Used Booby Traps

Sometimes I feel like this has become a blog about my three year old, Kate. All Kate, all the time. Kate and her potty mouth. Kate not using the potty. Kate mortifying me. Kate being Kate.

I’ve actually hesitated several times, fingers poised over my keyboard, pondering whether or not I should really write yet another play-by-play of Kate’s ability to drop salty words like a world-weary sailor. Really? I thought. Should I? People must be tired of this storyline by now. I know I am.

Whatever. In the end this endless cycle of blog posts dedicated to Kate will become part of her history, her moments of naughtiness preserved future consumption. Maybe it’s because she’s the baby of the family, or because she’s so petite, or because she’s so petite and now sports a saucy little bob. She insists on pulling her own crazy outfits together each morning and she’s just so.darn.cute.

She has the best comic timing.

She makes me laugh when I know I shouldn’t but I just can’t help myself.

Part of her charm comes from her vast range of facial expressions.  She also punctuates her words with her hands. As in those open-handed chopping movements while she impatiently reminds me, “I toad you I don’t wike hot dogs, Mom!”

A few weeks ago I decided to kill some time while Gwen was at preschool by hitting the local Goodwill. Kate loves Goodwill. She finds Beanie Babies like a champ and, during this particular visit she discovered an unopened package of SpongBob paper cups. Her excitement was infectious. I understood her joy at having found an unexpected treasure in an unlikely place. After all, that’s why we hunt at the Goodwill, always searching for white American pottery or vintage oil paintings. I didn’t score that day, but Kate sure did.

She loves the tactile experience of touching things I’d rather she didn’t touch. Though this particular Goodwill is clean and lacking that musty thrift store smell, I have a slight problem with her diving into a rack of ogre-sized bras. I mean, are they used? Who the hell buys a used bra?

“Oh.My.God,” I heard her say, “Wook.At.Dis. WOOK AT DIS, MOM! It’s a gweat big booby twap!”

“Jeeeesus, that is big!” I breathed, and was momentarily hypnotized by a set of bra cups the size of my head.

I shook it off and said, “Kate, put that back now and let’s walk over that way,” pointing to anywhere but the vicinity of potentially used undergarments.

“Wait, wook at dis booby twap. It’s got polka bots!” she screamed, holding a giant black and hot pink polka dotted bra up to her chest. She gave a little twist back and forth and admired herself in the mirror.

“Pretty!” I cooed, “Okay…let’s go this way now.” I began leading her away from the booby traps…erm, used bras.

Reluctantly, she hung the bra back up and began to follow me, the heels of her yellow rain boots thunking against the floor. As we neared the checkout, the thunk, thunk of Kate’s boots abruptly stopped. After a moment of silence, I turned to see what distracted her. The moment we made eye contact she shrieked, “Oh, no! I weft my SpongeBob cups! My SpongeBob cups!” She took off, her boots thunking at a high rate of speed as she retraced her steps.

I couldn’t see her anymore, but I followed the sound of her boots and the heads of other Goodwill shoppers who looked down as she ran past, their faces breaking into a smile. Eventually, her boots came to a stop and I heard her little voice say, “Oh! Dere dey are!”

On her way back up the aisle, and once more in my sight, she triumphantly held the SpongeBob cups up and called out, “Don’t worry, Mom. I got the ficken SpongeBob cups!”

She must have noticed my wide-eyed look of horror because she immediately said, “I said ficken not fuck. That’s okay, right Mom?”

A woman perusing winter coats began howling with laughter and turned to look down at Kate as she passed by. Then she looked at me and said, “She makes a good point!”


  1. I saw this new blog post from my phone as I was shopping and decided to wait until I sat down to lunch to read it. Omg I almost choked on my Panera salad several times as I read this! I’m sure the rest of the joint thought I was crazy lmao while staring at my phone. Do not EVER stop writing about Kate!!

  2. I can see why you write about Kate a lot….she is ficking cute & funny!!! AND a mother of young kids will tend to be a tad absorbed in her kids…..

  3. That made me laugh so hard! I love all of your stories about the kids….they are great!

  4. joanne aka granma Joey says:

    I too almost choked on my seltzer water. I can’t wait to see the little imp,,,,actually all 3.

  5. Valerie says:

    I was having a not-so-great day…this Kate story was just what I needed. Thanks for sharing your Kate stories – it’s good to know there are other moms out there who can still laugh at those politically incorrect moments kids often supply!

  6. I think anytime you decide to write about Kate is fine by all of us. Why pull up an empty bucket when the well is so full?

  7. Bev Taylor says:

    Please, PLEASE, don’t stop writing about your kids. Your blogs makes my day everytime I read it. God bless little Kate, she is growing up whether you know or not. In understanding what the word differences are and telling you about it. She’s smart and wise. Cute too!

  8. I agree with everyone above-anytime you want to write about Kate (or Gwen or Joe!). Your stories never fail to make me literally laugh out loud, which then elicits some awkward looks from my coworkers…oh well, totally worth it 🙂

  9. God, I love her. How could you NOT love her?

    Keep posting about Kate as long as you want…she’s a hoot!

  10. Maybe it would be a good idea to not let your daughter around whoever it is that teaches your daughter such words.

    • Thank you, Mark, for your astute and helpful parenting advice with respect to my daughter’s unfortunate test of independence. Rest assured, as this happened well over a year ago, the stage has since passed. We sure could have used your input last year. What a shame.

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