When Your Daughter Hits Below The Belt

It seemed like an ordinary night. There were no harbingers of doom —

  • A murder of black crows on the telephone wires outside.
  • A vanity mirror broken jaggedly down its center.
  • A ladder with someone under it. 

No, all was as usual.

Henry was reading to Bridget in the next room, Clare and I were snuggling in her room before she went to sleep and I could drink a tankard of Thunderbird in the dark of our outdoor office (but that’s a tale for another time).

Just as I leaned in to kiss my daughter goodnight, she became somber.

Tears welled in her eyes. Was she sad I was leaving her side? Was she worried about a failing score in long division she’d hidden from me far too long?

“Mommy,” she said, her voice thick with tears.

“What is it sweetheart?” I asked tenderly, sure I was about to have another after-school-special kind of great mommy moment.

“I wish you and Daddy weren’t so …”

“Yes, what is it, Darling?” (Perfect? Wonderful? Kickass?)

“I wish you and Daddy weren’t so … weren’t so … old.”

“Weren’t so what?

A keening wail, “Olllllldddddd!”

“Are you worried we’ll die?”

“No. You won’t die for a long time because great gram was almost 100, but Daddy showed up to pick me up from school, and his shirt was too short and everyone could see his tummy which is kind of … well … kind of fat … and hairy and it was so embarrassing!”

“Well, yes, Honey, your father is five years older than me.”

“And he always wears those old-man grandpa shoes, and Mommy?”

“Yes, you can tell me anything about your geriatric father …”

“He doesn’t even wear them with socks!”

“I will definitely talk to that wizened bastard about that.”

“And then he wears that light blue baseball hat and it doesn’t match anything else and he’s the only daddy who can’t hit the softball out of the Little League park.”

“Yes, well the althleticism comes from the Bradley side of the family I’m afraid.”

“And Mommy, he’s a little bald.”

“While I still have a thick mane of hair. Yes, poor chap. Well, listen, we’ll tell Daddy he has to get better shirts, longer ones. We’ll make him stop eating ice cream at midnight and we’ll take him to the batting cages, so goodnight.”

“Goodnight, Mom, thanks.”

“I love you, Sweetheart.”

“I love you too, Mommy. But, just one more thing.”

“No, Sweetheart, it’s too late for one more thing. I’m halfway out the door.”

“You know when you’re in your pajamas and you’re not wearing your bra?…”

“I can’t hear you, I’m in my own bedroom now!”

“Could you please not set your boobs on the table when we’re playing Monopoly? Because you act like no one can see you putting your boobs on the table, but all of us can see you and it’s kind of gross.”

“The only reason I have to put my boobs on the table is because you and your sister sucked the life out of them, you little greedy shits!  Now go the f#$k to sleep!”


Tell me the meanest things your kid said to you and how you bounced back?

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Henry and me in our younger years.
Henry and me in our younger, less disgusting years.

33 thoughts on “When Your Daughter Hits Below The Belt”

  1. Hysterical. True. Infanticide to follow. Now, let’s see… besides ‘Mom, don’t use this word or that. You sound stupid”. Or maybe “Could you just please wear underwear!” No? Then how about “Don’t dance. Just sit there”. I always counter with, “Silly child. You are poor. Remember that”.

    1. Oh that’s a good one! Lately I’ve become rebellious and when she asks me not to bounce my shoulders in time to the music in the car I launch into a full blown Macarena

  2. Besides the usual, I’ve been told, “You should engage in self-reflection. That would be new for you,” and “Nothing personal, but I like Dad best.” And the newest attempts – “Do you know how much you are embarrassing yourself with your Instagram pictures? It’s bad.” hahahahahahah. I just laugh. Makes them crazy. One day they’ll wonder why I was outside digging their graves on a regular basis.

  3. Twenty five years ago when she was in 5th grade, she said she told her friends at school that her father was Harry Ackerman. (Harry produced Gidget and the Flying Nun) How have I snapped back? When I do, I’ll be sure to let you know

  4. Priceless! Michelle took a shower with me when she was four and asked, “Mom, why are there wrinkles on your tushy?” She also told me my breasts smelled like “pizza” when she was in pre-school.

  5. My sweet 4 year old boy said “Mommy you have old skin” Four years later, gallons of Retin-A and thousands of dollars worth of Botox… I’m still traumatized.

  6. That might be the funniest blog post you’ve written all year. I laughed my ass off and then read it out loud to Patchen. I’m trying to think of anything the boys have said to me that’s insulting. Probably it’s when they say that I’m mean, which happens mostly in the morning because I AM mean in the morning. Having lived with me you probably remember that. The thing is, I know I’m mean in the morning and yell a lot and don’t have any sense of humor at all, but I’m still insulted when they call me on it. I think I lucked out having boys on this one. They are far more reluctant or non-observant to point out any of my physical faults. It can’t be that I don’t have any. 😉 And they’ve learned well from their father’s example.

    1. You in the morning made my balls retract into my stomach. And I don’t even HAVE balls. But I love you and your boys are so lucky to have you. And I’m glad my sad boobs gave you a good laugh. xo S

  7. A month or so ago, our baby, the 13-year-old told my husband and I to stop kissing. “You’re over 40. It’s just gross.” When I pointed out that the rockstars he worships (mostly classic rockers, because we raised him right) are older than us and they kiss EVERYONE he quipped back, “Well, if you join a band that doesn’t suck, you know, like Van Halen or the Allman Brothers, then you can kiss whoever you want.”

  8. One morning while getting ready for work my 4 year old son walked in and asked me why my tummy was so fat. I told him it was because I carried him and his sister in my belly for 9 whole months! Then he looked at me and said “We came out a long time ago. That should have gone back down by now.”

  9. Holy Crap! You haven’t tried the, “I brought you into this world… I can take you out of it” threat yet?

    My boys are obsessed with my boobs. If I’m wearing my little spaghetti strap nightgown, they either stare or try to snuggle up to them. And by “boys” I mean, my husband too.

    1. Yes. And it’s even more terrifying when I say it in Spanish. Te traje a este mundo y yo puedo sacarle, ninas hediondas! (you stinkers)

  10. For a second there, I thought your daughter was my daughter. Mine said to me, ‘mom, when you wear your pajamas without a bra, your nipples look like pinecones. Can you put on a bra? Please?”

  11. I loved car rides with my preteen daughter as it seemed the best way to communicate with her was when we were not facing each other. I’d make up trips just to try and find out what was going on in her raging harmonal mind. One one of those infamous drives she seemed worried and I asked her about it….she asked if her breasts were going to be as big as mine when she grew up..I replied I didn’t think so as she seemed physically to be built like her fathers side. I asked her why she was worried she replied “good because if I got those, I’d just tip over!” Awesome

  12. My 15 year old son recently told me that he thought his band teacher and I were like the same person, or separated at birth.
    “Why, is that?” I asked “Because she’s so talented, and pretty, and is a runner?”
    “Oh no, because you two are the scariest people I know.”

  13. Peg Swearingen

    All I can think of are the usual, “Mom,stop saying that. Just stop”. Or “It’s ok to swear, Mom. Just say it” (when my daughter was in middle school). The thing that stings the most now that she is 21 is she posts things about me on Twitter. Not nice “my mom is the best person in the world. I lover her SO much” tweets. Tweets that make me look like a drunk, a jerk or worse, not hip. My son (16) just tells me to stop laughing at TV shows. “It’s not that funny, Mom”. Yes, yes it is.

  14. My son asked if I was getting up at 5 am to go work out. I told him I wasn’t (because that’s just way too early to exert ones self in my opinion). He looked me dead in the eye & said “well I guess you just want to stay fat then don’t you”. He then turned on his heels & walked off. So thanks to my charming child, I’m taking jiu jitsu at the same studio he does & will be helping out during his Saturday class.

    I don’t think that was the route he intended for me to go, but the family that arm bars together – stays together!

    1. Kathy good for you!! Now you’re just gonna have to take that young man down to Chinatown (which means a jiu jitsu throw). Man these kids keep us humble.

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