Monday, August 29, 2011


This is about the age my 
little angel was when
 this story happened.

This is absolutely my favorite story, and the star of this story is my daughter Patricia.  It is hard to describe young Patricia.  She was my daring one; she was continually pushing the envelope.  As a young child she was definitely a drama queen who would constantly find ways to surprise us all. 

For example, before she was two, she found out that crying was a good way to get attention (but, most kids know that).  She was an adorable little imp and would cloud up whenever the mood struck her.  Only this little charmer would add a her own little twists.  She would dash through the room and dramatically throw herself onto the couch, bed, or whatever was available.  But, even that wasn’t enough for Patty.  She would detour by a box of kleenex, avail herself of a few tissues, press them to her face (leaving plenty of peeking room), and then perform the dramatic "fling" onto a piece of furniture.

I have already written several stories about Patricia but this next one happened when she was almost three years old.  It, by far, takes the prize and I decided to post this one on her birthday.

To set the stage, it was a lovely evening in a quiet little neighborhood in Southern California.  My family and I had just sat down to dinner.  Dad (the stern but fair principal of the local Jr. High) sat at the head of the table, as usual.  Patty (the imp) was parked at the foot of the table in her high chair (minus the tray) looking like an angle.  Mom (a slightly prudish, one time escrow agent, now housewife) was sitting on the side to Dad’s left.  Gene (my earnest six year old son) was sitting on the side to Dad’s right.  I (at that time a courtroom clerk at the municipal court) was sitting by my mother and to Patty’s right.  The table was neatly set; a Norman Rockwell setting if there ever was one.  There, have the picture?

My mother was an excellent cook and we all sat there with our mouths watering at the fare she had set before us.  There we were, the typical American family of the sixties.   We were a normal (except for me as I had just gone through a divorce), very wholesome (not a fowl word could ever be heard), church going  (every Sunday like clockwork) family about to have our typical, normal, wholesome, delicious dinner.  

Without warning Patty spoke up… … …   From her beautiful, pink, bow shaped mouth came words I WILL NEVER FORGET!   This sweet little child in a sing song-ie wee voice said,

“Pass the F- - - ing peas, please.”
(Only she said the actual word.)

Dad’s fork stopped two inches short of his mouth and he froze with the dazed look of a dear caught in headlights.

Mom let out a gasp that practically sucked her napkin off the her lap and threw her right hand across her heart.

Gene, then in kindergarten, fell to the floor laughing hysterically and clutching his groin (he, apparently had already learned that word somewhere).

I sat there dumbfounded as Mom and Dad slowly turned their eyes from Patty to me.  Ok, ok, in my misspent youth I did use THAT WORD once (ok often) to drive a point home or when I was angry.  But I hadn’t used THAT WORD since my children were born.

You could have heard a pin drop if not for the gasping and giggling coming from my son on the floor.

Patty immediately formed a frown on her forehead and looked irked that no one was passing her the peas.  She opened her mouth as if to speak again and that is all it took to immediately mobilize me.  I  burst out of my temporary coma and launched myself toward her.  Scooping her up into my arms I rushed to the bathroom; Patty protesting all the way. 

As I am sure you can imagine, how hard it is to have a discussion with a three year old child about the inappropriateness of a word, and questions about where she learned THAT WORD!  “What word, Mommy?” she said.  What made it worse is that I had to use THAT WORD in order to ask her.  It was awful!  I didn’t know what to do.

Well, about thirty minutes later we returned to the table.  Gene began to giggle again, but both Mom and Dad shot him a look that clammed that kid up, fast.  We made sure that Patty had plenty of peas and potatoes and roast, and everything else we could think of so she wouldn’t need to ask for anything for the rest of the meal.

Later, I informed my parents of what I had gleaned from my little talk with Patty.  Irately, Patty had said, "Mommy,  Sammy’s brothers say that all the time."  

Now, Sammy was her little playmate from next door (who had four older brothers).  Consequently, my mother (who was the caregiver while I was at work) made sure that Patty never went to Sammy’s house ever again. (Incidentally, Sammy was the kid Patty tried to test her toy thermometer on…rectally.  See  PAPER OR PLASTIC listed below).

In the first part of the story I told you about Patty’s attention seeking stunts.  Well, I tried everything to get rid of THAT WORD, but once Patty found out about all the attention she received (using THAT WORD) she used it more often.  

Consequently she was kicked out of two preschools for what they called, earthy language.  They always gave me the fish eye when I came in to pick her up.  Then she entered Kindergarten.  Needless to say, I wasn't looking forward to my trips to to the principal's office.   The first day I thought it fair to warn the teacher of "THE PROBLEM".  I don’t know what that teacher did (I was afraid to ask because if she told me I may have to report her for child abuse) but before the first quarter was over THAT WORD was gone.

During her college years THAT WORD showed up again and enjoyed a long run.  I think it still OCCASIONALLY pops out.  It's amazing how THAT WORD doesn't have the same ring to it once a person has children.

Happy Birthday, darling.  With you around there was NEVER a dull second.  You kept me on my toes and gave me reason to laugh frequently.  I treasure each and every memory of you, my dear daughter.  I would not change even one little moment of my life with you.  

I am so very proud of the woman you have become.  You are a loving and devoted wife and mother who gives it all when it comes to your family.  You are an attentive and supportive daughter and have acted as my cheerleader on several occasions.  You make this world a better place and I love you so very much.  You are so F---ing awesome! 

And here's my beautiful angel now:

Watching her children at the bow of the boat...

While in Ocean City, NJ 2011


 kt 8/2/11


  1. Tree,

    Yes, I still, to this day, use that word. Sometimes it just fits the situation.

    Thanks for a wonderful and funny start to my 45th birthday. Wow, I can't believe I'm 45. Thanks to you, I made it.

    I wouldn't be who I am today without you as my mother. I am the luckiest girl in the world. Thanks for being a GREAT F..king mother, friend, grandmother and now blogger. I love you and miss you terribly. Hugs and kisses are loaded throughout this message.



  2. What a beautiful birthday post. Patty is gorgeous!

    You set up this story perfectly LOL! I had no idea the f-bomb was about to drop. I laughed so hard :0)

    One time The Scribe called my mother-in-law a stinker sh*@! Good times . . . good times :)

  3. That was a great post. I can remember the only time my Mom ever said that word - she was mad at my Father and I guess wanted to STRESS THE FACT - whatever my Father did to get that reaction out of her, he never did again. ha,ha
    Too funny - wonderful story - your daughter looks just like Mum. Thanks for starting my day with a giggle.

  4. What a wonderful story (apart from the use of THAT word!)...I had tears streaming down my face as I saw the looks on your parents' faces (Yes, your description was THAT good, I could actually SEE them!) Karen, you honestly are an incredibly funny and wonderful person...I'd be ecstatic if I awoke to find you napping in amongst my clivias :)

    Patty is beautiful! She looks so serene...that being said, I'm sure she hardly ever has to use THAT word these days! The resemblance of Grandmother, Daughter and Granddaughter is uncanny, BTW!

    Happy Birthday, Patricia!!!

    And, Karen, I have emotional tears in my eyes, too, after reading your beautiful tribute to your precious daughter! Patty has an incredibly special Mother!

    Huge hug,
    Des xoxo

  5. Oh, I've just scrolled back to read everyone else's comments now...I see Patty IS still using THAT word :)


    Reminds me of the time my daughter was being toilet trained. As a parent of young children I realized I had to clean up my language & made EVERY EFFORT to do so. I had cut my finger earlier in the day & said s--t before I could stop myself. Anyway, my daughter had tried to pee standing up like her father & had, of course, wet her legs. Bud had just come home & was walking by the bathroom. He heard her & said that we don't talk like that in this house. Nancy said, "Mommy does!"

    You got me yesterday--I tried to open it!

    Would you please check ypur f--king email!

  7. Lovely post. You truly are lucky to have one another, and Patty's baby applets are lucky to have the foundation of this magnificent tree to support them.
    Happy Birthday Patty!

  8. Pass the fucking peas from a two year old? You just gotta love that.

  9. Oh my God, that was hilarious...and she was only two. It reminds me of the Christmas Story movie. That's definietely a moment to remember. Too bad you didn't catch in on film. :)

  10. I forgot to mention that Nancy used the same word as I did.

    I just read your comment on my email on Carol's blog. She used to have trouble getting my email, too, until she set up a special box (or something) for my stuff. It all used to go into her "junk mail". Now that I think of it, that MAY have been the right place. You might ask her what she did.

    Maybe if you sent me an email at I could hit reply & that might unclog some of our collective pipes.
    It's worth a try.

  11. Happy Birthday to your Daughter!

    I love this story! :) It's a great one!

  12. I got your email & hit REPLY to send you an answer--did you get it? Also, I asked Melynda if she knew if you actually got her emails. She said she had no idea. Do you?

    I HATE to use "comments" as a Q & A session.

  13. That was a wonderful post, and did make me giggle :-) Happy birthday to your daughter, there was a lot of love in that story.

  14. Awww...I was laughing at the first part and crying at the second.

  15. What a story! And, of course, everyone looks at you because she must have heard it at home.

  16. Morning KT - thankyou for the wonderful message you left on my blog. I wanted to say thanks for following me and am attaching a note for you
    A little about me – I am retired (Draftswoman) – spelt “RETIRED” I am olde enough to collect “OLDE age pension” – what an insult – it should be called “Lilly’s Collectible Allowance”. OLDE is only a word someone invented, that didn’t understand OLDE – You know those Olde sentences – you are olde enough to do this, you’re not olde enough to do this, now that you’re this olde, etc,etc – u get the pic, right. I also like to spell Olde my way 
    I enjoy sitting on the beach and listening to the waves hit the shore – I especially enjoy the waves at “Irving Park”(Saint John, New Brunswick) during a high wind storm, for the waves are really huge and “Crash” on the beach.
    I enjoy watching Mother Nature give Birth in the Spring and love the first snowflake of winter – its all beautiful and its all mine to enjoy. I am hungry for all the “Classical Tunes in the World”.
    I like to read, write poetry and carry my camera and take Puppy Jack almost everywhere I go. Puppy Jack is my beloved Cairn – what a treasure she is – makes your heart go “Boom Boom”.
    Now, you may be asking yourself, why did she pick a name like “SaucyKodz”?
    OK, story goes like this. I have been told that I tend to be a wee bit SAUCY, and our family came from a line of Fishermen n Women, so KOD as in codfish was easy enough. Now, there is more than one in the household, so I didn’t want the easy way out to end this word “SaucyKod” by just adding a simple “S” to it, so I chose “Z”, for I love the last letter of the alphabet and it has a certain ring to it; don’t u think??
    I wanted to send this to you by mail, but didn't have an opportunity to reply, so doing it this way. Thanks for dropping by my site and thanks for the history of your "Dog Love"
    Cheers n have a nice day

  17. First Happy Belated Birthday Patty!
    Second I laughed so hard I have a stomach ache. Priceless moments with our children that we can look back on and tease them about is worth everything isn't it. What a lovely tribute at the end of this post. She is truly beautiful just like her mom.

  18. This is too funny! I love how you describe everyone's reaction. It is funny how these things work out- I have such a foul mouth it could peel paint and my kids have never cussed. Go figure.
    Just wanted to let you know I was alive. I am sticking to my 1 hour a day rule on the computer and it has definitely helped me be more productive and present at home.

  19. I also laughed like a loon at this. Perfectly set up too Karen. I held back a little tear though when I read the first comment from your beautiful daughter (and she is a stunner) is so nice to see such a close link between a mother and daughter. It brought a lump to my throat.I might even have to phone my own mother who taught me how to swear in Italian so no one else would know if I was saying a bad word!
    Belated happy birthday Patricia. XOXO

  20. That was a great story, kt. You did a fabulous job setting it up. I could just see everyone sitting serenely around the table, and the reactions after! So funny! Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter!

  21. LOL haha! Hearing that from a three year old would also shock me!

    I actually get multilingual (when I swear, that is) when I'm upset haha! You would hear me say "that" word in English, in my language, and sometimes, in Spanish haha!

    I enjoyed reading your post, Karen! And belated happy birthday to your lovely daughter! :-)

  22. ...from the mouth of babes. Seriously cute stuff and your daughter sounds wonderful! Congratulations on being a successful mom--in spite of Sammy and his family!