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    Category: Sons & Daughters

    Makes You Want To Butt In

    | Clifton Park, NY, USA | Children, Sons & Daughters

    (While shopping, I am in a fitting room. There is a mother and her young daughter, about six or seven, who are both in the same changing room.)

    Little Girl: “Mommy, I really like this dress on me. Can I get it?”

    Mom: “Well, honey your belly seems to be sticking out of it. Are you sure it’s not too tight?”

    Little Girl: “I don’t know. My belly does look big. I look like I am going to have a baby. My belly is bigger than yours, Mommy!”

    Mom: *laughs nervously* “Ha! No, honey… You’re not having a baby.”

    Little Girl: “And my butt, too! Why is that?”

    Mom: “Well, honey, you’re African American. Our butts are supposed to be big. White people just have flat ones. That is just the way it is.”


    How To Engender Confusion

    | La Crosse, WI, USA | Children, Sons & Daughters

    (I’m a mother of three boys. I cannot drive for medical reasons; therefore, we take the bus regularly. One day an androgynous young person sits near us. I can see that my toddler is a bit confused.)

    Son: *whispering* “Mom… is that a boy or a girl?”

    Me: *whispering back* “I’m not sure. It’s rude to ask if someone is a boy or a girl, so I guess we’ll never know.”

    (This answer clearly did NOT sit well with my curious three year old. I could see him struggling with his curiosity for several city blocks. But finally, as we near our stop, he could not hold back any longer.)

    Son: *very loudly* “Excuse me. Do you have a penis?”

    Going To Bed Is A Pain In The Butt

    | Finland | Children, Sons & Daughters

    (I am putting my daughter to bed. She has an elaborate goodnight ritual that involves a certain sequence of hugs and kisses. I think we have already finished that part of saying goodnight.)

    Me: “Lie down now if you want me to tuck you in.”

    Daughter: “But, kisses!”

    Me: “Butt kisses?!”

    Daughter: “No, not butt kisses. Goodnight kisses!”

    (I repeat the goodnight kisses.)

    Me: “Goodnight!”

    Makes You Want To Curl Up And Die

    | Terre Haute, IN, USA | Children, Sons & Daughters

    (I am four years old, and my mother has gone back to school to finish her degree. She has brought me to the library with her so she can do research. There are two students outside smoking. I walk up to them.)

    Mother: “[My Name], where are you going?”

    (I ignore her and speak to the smokers.)

    Me: “I feel sorry for you. You’re going to die.”

    (Quickly, my mother yanks me inside the library. She is mortified and we wait in there for hours until she is certain the smokers have left.)

    Wrote A Captain’s Log

    | Columbia, MD, USA | Sons & Daughters, Teenagers

    (I’m browsing the science fiction section of a bookstore. A teenage girl and her mother are also.)

    Girl: “Oh, look! William Shatner wrote a book! I wonder if it’s any good?”

    Me: “Well, I hear he writes about as well as he acts…”

    Girl: *perplexed* “Is that good?”

    (Her mom and I just smile at each other.)

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