Out of the Mouths of Babes

Photo: I traced my first sewing pattern and cut from it today! What!? Look at me go! This is a practice run before I cut into that pretty hand-pieced quilt top I finished last week. Wanna make sure I know what I’m doing because that quilt was a lot of work! Now that the pieces are cut, it’s time to sit down with my sewing machine… dun dun duuuunnnnn….


It’s vacation week in Massachusetts, so we’re all home with children and we’re all coming up with things to do. I did another mom a favor yesterday by hosting Major’s “favorite friend” for an extra-long playdate (9:30-1:30!) so that she could take her elder daughter skiing for the day. Don’t feel bad for me: that mom did us a big huge awesome favor earlier this year and this was the payment for it. Totally equal exchange. Major’s friend has a pretty strong personality, but she’s manageable, so it’s not too big of a deal. They spent the first 15 minutes just running in the house. It was… it was a lot. But eventually that calmed down into other activities.

What I noticed, though, as I was watching and listening in on all the “fun” the children were having, is that 4 year-olds LOVE to replace words they know with gross words just for laughs. Major and Friend (I need a name for her… she’s going to come up a lot… I’ll think of one…) ran around my house screaming “Boo-boo banana butt” off the top of their lungs for a good 30 minutes. And, of course, “poop” came up more than once in the course of their play. And it would be at the most random moments, like singing the ABCs or counting or something: “ABCDEFGHIPOOP [hysterical laughter from all three children].” And though Minor doesn’t fully get the joke, it wasn’t just Major doing the potty talk. His friend was all about it, too! She started it, really. What in the what, ya’ll?

And I surprised myself by not choosing this battle. He’s been doing word replacement for weeks (usually with the word “taco,” which he still thinks is the funniest word in the entire world) but the potty talk hasn’t really come up. I’m appalled and yet, I dunno, I sorta shrugged about it. Boys will be boys? It’s so not like me to decide that this is ok… I’m sure that if we were out of the house or with other people, I’d be trying to keep a lid on it… but at home? But that’s a slippery slope because, of course, he doesn’t know or care about the difference between “at home” and “out in public.” So…

This was illustrated pretty perfectly by Friend, who was out of her house and using the potty language. And when her mother came to pick her up, she was like, “oh no! No potty talk! NO POTTY TALK!” Opps. Should have enforced that. It was hard enough to get that girl to say “please” or “thank you,” in my presence. There was no way I was going to get her to do much else.

It’s funny how quickly this all gets gendered. And it’s funny to me how my expectations for my boys are different from the little girls that are in our world. If I had a little girl, I’d be doing the same thing: “Poop isn’t a word we say when we’re not at the potty.” I can just see myself and hear myself. But for some reason, little boys? Shmeh. Boys are gross. Boys will be boys. That’s not a victim-less crime. I am going to have to be reflective about that. Then again, aren’t I fighting enough battles when it comes to behavior, decorum, and high expectations? Letting little boys say “poop” for a cheap laugh probably isn’t the worst decision I can make, right?

Don’t answer that yet, because it isn’t just Major who is participating in gross “boy” behavior.

Minor figured out that he can burp. And he can control it. And he can make it loud if he wants to.

Jesus in Heaven, please help me.

My sweet little baby, slurpin’ down his milk at the breakfast table. Then he just let’s one go!

And both boys just roar with laughter.

“No thank you… no thank you…” I mutter futilely.  The boys think that is funny, too. “Mommy! Mommy! I’m making a sound!” and then the child burps again… Lordy.

Major can’t seem to do it (Lord knows he’s trying!), but that’s ok, because Minor can burp enough for the both of them. Where does that even come from??

What’s a mom to do? Why are little boys so gross?

I tell my husband all about this over dinner yesterday. This is my husband: “Oh my God! They are like real boys now! I used to do that all the time! That’s hilarious!”

Suddenly I wonder if having a little girl annoyingly obsessed with Frozen wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all…

…no, no… it would be.

Let’s talk of other things. Let’s talk about Jambalaya.



Yesterday was Mardi Gras! I just had to have it! So after my marathon playdate, I went to the grocery store with two babies to go get some shrimp so I could make jambalaya! Now, I know that I linked to a Barefoot Contessa recipe on Friday, and that has been my go-to recipe for this dish. But The Husband went to New Orleans for a business trip a little over a year ago, and he brought me back a cookbook from a famous New Orleans restaurant (there is a recipe for Bananas Foster in it, my favorite dessert. That’s why he got it for me.), and so I decided to crack it open and cook from it instead. They have a recipe for Creole Jambalaya that is actually pretty easy. The recipes in this book are pretty accessible and, if you are at all familiar with any French cooking techniques and you’re just the least bit adventurous, I highly recommend this cookbook.

And if you try the Jambalaya (and you should, because it’s delicious), I tweaked slightly from the book: I added sausage instead of oysters (because the oysters at my local Roche brothers didn’t look that great and were outrageously expensive) and I did something else. The recipe calls for 1 cup of water, which I thought was silly. Water doesn’t add any flavor to the dish. So I took the shells that I peeled off the shrimp and boiled them in water with some salt to make a little bit of stock. It would have been stronger if I’d used shrimp with the heads still on them (which I always recommend). If you can put more flavor in, why wouldn’t you? And one more note: the recipe calls for you to put the shrimp in before the rice and you end up cooking the shrimp for upwards of 30 minutes. This creates very over-cooked shrimp. I actually prefer Ina’s technique, which calls for you to prepare everything, then put the shrimp on last, cover the pot and remove it from the heat and let that shrimp steam for 15 minutes before serving. This only works if you’re working with a quality pot that will retain that heat for you. Your shrimp, though, will be perfectly cooked if you do it that way.

I am so behind on editing my novel, it’s horrible. Just terrible! I’m procrastinating like it’s my job! Did I cut fabric for a sewing project today? Did I pin fabric for another sewing project today? Did I wake up at 6:30 instead of 5, essentially killing my edit/rewrite window this morning, dear reader? I’m a terrible person. Stop letting my procrastinate!

See you Friday for Quiet Procrastinating Thoughts. 🙂


11 Comments Add yours

  1. zeudytigre says:

    My opinion, just my opinion, is that if it’s allowed for boys it should be allowed for girls. Poop and burps come out of both genders. Boys can enjoy Frozen too.

    When my kids were around your kids age my daughter was taunting her brother and he kicked out at her (they were both lying on the floor playing). My MIL told him severely that boys NEVER kick girls. I reminded them all that there should be no kicking but I was angered at the implication that it was okay for a girl to kick a boy.

    I guess this is just something I feel strongly about, bringing them up equal so that they all treat each other and expect to be treated as equals.

    It sounds like that little girl had a lot of fun with your boys 🙂

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      You know, I admit that I’m going to be really bad at this. I hold on to some of those old-fashioned expectations of gender, even though I consider myself a feminist and I KNOW better. It’s probably my Father’s fault, who took “lady” training very seriously. I don’t even know how to break myself of it, even when I read your comment and I’m like “this is totally right.” I know it is right in my head and even in my heart, but can I say that I’m going to consistently parent that way? *sigh* I know better…

      She did have a lot of fun with the boys. She has a very strong personality and is clearly the leader whenever they play, and I think that’s awesome because Major runs the show here otherwise. It is good to SEE him follow and LEARN how to. It’s also good for him to experience what it feels like when he wants to do something and a peer tells him he can’t because, well, they’re bigger than he is. He’s gotta learn. It’s good to see.

      It’s been a while!! How have you been!?

      1. zeudytigre says:

        I have my good days and my not so good days but am okay. I feel for you with all that snow! Sending lots of warm thoughts your way 🙂

  2. I am eating lunch at my desk and I am totally cracking up. Tears are coming out of my eyes especially at the part when THE HUSBAND reminisces about his burping days. Love it! You smile and laugh and keep it moving. These are the precious moments that make up our memories for sharing with our grandchildren in the future.

    You have amazingly awesome memories to share!

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      Girl, I’ve had it up to here with them “precious moments” and memories… I’m about ready to cast these little dudes out into the abyss… not because of the burping but because WE HAVE BEEN STUCK IN THIS HOUSE FOREVER!

      1. I’m still laughing! I know EXACTLY what you mean. I remember the days when I stayed home with the boys when they were young. They’re 3 years apart so there were moments when my oldest tried to boss the little one. When you’re a SAHM your patience does wear thin during days when you have no break! I guess that’s why I’m laughing particularly hard. I remember and am SO GLAD I don’t have to do it anymore!

        Love you muchly! But know, this too shall pass. Take a lot of pictures of them so when you get nostalgic for these days you won’t rue the day that you were so tired you didn’t take enough pics. 🙂

  3. I do not know squat about cooking, hit when you write about it, all the mystery suddenly makes sense. it’s more detailed than good-luck-knowing-wtf-he’s-talking-about-Pepin, but less technical than AB; so somehow you make it clear AND appetizing. Well done you perhaps your novel should have some food in it 🙂

    Good luck with the gross. Two nephews, two bothers, and a sister just like ’em, toilet humor for the ages. I swear I was adopted. Be grateful that the word replacement hasn’t approached the level of obscene. When we hit that phase, the boys were required to give me 3-5 other synonyms. I was never gonna stop what public school gave them, so I tried to at least give them the education in English their school didn’t.

    Taco. It is pretty funny.

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      Heyoooo! I need to do that! “Give me 10 other words you can use instead of poop!” They’ll be like, “uh… one, two, three, four…” children are so damn literal.

      I wrote that Meadowlark novella with a LOT of cooking/food stuff in it. The feedback I got from the critique was a) “you’re making me hungry” and b) “why with all the cooking? It distracts from the story!” So, you know.. gotta tone that back, I guess. 🙂 The novel has much more stabby-stabby than cooking. Lord… I’m so BLOCKED right now!!! Driving me crazy!

      What the hell Taco. He picked it up from the Lego movie. Every day was “taco tuesday” for like 2 weeks!

      1. Write children’s books using food as characters. What would ham really do if the cheese was a bully? Would we rutabagas come to the rescue? Would Mother Mulberry lettuce? Ba-dum-bum.

        And to your critics I say, Eat, Pray, Stfu. We paid how much to watch Julia Roberts eat her way across the globe?

  4. Hi! I haven’t had time to do much blog-reading lately and had to catch up on some of my favorites. Hope you’re doing well and making it through this winter okay.

    I was cracking up at your potty-mouth story. My kids, too, love the potty-language. Nothing cracks them up more that hearing or saying “poot” or “poop” or “poopy.” Both my son and daughter, so I think the potty-language knows no gender! I think it’s pretty funny, too, except when we’re in public and they don’t understand why they can’t randomly scream out “That man looks like a poopy-head!” I am a failure on this front.

    Good luck with the sewing project. Can’t wait to see the results.

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      Hey Laresa!! It’s been a while!


      ahem. Sorry…

      Losing my mind, just a little bit….

      uhm, yeah, potty talk. Right.

      Yeah, you know what I’m really afraid of right now? That Major is going to go to Sunday school on Sunday and break out the “poop” stuff right in the middle of that very quiet, Montessori, prim and proper classroom. Mortifying. MORTIFYING.

      And the sewing project? Will post about it on Monday but, basically, I got all the pieces cut the first time and realized I cut the wrong fabric and sewed the wrong pieces together. So, that was awkward. Second time around, the cutting went a lot smoother and I got the right things cut, but then I fought with my sewing machine for about 2 hours and it totally won. I have NO idea what is wrong with my sewing machine. So… I have these pieces for this PRACTICE RUN on this sewing project that now I’m like, “should I just go ahead and cut the pieces of fabric for the REAL project and sew it by hand? Or should I continue to work on the practice one and try to make peace with this sewing machine?” I dunno…

      It’s ultimately going to be a sleep sack for my friend’s new baby. At this point, he’s going to be too big for it by the time I’m done!

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