Out of the mouths of babes


‘The Child says (and writes) the darnedest things’

Ouch. It’s Tuesday. Which means I’ve got to get a wiggle on and come up with a story to tell. I was going to regale you with tales from my teen years honing my writing (and phone-answering, address-stamping, and odd-job-doing) skills at the Carlyle Union Banner.

I’ve already regaled you with tales of The Dude’s and The Child’s fabulous summer jobs (see ‘They didn’t do this for fun, you know’), and thought I’d give myself a turn, so to speak.

But I just now waved bye-bye to the last of my Fourth of July Weekend houseful, one of whom (The Child, pictured above during a previous Fourth of July Weekend) inspired a completely different bloggy direction.

She and her bevy of beautiful girlfriends and The Dude and I were sitting around post-beach, sipping a few cocktail hour cocktails. (Oh, in case you are horrified at the thought of the pipsqueak pictured at the top of this post having access to a cocktail, rest assured that she and her friends are indeed old enough to vote both ‘yes’ to a drink and ‘no’ to a Trump.)

Anyway. The Child tells her friends that I make the best gin and tonics. I modestly reply that, shucks, I’ve just had plenty of practice. Then I go on to say, “Speaking of which, once when you were little, like two*, you were rattling a couple of toy blocks around in a plastic cup. When I asked what you were doing, you said ‘I’m playing Gin and Tonic.'” Gosh. Maybe I’ve had a little too much practice.

*About the age of the sunblock-wielding Child in the afore-mentioned picture

And I guess it’s true — kids really do pay attention to what the heck you’re doing — and saying.

Like there was another time I walked by her room and heard her muttering ‘Shit shit shit shit shit’ — just like that, in ‘repeats’ of five. She was trying to fit a piece into her map-of-the-United-States puzzle, and feeling a tad just-like-daddy exasperated, I guess.

But that wasn’t nearly as bad as the time I heard her shrieking ‘Wayne!’ at the top of her lungs. Come to find out she was on her tiptoes straining to reach a book on a way-too-high shelf, beet-red and near tears. She did not know that ‘Wayne’ was Daddy’s name. She just thought it was what you yelled when you were really really frustrated. Oops.

The Child, much happier now that the book is safely in hand

The Child, much happier with book safely in hand. (And yes, I did knit that sweater)

Another thing The Child accomplished on her whirlwind-Fourth-of-July visit was to ransack the attic for some childhood journals she’d remembered writing. Between sessions of beach-going and cocktail-drinking she’d regale us with passages. Like this one:

Oh, the compensations of Only Childhood

Oh, the compensations of Only Childhood. Plenty of time to practice your handwriting too, I gather

‘My cat, my electronics kit, and my rock collection’. Jeez. It’s a wonder she didn’t grow up to be a serial killer. Speaking of the above-written-about cat, I can’t resist sharing the next passage:

Poor Tuna. She wasn't exactly the sharpest chip off the ole Feline Block

Poor Tuna. She wasn’t exactly the sharpest chip off the ole Feline Block

‘Fallen into a toilet, jumped into a bathtub full of water, sniffed a candle’. To be fair, perhaps the fact that she had also ‘fallen down two flights of stairs’ had something to do with it.

Here is The Child, writing (perhaps in this journal?) while tuna watches from the safety of the beanbag chair

Here is The Child, writing (perhaps in this journal?). That’s Tuna, watching from the relative safety of the beanbag chair

Sigh. Time to wrap this up. And get busy for the next Weekend Batch. Stay tuned for that Carlyle Union Banner story. And, in the meantime, if you’re craving more tipsy tales, check out ‘Three and you’re under the host’. If your taste runs to kitties instead of martinis, there’s more feline fun to be found at ‘Tuna finds the Baby Jesus Sweet Spot’.

Have a lovely summery week. And be sure to come back next Tuesday.

Amagansett, New York. July 2016

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7 thoughts on “Out of the mouths of babes

  1. Oh this made me smile and giggle! ‘I’m playing gin and tonic’ has to be one of the best things I’ve heard a child reenact! My son is an only child as well, I wonder if feel as blessed to have a collection of rocks to keep him company?!! Absolutely brilliant. Thanks for joining the #weekendblogshare

    • Thank you so much Hannah! Yes, having (and being) an only child can work out quite nicely. Especially since children have no idea of any alternate reality. And they do learn to entertain themselves pretty well — even when they’re not mimicking their gin-and-tonic-swilling mommies! xoxoxoxo

  2. HAHA! Poor Tuna, to stupid to know any better 🙂 Cute cat who is/was well loved, regardless. Every now and then I hear the 5 year old holler “Eric Michael!” when he wants something because that’s what he hears his mother call me. Love the journal. Looking at it make me think I should teach Crash cursive. It just might help his neatness and random capital letters. Thanks for the belly laugh!

  3. Eventually the Child will be repeating your sayings, Alice. Just not for awhile but they are there, waiting to come out so she can say “Oh, my god! I sound like my mother!”

    • So true, Judy, so true. I often catch myself saying things my own mother used to say. ‘Because I’m your mother’ is one of my favorites. When The Child was small, it was ‘Because I’m the Grownup, and you’re NOT’.

  4. Poor Tuna. Two flights? A thousand years ago, our kitten stuck her cute little face into a plastic watering can. When she spun around to shake it off, she fell off a one-story deck into a bush below. She was a little stunned, but we never saw any indications of an injury. She was a small black cat, with a face that looked like Tuna’s.

    Now, what does Child currently say that sounds like it may have been picked up from hearing the parental units?

    • Yes. Poor Tuna. She was a great cat. Liked to sit on a stack of The Dude’s piano music and listen to him play. But, as she got older, she got, well, crabby and disagreeable. (Like some people I know!) So my Aunt had a great idea: she’d heard that some nursing homes welcome pets. So Tuna went to live with her fellow aging beings at the nursing home in the town where I grew up. She loved it; and the residents loved her. As for The Child repeating my sayings, hmmm. At her age (25), she probably makes every effort NOT to (!)

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