Kids Say the Darndest Things

Enjoy this collection of kid quotes from my work at the daycare and my volunteer work.

Me: Rain, rain, go away!

Kid: Let me tell you something. Flowers need rain to grow, so you shouldn’t sing that.

Me: I went to Wicoff school when I was a kid.

Kid: No! You’re still a kid like us!

Kid: I like to Google pictures sometimes and this one time I googled butt cracks. Don’t EVER google butt cracks.

Kid: How long are you going to stay at this school?

Me: I don’t know. How long are you going to stay?

Kid: I’m going to stay until I’m 28.

Kid: *Runs up to me on playground* I’m here to tell you a story! The story is about..the story is about…I don’t know what the story is about, so bye! *runs off*

Kid: *Cries*

Other kid: What is the reason,Catalina?

Me: *Walks in to room with unicorn horn and tail.*

Kid: You look so stupid

Me: Did you just say I look stupid?

Kid: I said you look so pretty

Administrator to teacher: Teacher appreciation week is going to be like five days of Christmas for you guys.

Kids: *Shrieking in delight* It’s Christmas, It’s Christmas!

Kid: *Cries over fact that she’s been given the last turn on the class iPad*

Other kid: Layla, I’ll switch turns with you.

Me: That was so nice of you!

Kid: *Whispers in my ear* It’s because I know that the person who goes last gets the longest turn!

Teacher: *Yells at kid for misbehavior*

Kid: *Crying* You know I’m not supposed to cry when I have a sore throat!

Me: *Cooing over kid’s baby brother* Hi Dylan! You’re so cute!

Kid: Do you want him?

*Plane flies overhead*

Kid: Obama! I always wanted to meet you!

*Kid draws pictures of her family on board*

Teacher: Does anyone have any questions for Ava?

Kid: Why don’t your sisters have legs?

*Kid at board draws legs on sisters*

Kid to other kid: You really bothered me yesterday but I’m giving you one more chance!

Teacher: You guys are being really loud!

Kid: Yeah, we know.

*Photographer takes picture of kid*

Kid: Is that going to be in the paper?

Teacher to kid: I’m so sad with you!

Kid: So sad!

Me: You need to pull your pants up before you come out of the bathroom.

Kid: *Gazes down at pants* Oh no! I must fix this!

*Kids are gathered in group, staring at a certain girl*

Other kid walking in to room: What are you guys doing?

Kid: *Pointing at the girl* We’re judging her.

Teacher to me: If Adam is still awake at 1:30 take him to the bathroom so he doesn’t pee on his cot.

Kid: Wake me up at 1:30 because I want to go on the potty, not the cottie!


Oh, Shit

Sunday was a beautiful, autumn day. My mother and I decided to go for a walk at the Delaware Raritan Canal. The colorful foliage combined with the shimmering sun and the flowing river created a breathtaking scene that we enjoyed experiencing and taking pictures of. My mom wanted me to be in the pictures she took, but I refused because I hadn’t put on makeup and didn’t want to be captured in nature in my natural state.

The Delaware Raritan Canal goes on forever so we couldn’t have possibly walked to the end of the trail but we could have walked further than we did. After we’d walked about two miles, I told my mother we had to turn around because I had to go number two (Actually I have no idea if it was two miles. I pulled that distance out of my ass. Please pardon the shitty pun.)

My mother would have liked to walk further but she understood that when you gotta go, you gotta go, so we headed back. As the minutes passed by, my need to crap become more pressing and urgent.

“I have to go really badly”, I said.

“I think there’s a port-a- potty in the parking lot”, my mom replied.

“Ew, port-a-potties are gross.”

At first I thought I would have the luxury of snubbing a port-a-potty if and when I encountered it in the parking lot but as I bemoaned the fact that the walk back to the car seemed to be taking so much longer than the walk away from it, I began to realize that was a luxury I might not be able to afford. As gross as port-a-potties were, they were better than crapping your pants in public.

I’m not opposed to relieving myself in nature, but unfortunately this was not a secluded area of nature and no secluded areas were available. There were people all along the trail. A woman I passed had dropped her key on the ground and was searching for it. I would have liked to have been a good samaritan and helped her find it, but I just didn’t have time for that. By that point, my fear was no longer that I would have to use the port-a-potty, but that I wouldn’t make it to the the port-a-potty in time.

The really terrible thing about having to go to the bathroom in an area of nature that’s filled with people but not toilets is that you have nowhere to relieve yourself and if you end up having an accident, other people are going to witness it. When I was in first grade I peed my pants in front of the whole class. In second grade my classmates asked me if I remembered that time I peed my pants. Of course I remembered it then, and I also remembered it about 25 years later as I walked along the Delaware Raritan canal, hoping  I would not soon be having a similar experience with number two.

Every time I crossed paths with another person, I found myself sucking in my breath. If I had an accident would they gasp in horror? Rush to my aid? Pretend they didn’t see it? Then I started thinking that it would be kind of rude to leave a turd just sitting in the middle  of the walking path but how was I supposed to pick it up? Was I supposed to carry it back to the car?

“Are you going to crap your pants?” my mother asked pointedly.

“I don’t know….”

“One time when my friend Margaret was running she crapped her pants. Then there was the time my friend Sally’s son…”

“You’re really not helping matters.”

“I’m just saying that if it happens, you’re not alone.”

“When you put that kind of imagery in my mind it…uh…speeds things up. Kind of like how hearing running water makes you pee.”

“How about you sit down on that bench over there?”

“No, that would make things worse.”

“Don’t worry.  We’re almost at the parking lot and I’m almost positive there’s a port-a-potty there.”

I kept looking ahead in the distance for a glimpse of the bridge that would lead to the parking lot but it appeared there was nothing but trees and stream for miles. After what seemed like forever, I finally saw the bridge, which I thought was my beacon of salvation. As I crossed over it, I exhaled in relief, thinking another part of my body would soon be able to exhale as well. But(t), alas, as my eyes expectantly scanned the parking lot, I realized to my dismay that there was no port-a-potty.

“I guess you’ll just have to wait until we get home”, my mom said.

“I don’t know if I can”.

“You can do it. Please don’t crap in my car. I don’t want to have pay to have it cleaned.”

I pressed my ass down in to the passenger seat as hard as I could, hoping that would, uh, help keep things contained. I’m not religious, so I didn’t pray but as my mom drove, the phrase “Please don’t let me crap my pants” kept echoing through my head.

We considered stopping at a gas station but I decided against it. I reasoned that not only are gas stations disgusting, but you need a key to get in and I imagined crapping my pants in the middle of the gas station convenience store as I waited for the cashier to hand me the key.

“We’re almost home”, my mom reassured me as the last light before our house turned green. I was glad I’d made it this far, but I wasn’t naive enough to believe I was entirely out of the woods just yet. The universe can have a cruel and ironic sense of humor.

Thankfully, the universe ended up cooperating with me this time. I walked in to my bathroom with a sense of relief and gratitude. I’m sure you can imagine what I did next and don’t need to know the details.

Phew, that was a close one.

I’m not sure why when I finally write another blog post, I choose the topic of almost crapping my pants, but I hope you’ve enjoyed this story and weren’t too grossed out by it.

Image may contain: sky, tree, outdoor, nature and water



Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated

I must apologize to anyone who assumed I was dead as a result of my absence from this blog. I’m alive and well but school’s been keeping me busy.

That’s actually not the reason for the title of this blog though.

For a while I was getting daily emails about funeral insurance. Each morning I would be implored to make sure my family wasn’t burdened by expenses for my funeral after I kicked the bucket. I’m a big fan of both puns and gallows humor but somehow taglines like “leave grave concerns at the cemetery ” and “don’t let your family be buried in funeral expenses” failed to amuse me.  The emails said that although it can be hard, it’s never too early to start planning for the future. I’m going to have to disagree and say that your thirties is too early to plan your funeral.

Eventually I became sick to death of being reminded of my impending demise every time I opened my email so I unsubscribed from those funeral insurance emails (not that I’d ever subscribed to them in the first place.) When I did so I got a message implying that I was crazy for not wanting to get funeral insurance emails and informing me that I may continue to receive funeral insurance emails for ten more days.

That’s actually not the reason for the title of this blog either though.

Since I don’t drive myself, my father, bless his heart, is great about assisting me with transportation. He’s not always so great about arriving on time though. Yet he usually has a legitimate excuses for his tardiness. Two weeks ago he was late because he went the wrong way on a one- way street, was stopped by the cops and incurred a $500 traffic ticket. Last week when he picked me up he told he was late because he’d just gotten a letter from his car insurance company that he was really upset by.

“What did it say?” I ask.

“See for yourself. Can you believe this?” he exclaims as he hands me a piece of paper.

“They canceled your insurance policy?” I remark after my eyes skim the paper.

“Yes but look at the reason they canceled it.”

It takes me a minute to find it in the chart that’s printed on the letter but when I do I gasp and say “Oh my god!”

Under “Reason for Cancellation” it says “Insured Deceased”.

“Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

“They sure have been.”

“I guess when you get to be my age people just assume you’re dead.”

“The best part is that they sent you a letter informing you of your own death.”

I accompany my father on his visit to the insurance agency’s office to clear up the misunderstanding over his death.

“Are you guys a serious company?” he asks incredulously as he deposits the letter informing him of his death on their front desk.

The guy sitting at the desk looks over the letter and says “Oooh…that’s not good…you’re clearly not dead.”

The insurance company mostly takes the laugh it off and blame it on someone else approach. After making a phone call they inform my father that he will be getting a new letter in a few days and assure him he is no longer considered dead.

Those funeral insurance emails continue to arrive for a few days after I’ve unsubscribed from them. “At least they’re not assuming I’m already dead” I say to myself.

Allow me to introduce myself

In my copyediting course the other introductions are all like:

“Hello, my name is John. I have a Phd in astrophysics, a JD, a masters degree in cognitive psychology, another masters degree in English literature, plus a certification in underwater basket weaving. After serving in the peace corps, I worked as a lawyer and then as a rocket scientist,while publishing a few novels on the side. Although I’m fluent in five languages and have won both a Pulitzer and Nobel Prize, I realize that there is always room for self improvement. Thus, I have enrolled in this copyediting course. When I’m not working, furthering my education, travelling the world or fighting for world peace, I enjoy spending time with my beautiful wife of 25 years, Caroline and our three beautiful children.”

Then my introduction is all like “Um, hi, I’m Kira. I like to read. I have a dog and a cat. I’m in this course because I realized I can’t make money as a writer.”

Top Ten Signs I’m a Very Stable Genius

  1. I let the bathtub overflow….while I was in it.
  2. I failed an online quiz twice…and it was the same questions both times.
  3. After cleaning the litter box I placed the kitty litter scoop over a pile of clean laundry.
  4. I tried to remove waffles from the toaster with a fork.
  5. I was wondering why the camera on my phone wasn’t working and all I saw was a blue screen when I went to take a picture. Turns out I had my phone’s blue carrying case folded over the lens.
  6. I walked up to my mom in the bookstore, shoved my phone in her face and said “Hey, look at this picture on Facebook”…turns out that wasn’t my mom.
  7. I can’t figure out how to set up Jenga….or Connect Four. An intellectually impaired person did it for me.
  8. The first time I entered my house I banged my head on a light fixture in the living room…twice.
  9. I can’t tell you how many computer cords I’ve broken, ID cards I’ve lost and passwords I’ve forgotten.
  10. I complain abut how I’m always tired and have such bad sleep problems…and yet I was up until three last night reading a personal essay about an emergency appendectomy in Egypt that mysteriously still left the author with her appendix.

Adventures in Password Recovery

*Attempts to log in to e-mail*

Sorry, that password is incorrect. Have you forgotten your password?

*Clicks on ‘forgot password’*

What was your last password?

If I knew that why would I have said I forgot my password?”

On what date did you set up this e-mail?

“I don’t remember.”

Answer the following verification question: Cthlu fgggyey tusyyi


Provide the phone number associated with this e-mail so we can send you a verification code

“I registered this e-mail under a different phone number than the one I have now.”

Provide an alternate e-mail that we can send a verification code to

*Checks alternate e-mail*

Dear Google User, 

This e-mail address is being used to recover a Google account. If you initiated the recovery process, it is asking you to enter the verification code that appears below.

“Huh? What’s ‘it’? Where am I supposed to enter this verification code?”

*Tries entering verification code in to password field*

Sorry, that password is incorrect. Have you forgotten your password?

*Calls help desk*

Hello, how may I help you?”

“I’ve lost my password and I can’t recover it.”

Please give me your name

*Gives name*

Please give me your school ID number

*Gives ID number*

I’m sorry, that number doesn’t match up with the number we have in our system.

“It’s the number I was given the other day.”


“Is there any other way I can access my e-mail?’

Please give me your birth date

*Gives birth date*

Okay, your password has been reset to ********. Try it and see if it works.

*Enters password, holds breath…lets out sigh of relief*

“It works..thanks for your help.”

*Looks at e-mail, sees link to textbook that needs to be ordered*

*Goes to order textbook*

Please enter your password

*Enters password*

Sorry, that password is incorrect. Have you forgotten your password?

*Head explodes*


That’s what happens when you don’t pay attention

Tonight I was sitting at the burger place waiting for my order.  Soon enough a burger was placed in front of me on a plate.  I reflexively bit in to it. It tasted good and all was well. Then, after I’d taken several bites, I remembered that I’d ordered takeout.

Kind of like that time I bumped in to a woman at the bookstore and instead of saying sorry I blurted out ‘thank you’.


via Daily Prompt: Calling

I really hate calling people on the phone.  I always have. I find it so awkward. Without visual guidance I find it hard to figure out when the other person is about to speak so as soon as I figure out a way to fill that awkward silence I end up creating another awkward moment by speaking over the person as they try to talk. “Oh, sorry, go ahead.” “No, you go ahead.” *Both people start talking at the same time again.*

Then there are awkward background noises such as toilet flushes or worse from people who decide it’s okay to talk on the phone while taking a dump. I’ve hung up on people who think it’s okay to talk to someone else in the room with them while talking on the phone with me. It drives me insane.

When the phone rings three times and the person doesn’t pick up there’s that brief moment of relief when I realize I won’t have to talk on the phone until I realize that means I have to deal with the dreaded answering machine. It’s awkward because you’re talking to the person but you’re not actually talking to them because they’re not there. Half the time what’s supposed to be “Hi, John, it’s Kira” turns in to “Hi, Kira, it’s John.” At least I’m not one of those people who says “Hi, it’s me.” What information are you giving with that statement that the person didn’t already have?”

Then sometimes that person calls you back and gets your answering machine, then you call them them back and get their answering machine again..and you become engaged in an awkward game of phone tag.”   “Hi, John, it’s Kira. Returning your call…again. But you’re not there..again. Call me back when you get a chance. Maybe I’ll pick up this time or maybe we’ll continue this awkward game of phone tag until one of us gives up or dies.”

For many years I had to live with a man who thought it was funny to try to trick and humiliate people on our home answering machine.  The answering machine would say “Hello?” prompting the person to think someone was home and begin talking. Then the answering machine would say “Hi, how are you doing?” Then just as the person started saying “I’m doing well” (or god forbid started saying that their favorite relative just died) the answering machine would say “We’re not home right now but leave a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.” It wasn’t funny 20 years ago and it’s certainly not funny now. It’s one of the many reasons I’m glad I no longer live with my stepfather.

When I was a kid my mother would try to get me to call my classmates on the phone and invite them over for a play date. I would cringe in terror because I was extremely shy, socially awkward and not interested in connecting with people. Now it’s not that I don’t want to connect with people, it’s just that I’d prefer to connect over text or e-mail. No awkward silences, no pressure to respond immediately, no annoying background noises and no answering machines.

Still, I recognize that sometimes phone calls are necessary and occasionally they’re even pleasant. A few months ago I thought my calling in life was to tutor English as a second language so I agreed to tutor a guy from Egypt over the phone. When he called me several times a day and asked if I had a boyfriend I began to suspect he was looking for English lessons plus benefits.

When he suggested video calling I declined. I have some friends and family who are in to video calling but I’ve never tried it and have no interest in doing so. The one benefit of phone calling is that it does not require you to wear pants or look decent and video calling negates that benefit. I’m horrified by how easy it is to accidentally video call people on certain apps and devices. I’ve gotten a few accidental video calls and I’m afraid one of these days someone is going to catch me not wearing pants. When this Egyptian guy purposely video called me despite my request that he not do so, I blocked him.

Funnily enough, my cat has started trying to answer phone calls. When the iPad rings he swipes at it with his paw. If he could start handling all my phone calls from now on that would be great.


via Daily Prompt: Tenterhooks

I must apologize to all my loyal readers who wait on tenterhooks for my next blog post and are dying to hear what happens next in those epic sagas I publish on my blog. The problem is that while I’ve always had the ability to write well, I’ve never had the ability to write quickly and I’ve always struggled to limit the length of my writing. I don’t suffer from writer’s block these days. I suffer from having lots of ideas for writing but not enough time to write them all. Actually that’s not true. I have a lot of free time. I just don’t have enough time management skills.

Anyway, dear readers, I hope I’ve just made it up to you by publishing two short blogs within minutes of each other.


via Daily Prompt: Patina

I must confess that I did not know what the word patina meant. At first I thought maybe it was a bone in the leg but then I realized I was thinking of the patella. Then for some reason I thought it was a buffet or smorgasboard.  When I looked up the definition, I realized that not only did I have no clue what it meant, I’d also been mispronouncing it in my head. Then I wondered if there are any women out there named Patina.

I was trying to think of a way to incorporate its definition in to a blog post when I finally decided “Fuck it, I ain’t got time for that and there’s no sense in acting like it’s a word I’m familiar with and use all the time.” I guess you could say I carry the patina of being highly literate and having an extensive vocabulary but clearly that’s not always the case (and I wouldn’t be surprised if I used the word incorrectly in that sentence.) Thank you for teaching me a new word, WordPress.