One of the best things I did as a mother — there might not have been many — was to write down the funny things my two sons said.
There’s a reason entire books and television shows have been devoted to kids saying “the darnedest things.” They are hilarious in their innocence and lack of inhibitions. (I just recalled when my younger son, as a toddler, mooned strangers in J.C. Penney.)
I got a Mother’s Journal the day I found out I was pregnant, and I started writing. It’s cringe-worthy to read the sappy words I wrote that day, but I’m glad I documented it. This was with the first child, John. I don’t think I wrote anything when I found out I was pregnant the second time, bless Scott’s heart.
As soon as John was old enough to barely talk, I wrote in the journal the funny little things he did and said. Because it’s me, and I am an unorganized reporter, some of the notes are on backs of envelopes and scraps of paper, stuck inside the journal.
Mothers post on Facebook all the time some of the hilarious things their kids say.
One friend’s little boy told his daddy, “You are just crying wolf, Daddy. You are in my nerves.” And the toddler got REAL excited when he learned that Jesus walked on water, “but even better, Mommy, he got to ride in the boat!”
I hope these mommies (and daddies) write those things down somewhere and don’t count on social media to be their memories.
A wise publisher I knew said, “The strongest memory is weaker than the palest ink.”
Looking over my journal last weekend, I came across some hilarious comments my boys made through the years — some funny, some sad, some sweet, some embarrassing. (John: “Mommy, are you having another baby?” Me: “No.” John: “Well, I think your tummy is fat.”)
I stopped and started writing through the years, but I have a lot of great stories, especially from my firstborn, who is 3 1/2 years older than his brother.
When my older son was 2, my mother-in-law asked him: “John, do you sleep in a Pull-Up?”
“No,” he said.
“Do you sleep in a diaper?”
“No,” he said.
“Well, what do you sleep in?”
“A bed!” he replied.
Sometimes kids misunderstand what adults are talking about.
Once when John was little, he argued about brushing his teeth. I told him if he didn’t, his teeth might fall out, and he’d have to go to the dentist and get the rest pulled. (OK, NOT my proudest moment as a mother.)
He looked at me, incredulous: “Dennis? The Menace?”
Sometimes it’s the adults who don’t quite understand what the kids mean.
When Scott was about 5, he asked Grandmomma, my mother, and me a question.
“Do either of you two swear?”
“Nooo,” we both said.
“Me, neither,” he said. “I always just promise.”
I’ll never forget, but I’m glad I have it written down, that when Scott was about 4 or 5, he questioned the existence of the Easter Bunny.
“But how does he open the door? He doesn’t have opposable thumbs.”
I even have a few notes from when they were older. When John was 13, I was asking him a lot of questions about something that happened at school. Unlike his mother, he is reserved and not forthcoming with information.
He said, “If you would just pretend I don’t know anything about everything, it’d be a lot simpler.”
At least he talked to me when he was a little boy, and I have it documented. The journal has several blank pages, and as soon as my granddaughter starts talking, I’ll start writing.
Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or firstname.lastname@example.org.