#AtoZChallenge: W is for What the Hell is This??


what the
photo credit: J13 127 via photopin (license)

Part of the net gain we parents get from having kids is the comedic return.

WYou know. When they do or say something so abhorrently inappropriate you want to blog about it. (Or send it to Readers Digest, depending on your generation.) Thing is, I’ve told my kids I wouldn’t. Well, mostly. There was the time Grace yanked my soccer pants down at halftime.

Mostly, the embarrassing stories happen to me.

Do you know Katy, the Experienced Bad Mom? She writes a kickass blog. She told stories of things her kid did to make her laugh. One involved a bra. The other stemmed from first-grader handwriting, a virtual fountain of fun, if you know where to look.

Although my kids have their share of blooper moments – tripping over soccer bags, mispronouncing the easy and toppling into mud puddles – I’ll keep their secrets secret.

Today’s story comes from my illustrious academic history. It comes from the age of fourth grade, a dark time in a boy’s development when nothing surpasses a fart for comedy, and all vocabulary falls short of newly-learned blue language.

When things need stirring

Somewhere between crude noises and dinosaur roars, Mrs. Baird passed out a worksheet.

You have to know a kid like me – yes, still – can’t be still when stillness is the mood. No, it just means things need stirring. All kids – boys and girls – found themselves in a state of behaving. My mind wouldn’t accept that status quo.

I giggled as the genius intention bounced around my prepubescent mind and trickled to my fingers and my No. 2 pencil.

I was Lilly Tomlin’s and George Carlin’s love child at this point. So. Damn. Funny.

There, on a blank blank, as the rest of the class thought and worked and behaved, I did it: I scrawled the word F-U-C-K. I couldn’t even contain the giggles at this point. I was Lilly Tomlin’s and George Carlin’s love child at this point. So. Damn. Funny.

“Guys,” I whispered purposely out loud. “Lookit!”

The guys looked up. Then back down again. They say art is often unappreciated in an artist’s lifetime. Obviously. This was gold! The actual F word, in a school worksheet. I don’t even know if it made sense or had any context. (I wasn’t a writer yet. Back off.)

Where the pencil meets the sheet

I rubbed an eraser rough on the paper and looked around. Dolts.

I shaded in the spot to erase any evidence. Last thing I need is sweet Mrs. Baird seeing this. Maybe she’d recognize the utter hilarity of it, though. My hilarious worksheet humor might make the rounds in the teacher’s lounge.

Maybe Ms. Lee, that cute art teacher, would recognize my badassery.

My mom flipped through the math sheets and spelling tests and holy hell, of all the things to actually pay attention to.

As is wont with a fourth-grader, for bad-word infractions, vegetable-eating and general hygiene, this incident quickly fell to the abyss of the forgotten.

Until I brought the paper home. Mom flipped through quizzes and spelling tests and holy hell, of all the things to actually pay attention to. She stopped on this sheet; I’d long forgotten what I’d written and had moved on to drawing football helmets and stormtroopers.

“Eli!” mom said, and pointed at the greyed out pitiful attempt at self-censorship.

My dad whacked my ass pretty hard at the moment I believe I swallowed my innocence and my blood ran an unfamiliar realm of icy.

My blood ran cold and I swallowed hard as I saw the defiant imprint of the letters F-U-C-K, not actually concealed with my assault of pencil led, but rather highlighted. It was as if God had shone a spotlight straight from heaven and through the kitchen window.

My dad whacked my ass pretty hard at the moment I believe I swallowed my innocence and my blood ran an unfamiliar realm of icy.

I ran to my room in tears. My parents waited more than a decade to tell me how hard they laughed as I lay on my bed crying. Geez, mom. Couldn’t we all have just had a chuckle at my penchant for the funny?

So, the embarrassing stories …

Imagine the years we lost that we could have brought this up at birthday parties and church functions.

Part of the net gain we parents get from having kids is the comedic return. You know. When they do or say something so abhorrently inappropriate you want to blog about it. Mostly, the embarrassing stories happen to me.

Better blog about it.

swearing quote

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27 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: W is for What the Hell is This??”

      1. Go big or go home. I can still remember my sister running down the sidewalk and screaming, “I’m telling.” 🙂

  1. I can clearly remember that I kept a “bad word” picture message on my phone when I was in high school (back when picture messages were still a hit). LOL. My mom saw it and I was reprimanded and she was serious. Ahh parents. Now when Reiko blurts out something not good from YouTube, I cringe! Haha.

    1. What was the word, Rea? At least tell us what it rhymes with. Parents are supposed to get angry over bad words, I guess – is it bad that I don’t?

      We didn’t have the great resources our kids do nowadays to learn the new stuff. It was more natural.

  2. LOL I remember saying “shit” while I waited at the bus stop after school when I was about ten. A friend of my mother heard me and said, “Lynette! What would your mother say if she heard you.”
    Aww man, I spent the next twelve months living in terror every time that woman and my mother were together.

    1. What made you say “shit,” Lyn? I had parents in our neighborhood that said they’d heard me say bad words, and told me Jesus wouldn’t like it very much. I felt so heathen.

      12 months of terror is enough to get anyone to give up the blue language!

    1. Or at least laughed *with* me! I guess you’re supposed to punish a kid for that. I’d laugh if mine did it. And I’d try to discipline through the laughter.

  3. A year or two back I found my son in the kitchen pushing buttons on the dishwasher. As I started to tell him to stop, I listened more carefully to what he was saying. “dammit dammit dammit” as he poked the buttons. “Whatcha doin’ buddy?” I asked him. “Dis da dammit botton.” he replied. I guess he noticed I don’t like doing dishes!

    1. Love that story, Rabia! Imagine all the other appliances and conveniences of our lives that could also included dammit buttons.

      It’s no small miracle my kids didn’t think broccoli and cauliflower were called “ah, shit.”

  4. Oh, Eli–I love this story so much 🙂 reminds me of all the good and sweet and innocent behaviors of childhood.

    Also I don’t believe I’ve ever moved on from a good old fashioned fart joke. They are still my favorites 🙂

    1. Thanks Charlotte – I just wanted to make others laugh, that’s all. A while back, a boy in church let one out in the pew (fart joke there!) and I loved that his mother’s first reaction was to laugh, then to tell him to say excuse me as she continued to laugh.

  5. I brought home a smutty romance novel from a friend’s older sister and hid it my room…only it disappeared and I wasn’t bringing it up. Nearly a year later, I found it in my Mom’s room. I smuggled it back to my room…and right out of the house. Years later, I asked about it. She knew I was a good kid and that by not saying anything, my freaking out would be more than sufficient punishment. Wise Mom!

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