Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Memories – It Hurts Your Mouth

You know how you just get some images burned in your brain and they make you laugh every time your memory scans across one?  One of those images is watching Grace laugh.  She goes completely silent and can’t talk or even make a noise, her eyes fill with tears, and her shoulders, straight back, go up and down.  I love that image.  The other night when we went out to supper she got to laughing like that.  She had asked me to repeat the story of when Abe was three and in the church nursery.  I don’t know why she thinks it’s funny.

Ty - nearly 1
Cali - nearly 4
Abe - freshly 2
I love being their mom.

We were country folk.  We had left the ranch and had temporarily moved closer to town.  Instead of being in a country ward for church, we were now in a city ward.  It was our first Sunday in our new ward.  I was nervous and hoped the kids would be on their best behavior, especially fitting for a new ward – a city ward where little boys did not wear cowboy boots to church.  Cali was five.  Abe was three.  Ty was two.  Ande was going to be born any day.  That first Sunday Cali went to her primary class and Abe and Ty went to the nursery.  I was in the restroom in between classes when in came Leila Schroeder herding all the little potty-trained nursery kids.  She saw me and came over and said laughingly, “Remind me to tell you sometime what Abe said in nursery.”

I panicked.  Abe had been talking in sentences since he was fifteen months old.  The day I brought Ty home from the hospital he said, “Drink milk, please.”  Now that he was three he had lots of words in his vocabulary that he knew how to string together into sentences.  Who knew what family secrets he’d told Leila.  Eight months earlier he told the nursery I was going to have a baby and we hadn’t told anyone yet, let alone Abe.  The ward knew before Calvin’s folks. 

I told Leila, “Oh, please, tell me now!” 

She smiled, looked at the little kids, and whispered, “I’ll tell you later.”

I replied, “You might forget.”

She said, “Oh….I won’t forget.”

I begged, “Please tell me.”

I imagine she could see the worry and didn’t want to be the one to send me into labor because that might mean she might be babysitting all afternoon, too.  She was one of our closest neighbors.  She left her little herd and came over close.  “Well.  We were sitting at the little table in the classroom.  All the kids were quietly coloring their pictures of Jesus when out of the blue Abe said, ‘Sisser Schroeder, damnit is a bad word.’”

Leila’s eyes got big at this point of the story and she said, “I looked around to see if any of the other little kids were listening to him.  They were busy coloring their pictures, so I quietly said back to him, ‘Why yes.  Yes, it is a bad word, Abe.’"

She continued, “Abe kept coloring and without breaking a stroke he said, ‘And sh*t’s even worse.’"

She said, “I looked at the door to see if any parents were coming in.  I was afraid of what word he was going to say next.  He still kept coloring and then said, ‘It hurts your mouth when you say those words.’

“I said, ‘Yes it does.  Heavenly Father doesn’t like us to use those words and it hurts our mouth when we say them.

“Abe said, ‘Nope.  That’s not why.  It hurts because your mom washes your mouth out with soap when you say them.’”

Leila finished, “And that is when I thought it would be a nice time to take everybody to the bathroom.”

Oh gee.  I can remember that conversation like it was yesterday.  I was wearing that black polka dotted maternity dress.  I did not teach Abe either of those words.  Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street did not teach Abe those words.  Ty and Cali did not teach Abe those words.  That leaves only one person who could have taught Abe those words.

Someday when Grace and Abe have a little Abe that talks in sentences in nursery, I’ll think this story is very funny.  Until then, thinking of Grace laughing while I tell it is what makes me laugh.


Tiffany Fackrell said...

oh that story is funny! It's one of those times when you wish your child has a child just like them! HA. by the way how are Abe and Grace? I was sad when their blog went private because I could no longer lurk. I hope they are well.

Deidra said...

Oh, the things nursery and primary leaders hear!

And that's why I'm watching what I say NOW instead of trying to reign it in when Millie can talk. Because "crap" even sounds crude coming from a little mouth.

Michelle said...

Hahahaha I agree with Grace. That IS really funny! Abe sure had a good teacher. ;-)

Marie said...

What I want to know is what kind of conversation Calvin had to endure after church!

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...


Your such trouble!!!


Lucy said...

Great story. I know I've been embarrassed at church and at school by things my kids have said to their teachers. My mother-in-law gave me the BEST response when I was telling her something unflattering home story Henry told his pre-school teacher last year that she HAD to repeat to me (teacher wasn't my favorite person). She told me to say, "Well, I won't believe every story about preschool if you don't believe everything he says about our home." All with a cheery smile, of course.

I remember hearing my parents swear when I was young. Not Abe young, but it was still shocking. I'm sure my kids are going to grow up thinking all messes are d*mn messes. Can't seem to separate those two words when I'm tired, which is all the time lately.

P.S. I cherish the stories of Jay's youth told by his mother. I love that Grace gets this from you. Of course, she does.

P.P.S. LOVE the peach outfits!

michelle said...

oh ho! I agree with Grace, that is pretty funny. But I can see why it's funnier to her than it is to you!

That photo is just darling in every way - the matching outfits, the pose, the way they look like their grown-up selves!

Becky said...

Definitely funny! I am still laughing!

Ande Payne said...

I love this story too! And I definitely love Grace's laugh. Mom, did you know you're a good story teller? Your story made me miss Abe and Grace AND being a little kid!

Deidra said...

This cracked me up! I had a similar thing happen to me with a student at school. I am working in special ed. at an elementary school. A 2nd grader with autism made a mistake on his math. He is very high functioning. When he realized it on his own he yelled, "dammit!". The room became very silent and everyone looked at him. He looked up and saw all of the faces and started crying. When I talked to him about it, he didn't know it was a bad word. He just could tell everyone in the room was disappointed by their faces. He then had a long, colorful list of words he needed to ask if he could use at school!

Janae said...

I love this story! I'm laughing right out loud (during quiet time, even!) That is so funny! Totally something that would happen at my house! :)