Category Archives: Diaries and Journals

That’s a Hell of a City!

erica.sexguncity

Six-year-old Connor wrote about his family’s trip to Six Gun City in his “What I Did This Summer” journal.

Judging by that waterslide, it looks like a really fun place.

Who knows? Sex Gun City might be fun, too.

No word on what the waterslides are like there.

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Thanks to Erica, Connor’s mom, for sharing his summer memory. Check out her blog here.

Please share your image of a funny piece of children’s writing by submitting to mcfadden.chase@gmail.com or leanneshirtliffe@gmail.com.

If you do, we’ll let you go down that slide.

Or give you a ticket to Sex Gun City.

Whichever you prefer.

Caramel Popcorn With What?

Autumn is the season of Thanksgiving.

Do you know what your children are thankful for?

You might be surprised.

Eight boxes. That’s a lot of . . . toppings.

If you see a funny example of stuff a kid wrote, snap a pic with your smartphone and share it with the followers of SKW! Please email to either leanneshirtliffe@gmail.com or mcfadden.chase@gmail.com.

If You Want To Know What’s Disgusting, Ask a First Grader

When Jayla was six, she wrote a journal entry about what is disgusting–or as she brilliantly called it: uscuseen.

And Jayla is right. The rat is uscuseen. So is the fact that the three females in the picture have nicer handbags than me.

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Thanks to Jayla’s mom, Veronica, for submitting this treasure from Jayla’s first grade journal. You can see more of Veronica’s gems at Mamma Bird Musings.

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Now tell us: what do you find uscusseen?

Things That Are Scary to Kids and Adults

There are many things that I find scary, including running out of money, peanut butter, and toilet paper. Valentine’s Day can also be frightening.

But Jayla has personified an even bigger fear.

Last year, when Jayla was six, she wrote this in her journal:

That is one skary test, deserving of nine exclamation marks. I can hear the test’s maniacal laugh, made that much more sinister because it’s a lipstick-wearing test. Those are the worst kind.

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Thanks to Jayla’s mom, Veronica of Mama Bird Musings for sending this to us. Please visit her blog.

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Submit your child’s funny writing (or the writing of a random stranger who’s little) to us at StuffKidsWrite(at)gmail(dot)com. Chase will answer your email.

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Now it’s your turn. What do you find skary?

Nolan Notes: Checking the Plumbing, Punitive Smoothies, and, Surprise! An Annoying Brother

Welcome to a sampling of sentences written by Nolan, my 7-year-old son. He’s in second grade this year, and part of his daily class routine is to compose a one-sentence response to a writing prompt in his student planner.

As you can imagine, there’s some good stuff in there.

He was also an astronaut and once dated Madonna

For the record, I have never worked as  a plumber, assisted a plumber, or played a plumber on television. I don’t even have an ass crack. I can only assume that Nolan came to this conclusion after watching me walk in to the bathroom on numerous occasions armed with a plunger, a Sports Illustrated, a sandwich, and a box of matches.

Smooth move, Mom and Dad

Gee, I wonder who didn’t get a smoothie because he wouldn’t eat his stew? Freakin’ moms and dads and their b.s. food consumption rules!

There’s a 99.99999% chance Reed is a sibling

What Nolan’s 5-year-old brother did to deserve this mini rant is unknown. Possibly Reed was snoring. Perhaps there was a fight between the two.

Or maybe, just maybe, it’s simply the fact that he exists.

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We need more stuff kids wrote!

Rummage through backpacks (don’t limit yourself to only your child’s), flip through notebooks,  take a pic of that bulletin board at school, ask your kids’ teachers for funny samples they have (names will be omitted)!

Then submit to stuffkidswrite@gmail.com.

Thanks!

A Man Purse: Deal Maker or Breaker?

When I was young, I swore I’d never marry a farmer. Hearing my parents talk about “$10,000 rains” and having to “wait and see if we have a good crop” before I could get the hand-held Space Invaders game was too much for me. Plus, I didn’t want someone who knew the entire history of my family and our pets before he met me. I mean, what would we talk about on Date 6? Of course, I ended up dating a farmer, and a nice one at that, but I never married him. I had, after all, made a childhood pledge.

When M.E. was eight years old, she too made a promise about who she wouldn’t marry.

I’ll let her mom, Jennifer, tell the story.

In January, 2009 our family was in the throes of preparing for a move from Kingston, Ontario to the Netherlands. The kids had plenty of questions: Will we make new friends? Will you lose us in the move?  Every piece of my rock collection will be packed, right? “Will I have to wear wooden shoes?” wailed our youngest. (Yes; No; Good Lord, I hope not; Only when Mummy is particularly grumpy with you.)

At one point some friends worked themselves into hysterics imagining the fashion affectations my husband (your basic khakis kind of guy) would be sporting the next time they saw him. Italian leather shoes! Over-gelled, highly tousled hair! A speedo! A man purse!

It was only days later when M.E.’s mom found this page from her eldest daughter’s diary on her desk. If you read nothing else, read the first six lines:

The man purse is a deal breaker. Part of me agrees. Does a woman want a man who spends more on accessories than she does? If her husband has his own purse, would he still offer to carry hers when she’s toting their baby around?

I also love M.E.’s exhortations about French near the end of her entry. She writes:

Oh, how I absolutely hate French. My, My French is absolutely boring. All you have to do is say French words and write them down. It is impossible to write them down if you don’t know how to write them.

M.E. is going places. She knows what she wants in a man, she can spot circular reasoning, and she can write.

And she’s 8.

Ode to clever kids with fashion sense.

When Kids Try Hot Sauce

Meet Lloyd.

I first met Lloyd when we were working for a student newspaper in the early 90s. It was a simpler time.  A young Bill Clinton was in the White House, Lady GaGa was still in her egg, and nobody’s phone was “smart.”  Lloyd was a grad student in those days — one of those serious young men who threw out words like “hegemony” and “ontological” because he thought women liked that sort of thing. 

Poor fellah.   

Since then, the world has gotten more complex, and Lloyd has gotten simpler.  I mean that in a good way.  These days, he’s a writer and a dad.   

Through the power of Twitter, we recently caught up, and he shared the following story. 

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Thanks, Leanne.  I have no idea if you rewrote my introduction. But if you did, I can only assume you left in the words “Clooneyesque,” “Swiftian” and “sauerbraten” … so thanks for that.

Everybody parents differently.  We each have our own philosophy.  Mine is stolen from the pages of Calvin and Hobbes.  Which is fitting because so is my six year-old son, Cameron.

The other day he asked me: “If you get re-married, will you change your name?”  And I replied: “Yes. To ‘Gertrude.'”

And he said: “This is why the other kids think I’m weird, Dad.”

But I digress.

Here’s my philosophy:

Major Premise: “If children are here to test us, then it must be God himself who is doing the grading.”

Minor Premise: “If it is God who is doing the grading, we must remember that he has a sense of humour. (Otherwise he wouldn’t have given us the Toronto Maple Leafs, the state of New Jersey, or Michael Bolton now would he?).”

Conclusion: “Our purpose as parents … is to make God laugh.”

I think this gets us bonus points.  It also unlocks really cool heavenly, eternal achievements like a +3 Electric Golden Harp of Shredding and +2 Heavenly Robes of Awesome.  

So when my kid asked me the other day if he could try a drop of “Blair’s After Death Sauce,” I had a duty … nay … a HEAVENLY OBLIGATION to say “yes.”

Here’s what happened:

And here’s what Cameron wrote afterwards.

Stuff Kids Write

TRANSCRIPTION: Dear Diary, Do NOT try this at home! I put some After Death sauce on my tongue and it burnt in flame!

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You can follow the further adventures of this lovable father and son duo on Twitter: @lloydrang

Is Your Husband a Has-Been?

First grade journals are a gold mine of delight. There’s something about the contrast between effort-laden printing and freewheeling thoughts that create humor. Add a few drawings and we have a similar level of effortlessness in kids’ writing as exists in boys’ soprano voices.

And then puberty comes. And ruins everything.

I digress.

One cold wintry January day in her desk at school, AM wrote in her first grade journal about the events of the previous day. Here’s what she wrote:

Stuff Kids Write

TRANSCRIPTION: Last night my neighbour came over with her dog. His name is Scruffy. He’s cute. He even licked us. He is brown and fluffy. Our neighbour’s name is Caylen. She has two sons and a husband (has been!) named Les. The end.

Whether it’s husband, hasbin, or has-been, AM is a girl who learns quickly.

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To find out how to submit a piece of humourous children’s writing to Stuff Kids Write, check the sidebar.


A Letter To Dad, After He Shot the Cat

If you didn’t grow up on a farm, you may not know there is a huge difference between a pet cat and a tom cat. To be blunt, the former you can pet; the latter you stay away from, unless you want a trip to the city hospital for stitches. Still, both types of cats help control the mouse population. Conflicts are rare if everyone stays in their place.

But sometimes a clash of species occurs.

HS knows that. When she was six, the tom cat that roamed the outskirts of her family’s farm got a little too close. Well, much too close, especially to their pet cat (Wild) and her kittens. HS’s dad took over.

Here is HS’s first grade journal entry, a letter to her father about how he handled the tom cat versus house cat conflict.

Stuff Kids Write

TRANSCRIPTION:

Dear Dad,

I remember when we shot the tom cat. He was a bugger. He was stupid.

He killed 3 batches of kittens. We think that he killed Wild.

You shot him (Good Dad) in the head.

It was funny, but when we found Wild we were sad.

You buried the tom cat and Wild in the garden.

Love, Bug.

I’m pretty sure HS (a.k.a. Bug) has a future in humor writing.

Here’s hoping all our weekends are tom cat free.

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To read more about tom cats, guns, and growing up as a farm girl, check out my post today at Ironic Mom.

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