have at least 12 of ’em. Birth control becomes your best friend after the delivery of your first child. Kicking legs over and saying, “no, get that thing away from me. I’ll get pregnant looking at it” comes after the delivery of the second.

2. Geez, when I have kids, my house will be picked up when company comes over. There’s no point in picking up anything until the kids go off to college.

3. I’ll be the hip mom wearing cut midriff tops with my teenage daughter and it will be adorable. No.

4. I will never lie to my kids about Santa. I’ll tell them the truth to avoid the big disappointment around age 12. Or 17. “Santa brought you an American Girl doll for Christmas? That’s so crazy that you told Santa that and never mentioned it to your dad and me. He must have pulled off a miracle considering we’re celebrating in Wichita and the closest American Girl doll store is three hours away!”**

**You found some lady that sold American Girl dolls from her doll – possibly drug – ring out of her basement in Wichita. Your brother-in-law went with you to make sure you were not murdered two days before Christmas. For the $300 that you paid for the dolls, they should really include a free bag of cocaine.

5. My kids will be best dressed in school. I can’t wait to dress them up like dolls. Your kids look homeless.

6. As soon as I deliver a baby, I’m marching my butt straight to the gym. Have fun with those rock hard double D boobs exploding with milk. Maybe they’ll think it’s sweat. Oh, you just got paged – baby is hungry! I said THE BABY IS HUNGRY. Wake up. (clap) Open your eyes.

7. We’re doing this parenting thing together. My husband will be a hands-on dad. Watching your husband sleep through the night for weeks will be the true test on how much you love him. It’s 3 am. Take his duck decoys, bow and arrows and tree stand off Craigslist before he wakes up. The life of a mother is not always fair.

8. I will be sure to stay in close contact with all my friends after I have kids. What was that girl’s last name that went to my Bachelorette party? When did I even meet her? Did we go to high school together?

9. How cute! I have like two grey hairs at age 18. Ha! Don’t look at the top of my head! Like, so embarrassing! You have 1,015 by the age of 33. They never stop multiplying. The kids did it. You’re crossing your fingers in hopes that some hip chick in Los Angeles or New York starts a grey hair highlights trend.

10. I want to have all girls so my house doesn’t get destroyed. There might be some truth to that statement but the payoff to a non-destroyed house is dealing with the she-devils coming home from the crypt, I mean school. I mean angels.

11. Kids can’t be that much harder than a puppy. Uh, you can lock your dog in a cage while you’re gone.

12. I’ll make sure I always have a hot date night set up with the husband. “And would you like to take a look at our wine menu this evening?”  Text message from mom: Kate screaming for her mommy. She hit her head. Lots of blood. When are you coming home?

12. When I have kids, I’m just going to save the sanity of the people on the plane and drive the kids to all of our family vacations. You shut your mouth, kidless me drinking a jack and coke. I will challenge you to a glare-down at 35,000 feet. I don’t even hear a screaming kid.

13. Dressing up on Halloween with the kids, running through sprinklers and catching lightening bugs in the summer and watching The Little Mermaid will be the best part of parenthood. Yeah, that’s not a lie.


Did you tell yourself the same lies as I did? Did you think parenting would be everything you thought it would be? What is the hardest part of parenting? Do you think it was rude of me to put Scott’s hunting stuff on Craigslist? I was hormonal and sleep deprived. Nothing was sold. 




And the Academy Award goes to…not me.

What’s that saying?

“If you love someone, set them free.”

I am going to amend that –

“If you love someone, let them sleep.” FOR THE LOVE OF YOUR MOTHER.

Oh kids.

This isn’t a post about the hate for Elf on the Shelf. I actually kind of like the guy. I like setting up different scenarios our elf, Buddy, has gotten into during the night.

Well, he is the Elf on the Shelf.
Well, he is the Elf on the Shelf.

Sure, there are nights when I forget to move him. I send Scott down to move him in the morning. This is always a risk.

Just wanted to make sure Buddy got laid. -- Scott, you left her legs open.
“Just wanted to make sure Buddy got laid.”
— Scott, you left Repunzel’s legs wide open.

We don’t necessarily use Buddy as a threat that he’s “watching.” It’s the hunt. The kids love the hunt. It’s Christmas morning for 25 straight days. The level of excitement that busts through our bedroom door at 7 am flings my eyes open with only one thought – murder. I must murder Buddy with a kitchen knife. This is way too early to put my acting skills to the test. 

Mommy! LOOK! Buddy blocked us in the kitchen with streamers in the doorway!


How are we going to leave the house to go to school?

Bust it.

Really? Like run through it?

Do it.

But we might knock Buddy down.

Rip it. Here. Go.

Let’s wake up daddy first.

Go get daddy.


Girls. Too loud. Too early.

One day the girls will not believe in Santa and Buddy’s existence. I guarantee they will wake up one morning and see right through my 7 am stone cold face. I am guessing I only have a few more years.

On that day, the girls will let their mom sleep until the alarm sounds. On that day, Buddy will still be on display but he won’t be getting into mischief every night.

On that day, I will have to set my girls free.

Pink camo.

So do you think you’re having a boy or girl?

Ah, yes. The ever so popular round-about way of asking, “do you want a daughter or a son?” Let me tell you – a mother cannot feel what sex they are having. I’ve never been pregnant with a boy but I’m pretty sure a mom cannot feel a baby penis poking her. This question implies what sex does the mother want.

The correct answer to this question is, “it doesn’t matter. A healthy baby.”

I’m sure there are some moms out there that could care less about the sex of their child. Not me. My raging, hormonal mess of a mouth would have told you a girl and stop asking me questions before I stab your eyes out. Now get out of my way so I can dry heave over the toilet.

I didn’t want girls just so I could dress them up in dresses and bows to play Princess Tea Party. I hate tea. And I can just as easily teach a son how to speak in an English accent. Honestly, dah-ling.

The reason I wanted girls was because I needed balance in the household. 

The testosterone levels shoot through the roof of our house. If it has no emotion – it’s at my house:

Hockey sticks, guns, whiskey, canned beer, bottled beer, home-made beer from taps, dead deer on the walls, a 4-wheeler, a Ford truck, hole-y boxer briefs on the floor, dirty plates under the bed, beard shavings left in the sink, ticks, poison ivy, dingleberry talk, toilet seats left up, deep freeze full of red meat, snoring, toenail clippings on the floor, pee splashes on toilets, loogies in the shower, bows and arrows, duck and goose decoys, muddy footprints, sweat stained shirts, big muscles and protein shakes, the voices of ESPN announcers, cupped farts.

My pregnancy brain was sending me visions of the future: Scott would take his son from my body and run off to a tree stand with baby boy tucked into the crook of his arm. I would get left behind delivering the afterbirth alone. No. We needed a girl. Scott needed to calm down.

He's taking my baby girl.
He’s taking my baby girl to the tree stand instead.

I had such fear in the father/son bond that I wanted a girl. A son would only feed the man beast of a husband. I would never have anything in common with a son. I would be the mom that begs her son to have a conversation with me.

My hope was fulfilled with one shot of the double X chromosomes. The moment Emma came busting into the world in tears, Scott cried along with her. Emma was just pissed off she had to breathe on her own. Scott was crying because he fell in love.

I was completely blind sighted by the strength of the father/daughter bond.

Emma has Scott’s “eh, whatever” personality. She leaves dirty clothes on the floor. Mud gets stomped through the house – first with Scott’s footprints followed by Emma’s. Emma picked out a spot in her room for her first taxidermy buck. She’s a sports fan. She doesn’t blink an eye at pulling off a tick from her skin. She’s a master at the kill shots in bow shooting practice.

I will never understand Scott and Emma’s desire to sit in a tree stand for hours. I could never kill an animal. Weapons scare me. Scott and Emma laugh off my sorry attempts at protesting hunting. They are counting down the days until youth deer season in a few weeks. Come opening day, I will be pacing around the house waiting for my daughter to come home so she can tell me all about her big hunt with her dad.

At least she pees with the toilet seat down.

Mother’s Day.

Emma: So uh, mom? I was just wondering … why don’t you wear dresses more?

Me: Oh, I don’t know. I’m just more comfortable in jeans or shorts. I don’t think I wore a lot of dresses when I was your age either.

Emma: Oh. Well, like, I hope you weren’t going to say it’s because you don’t feel pretty in them. Because you really are pretty when you wear dresses to work. You look beautiful.

Me: Aw! Thanks, Boo!

Emma: You are always beautiful but just, like, a little bit more beautiful in dresses.


And that was my favorite thing I got for Mother’s Day.

Don’t ever change, Emma Grace.  


Kate has staples in her head.

No one told me before having kids that a whole new level of stress is born the exact moment your child is born. The last place on earth I want to be is in a doctor’s office with a seriously sick or injured child. The word “worrisome” doesn’t seem to cut it. This is stress down to the molecular level.

Every nerve ending in my body was up at full attention when Kate got two staples pounded into her head last night.

Yeah, that’s right. Two staples, just sitting there, buried into the top of her head. Click-click. Click-click. Happy Easter.

Easter Sunday. Scott and I hit the gym while my parents watched the girls. On the way home, Scott gets a phone call from my dad.

Hey, get here as fast as you can. Kate hit her head. She needs stitches.

Ha! You’re joking.


Hey your dad said Kate hurt her head and she needs stitches. Then he hung up on me.

WHAT? Call him back!

I’m sure he’s joking.

He’s not joking if he hung up on you. That is not his way of joking.

I called my dad back.

What happened?

Kate hit her head on the desk. Hurry up and get here. She’s bleeding.

AH! I floored it. If a police officer tried to pull me over he would just have to follow me with his flashing lights to my parents house. As far as I knew, Kate was bleeding on the brain.

We ran into my parents house. My mom had Kate cradled in her arms. She was holding a wet towel on top of Kate’s head. Kate sees me and starts crying. Emma is curled up in a ball with my dad, terror-stricken. Scott and I examined Kate’s head. There was a large gash on the top. Blood was still oozing out. Her hair was matted and tinged pink. The gash looked deep to me but then again I only looked for two seconds before the waves started turning my stomach. Scott had his face two inches from her wound with a flashlight.

She don’t need no stitches. She’s fine. I played hockey. I can’t even count how many stitches I’ve had. It’s the top of her head. She’ll heal. Who cares if she scars.

Uh, my sister got knocked in the head with a piñata bat when she was little. She never got stitches and now she has a bald spot.

My mom whips out her phone and shows us Jessica’s picture text with her bald spot. Message: Take her to the hospital.

I text my go-to nurse friend, Cierra, asking what we should do. I get a reply saying take her in.

Scott, Emma and I took off with Kate to the Children’s Clinic. There must not have been very many Easter egg hunt injuries because there was no wait at all. Kate got right in. The doctor cleaned her head with some gauze and took a look. Her face grimaced.

Looks about 8 millimeters. Ooooo. Yeah she’s going to need this closed up. Generally with scalp injuries, we use staples.

If I wasn’t already sitting, my knees would have given out. I could feel my face going white. The doctor slowly talked us through what would happen. She assured us that Kate’s wound would be numb and she would only feel the pressure for a quick few seconds.

We waited about 30 minutes for the numbing gel to work. I had to distract myself. I texted our families to keep them up to date. I posted on Facebook that Kate was getting staples in her head and I was trying not to throw up. I watched Max and Ruby on the TV with the girls. The room started to spin.

Oh Scott. I don’t feel good.

Are you kidding me? Don’t freak out in front of the girls. Stop being so dramatic.

Scott. I’m not good at this stuff. I’m not dramatic. I’m dizzy. Ohmygosh. Staples. You’re going to need to hold her when they staple her.

I’ll try but I don’t think she’ll want me.

Two nurses walked in to start the cleaning process. Kate was changed into a gown. One nurse blasted cold water on Kate’s head while the other nurse held her down. Kate cried. I started to taste the Easter candy making its way up my throat. Then the doctor walked in. She asked me to hold Kate in the chair, with Kate facing my chest.

I panicked. My eyes pleaded with Scott.

Do you want to hold her, Scott?


Not going to look. Not going to look. Not going to look.

I gave Kate a bear hug to hold her arms down. I looked away. The nurse stood behind me and wrapped her arms around me and Kate. The nurse was face to face with Kate. She told Kate a story about the Neverland Pirates and mermaids. I hung on her every word, nodding my head that I liked mermaids too.

Click-click. Click-click.

All done! Just two staples. She’ll get them out in 7-10 days. You can wash her hair tomorrow.  Keep an antibiotic ointment on it. Just try not to snag it.

Oh Lord, she said snag. Like a knit sweater. I’m going to need to sit here for a minute. I looked down at Kate’s head.

OH NO. NO! She stapled them like a teacher staples things up on a bulletin board! Flat stapler style. Straight up, staples. Smack on top of her blonde hair and into her skull.

Kate has long stopped the crying. She is her happy self today. And me? You might as well pounded those staples into my head. I am nibbling on dry toast and sipping orange juice trying not to piss off my stomach. I should be eating full meals in 7-10 days when my baby girl doesn’t have two pieces of metal gleaming from her head.

Spongebob is banned.

I went out to lunch today with Kate. I should have just stayed home and made mac and cheese. And not the Spongebob Squarepants kind either.

I take Kate on occasional lunch dates. She does very well at restaurants when it is just us two. We chit chat about whatever her little 3 year old mind is thinking about. I will hear it all over lunch – who her best friend is at preschool, what her favorite color is and an announcement whenever she farts.

Kate and I walked into Panera Bread. The place was packed. We ordered our soup and sat down. I helped Kate take her coat off and get settled into her seat. Two older ladies were sitting next to us. They smiled. One winked at Kate. I smiled back, thinking to myself that they must be wondering if this blonde-haired kid is mine.

“I sure do miss having little ones around. She is pretty. And that pink pea coat! Oh, just darling.”

“Aw, Thank you. Kate can you say thank you.”

“Dank you.”

My buzzer goes off and I get up to get our food. I come back and sit down in front of Kate.


My mouth dropped in complete horror. The people around us stopped talking and stared. I heard someone drop a plate in the back. Our half of the room went silent. The two women next to us avoided eye contact. I could feel the eyes of the room judging my parenting. I wanted to grab Kate and run out with our coats covering our faces. Instead, I lowered my head closer to Kate.

Kate. That was not a nice thing to say. Where did you hear that? Emma?

No, not Emma.

Well, I don’t say that. Did daddy say that?

No, not daddy.

Where did you hear that?

Spongebob Squarepants.

That little yellow effer.

I’ve always considered myself a laid-back mom. We don’t have a lot of “rules” in this house. The kids are free to play with whatever they want. We blast music and have dance parties. I let the kids paint their nails and put on my makeup. They jump off the couches for my camera to see themselves “flying”. If it’s nice outside, you can bet we are running around at the park down the road. We invite friends over for playdates just to bake cookies. I make sure my kids are entertained and having fun. My house is not the cleanest on the block.

I am a hands-on mom but come on – I don’t have super hero kid energy. I work from the house most days. I will change the TV from the music channel to Nickelodeon if I need a break from the kids. Somehow I missed Spongebob whispering the sweet words of “you’re stupid” to my 3 year old.

Why Nickelodeon, why?? You’re a kids network. Parents trust you. I understand my kids will overhear worse words than “you’re stupid” from the outside world. Crap, they overhear worse words from their own parents – Damnit. Effer. Shit. My kids have never said these words. Maybe because they have never gotten as frustrated as Scott and me. They have no need to scream “DAMNIT” at the TV when K-State loses in the first round of the NCAA tourney. I have no doubt my kids will grow up one day and cuss the world out when they’re having a bad day. I’m ok with that.

But I’m not ok with my 3 year old shouting “you’re stupid!” in a public place where I’m sure at least a few parents were offended. I guarantee Kate has no idea what “stupid” means. Believe me, I would have been less embarrassed if she said damnit. My parenting lesson is learned. A new rule of the house has been added. At least for a few years until Kate understands the meaning of her word choices.

1. No screaming.

2. No Spongebob Squarepants.

Child Geniuses.

My sister, Jessica, sent me a video of her 11 month old doing sign language at the dinner table. Baby sign language is adorable. That little Gabby is so smart. I’m tearing up imagining her graduate magna cum laude from K-State one day, just like her mommy.

Scott and I did NOT graduate magna cum laude. Our kids will graduate from K-State following in our own footsteps – with a major in Aggieville. Geniuses, I tell you. Geniuses.

I sent Jessica back a couple videos of her nieces:


Oh Dad.

Let me get you all up to speed here.

The big news is I got a job. It involves research and a lot of creative writing. I probably don’t need to tell you that I’ve been having a blast at “work”. It’s not even work to me. It’s free time away from my kids so I can have some fun – with a paycheck.

Since I went back to work, life at home has shifted. Things just don’t get done anymore without me home all day. Grocery shopping. The gym. Playing with the kids. Cleaning the house. Laundry. I get like 2.5 seconds to get stuff done at night. At this rate, I’m going to be 50 tomorrow.

The things I normally get done during the week are now packed into the weekends. In the past 7 years, Scott has only gone to the grocery store with the kids oh, maybe a handful of times. I secretly enjoy grocery shopping as a family. I always end up walking about 5 steps behind them and just observing Scott slowly go crazy. Sure, that’s a little cruel but he always did say my stay-at-home job was easy.

Ha! Easy. We ran some errands this weekend.

Dad mistake #1: Taking your time at the store. Scott did not get in and out as quickly as possible while at Target. He casually strolled each aisle. He lingered. He spent 15 minutes trying to decide on a deodorant smell. I gave him a friendly warning.

Me: Dude. You need to quit la-dee-da’ing. You know they are like ticking time bombs.

Scott: They’re fine.

Me: Yeah, they’re fine now. I’m just warnin’ you. Pick out a deodorant.

Dad mistake #2: Giving the kids “weapons” as a distraction. We start to leave the check out at Target. Well, would you look at that. A fight breaks loose. I don’t even know what they were fighting about. Freakin’ what color the sky is. Who knows. It was a fight in a public setting. People were staring.

Me: Let’s just walk fast out to the car.

Scott: No, Bug. I can handle this. Girls! You need to listen to me and behave.

I stared at the ground, my lips pressed together, desperately trying not to laugh or make eye contact with the girls. The fighting continues.

Scott: Here. (pulls out two windshield wiper blades) They’re swords!

Emma and Kate: COOL!!!

I open my mouth. Then shut it. I give the girls a weary eye.

Scott: THAT is how you handle the store with kids. It’s all under control. I’m like the greatest dad ever.


Me: I’m sorry. Did you say something, Scott?

Dad mistake #3: Never opt for the cone. We went to an ice cream place after the gym. Brilliant idea – I know.

Emma: Can I get a cone?

Me: No.

Kate: Can I get a cone?

Me: No. Everyone is getting a cup.

Scott: Oh, come on, Bug. They can have a cone. It’s the only way to eat ice cream! Three cones, please.

Emma: With sprinkles?

Scott: Sure, babe.

Oh dear. If I were an actor on Modern Family, this is the point where I would turn my head to the camera and stare with no emotion.

We sat down and ate our ice cream. Emma, Kate and Scott all had monster cones. I silently ate my ice cream from a cup, eyeing all three of them trying to catch the drips down the cones.

Emma: Hey! There’s a soggy part in my cone! Feel!

Me: Eat faster.

Kate: Hey, mine is soggy too! It’s falling in!

Me: Have daddy help. He’s done.

Ice cream was dripping all over the girls’ hands.

Kate: I need a towel! My hands are sticky! (starts crying)

Me: Ok. Scott will you get some napkins and ask for bowls, please?

Scott gets up and scrambles for napkins and bowls. We leave. The girls have their upside down cones in their cups in the backseat of the car.

Emma: It’s still dripping! I don’t want this anymore!

Kate: I’m done too!

Scott: Give me the cones. Are both of you done? I’m throwing them out the window. Girls, next time we are getting cups. No more cones, got it?

Me: I’m sorry. What did you say, Scott? I didn’t hear you?

Dad mistake #4: Tearing up while packing your kid’s school snack. Ok, that’s really not a mistake. But really, Pook?

Me: Hey, will you get Emma a snack for school tomorrow? She likes jerky. Just put some in a baggie and put it in her backpack.

Scott: Yeah, like how much?

Me: Oh, I don’t know. A few strips. Not a lot.

Scott: (making a sad face) Ah! Her little school snack baggie! Here baby girl, you can have a few extra pieces from daddy.

Me: Are you seriously tearing up at getting her snack ready? I have been doing this every night since school started!

Scott: But it’s so cute packing her bag for the morning while she’s sleeping.

Me: That is all yours, the rest of the school year. You have lunch/snack duty.

Yep, I’d say my new job is 100 times easier than my old one. I am looking forward to teaching Scott a few tricks of the trade at my “old job”. Lucky for him, it will fly by. We’ll be 50 and dropping the kids off at college tomorrow.