Saturday, March 1, 2014

SOLSC 2/31 - "My Darn Child"

Join me this month as I write a slice of my life each day this March and join many others sharing slices at  My students will also be slicing daily and you can find links to their daily blogs HERE.  

When my daughter wakes up from her afternoon nap, she is either going a million miles a second, or sleepily needing a cuddle for a few more minutes.  The other day she was high energy as I helped her get dressed.  She was jumping around, dodging her shirt and making me work to put socks on her feet.  In an effort to slow her down, I started asking her questions.

"What's your favorite color?"  "Red."
"What do you want for a snack?" "Let's see...Cottage cheese and crackers."
I noticed a handkerchief on the floor with a small figurine laying on it.  "Who is this?"
"My darn child," Clara replied in a matter-of fact voice.

I was floored.  Did I hear her right?  I probably wasn't really listening well, since my main focus was on getting her sock onto her left foot at the time.

"Your what?"
"My darn child," she repeated, clear as day.

Now I knew that Clara must have come across that phrase somewhere. She is three-and-a-half after all, with real adults in her life who occasionally let things slip.  I don't think I've ever actually uttered that expression and I doubt my wife has either.  Perhaps it was one of Clara's many grandparents?  There was no way she could really know what she's saying.  She must just be repeating what she heard elsewhere.  I decided to probe a little deeper and get to the probable, innocent "bottom" of this surprising comment.

"Why is she your darn child?"
Immediately, "Well, she cries a lot, so she's my darn child."

I dropped the sock. That cleared up if she knew how to use it correctly.  I was actually a little impressed, a little proud and, of course, horrified I'd be blamed for the original phrase or the continued use of it.  I could already imagine the conversation with my wife.

Susan - "I don't know where she heard it either, but after your reaction, she's using it all the time."
Me - Dumb look on my face, eyes glassy, perhaps drool dripping for my mouth. "I don't think it was that bad. I was so surprised, it just happened."
Susan - "What you should have said was '[something so simple and obvious I feel like a dolt for not thinking of it while simultaneously knowing that I would never have thought of it given days to study the problem].'"

Looking back at Clara, I struggled to compose my face.  I wasn't sure if a look of horror or amusement wanted to creep across its features, but I knew I didn't want to make a big deal about it so she didn't keep using it.  If I laughed, she'd want to make me do it again.  If I was shocked, she'd do it again to test the boundaries.

"Oh. That must be very frustrating while you're having your nap.  Maybe she just wanted a hug?  Come here and let's put this sock on and get that snack."

Crisis averted (I hope). Inside my head, I patted myself on the back and we piggy-backed downstairs, fully clothed and ready for the rest of the day, me and my darn child.

Would someone this cute say such a thing?

Sock photo credit: <a href="">franziskas garten</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>


  1. Kids say the "darndest" things!

  2. Your post brought back many memories of the early years of my own children. Children have a knack for making us reflect on our own behavior and language. I love that they speak their minds. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Oh, Max, parenting is never easy, is it? How funny that she used the phrase, maybe heard it at school? She is so smart, & why we always need to watch what we say-yikes! Thanks for giving us all a chuckle though from 'that darn child'!

  4. Ha! Brought to mind the many reflections of my own speech and actions that my children still offer me daily. And I loved that "something so simple and obvious I feel like a dolt for not thinking of it while simultaneously knowing that I would never have thought of it given days to study the problem" thing that Susan says!

  5. I had to laugh - having many memories of just such moments with my darn children. They do listen - most often when we least expect it! Lovely photograph, too, Max.

  6. What a moment! Those split second moments that have the potential to derail our day a bit. I love this one. Darn child. Priceless.

  7. Knowing Clara, I can totally hear her saying this! Even more, I can totally picture your facial expression throughout this exchange. That, more than anything, makes me giggle. Also, your last line is such a perfect way to end the blog post.

  8. Can't wait to be a parent! : ) Your words and how you weave them are beautiful, Max!

  9. Her picture is adorable! I can just imagine you trying to think about what to say. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHA!

  10. That must've been great. I wish I was there.