Blog Archives

Don’t Lick the Minivan (or Scratch Words on It with Rocks)

DLM Front Cover OnlyLeanne Shirtliffe (aka “Ironic Mom“) — the far-better and far-more-female half of Stuff Kids Write — has published a book!

Please check out her humorous parenting memoir titled Don’t Lick the Minivan by either clicking here or on the book’s cover you see to your left (no, your other left). Then buy it.

If you’re a parent, you’ll laugh and nod knowingly as you read Leanne’s honest, hilarious description of life with her twins (not those twins: her kids). If you’re not a parent, the book is a reasonably-priced form of birth control. Either way, it’s a win for you!

Following is a post from Leanne which first appeared on Stuff Kids Write in May 2011. It’s funny in a cringe-worthy sort of way and gives you a pretty good idea of what you can expect from Don’t Like the Minivan.

Soccer night. Two kids on two different teams playing at two different fields. I have enough equipment to load down a trio of Sherpas. My husband is at a meeting and, as usual, I’m barely coping in my attempt to get everything and everyone out the door. I send Vivian and William outside while I gather the last of the gear, which includes my mitts and sunglasses (nothing says soccer season in Canada like contrasting accessories).

The door slams behind me. I notice Vivian and William collecting rocks on the side of our driveway.

I load the last of the stuff and walk around to open William’s side of the van.

I see this writing:

Stuff Kids Write

"William" (with sad face above)

“Did you use a rock to write on the van?” I say. Sometimes you have to ask the obvious.

Vivian looks at me. I can tell she’s stalling. “I’ll just crawl in William’s side,” she says.

“You didn’t write—“ I interrupt myself. “Did you carve things too?”

I walk over to the other side.

I see this.

Stuff Kids Write

"Vivian only" (with scratches on the left, where she was trying to get the rock to work properly)

And this.

Stuff Kids Write

"on behalf of my class" (yes, she's composing dedications)

My kids know by my speechlessness that they’ve done wrong.

I rub my index finger across one of the gorges. “This won’t come off,” I say. “Ever.”

I hear choruses of “I’m sorry” and “We didn’t know.”

And I think: Freaking stuff kids write.

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A Poem for My Sister, circa 1981

When I was ten years old, I decided to write a poem for my sister, Patti, who was six years older than me.

Patti loved playing tennis against the garage door of our giant machine shed and would spend hours doing this instead of playing with her little sister who followed her around when we weren’t doomed to cut acres of grass or pick the evil weed portulaca from our garden for two weeks.

My poem showcases my tennis-loving sister.

It also showcases

  • political incorrectness
  • why I should never be allowed to rhyme
  • my horrific signature.
It does not showcase my adoration of Patti, whose birthday was this past weekend.

Enjoy.

The crossed-out line reads: “Until she thinks of Brad.” I suspect I edited this because I knew Patti would smash a tennis ball at my face if I read it to her.

Happy Birthday, dear sister. Next time, I’ll tell the prostitute/hooker story or the lawn mower joy ride story or how you snuck me into bars when I was 14…and 15…

~

Do you have any funny writing from when you were young?
Please send it to us at StuffKidsWrite(at)gmail(dot).com.

What Toddlers Think of Their Fathers

Last year, when Dylan was three, her nanny asked her questions about her daddy and recorded her answers. With Andy’s permission, we’ve annotated Dylan’s responses.

One thing is for sure: Dylan loves her Daddy.

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Special thanks to Andy of Our Life in 3D for submitting this. He and Dylan’s Mommy have an entertaining daughter!

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With both Mother’s and Father’s Day coming up, why not have your child fill in a questionnaire and send us the humorous results? Email us at stuffkidswrite(at)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?

To Believe or Not To Believe a 6-Year-Old

Years ago, when S was six, she desperately wanted to help her older brother. He had hurt himself and S. was insisting on nursing his injuries. Her 11-year-old brother obviously had little faith in her medical skills and wouldn’t let S near him.

So S wrote her big brother a persuasive note.

"Why do you never believe me. I believe you so why do you not believe me. And I love you. From S."

Bless little S, her persuasion techniques, and the effort she took to spell “from.”

Don’t stop believing.

Except that song is now stuck in my head.

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Thanks to S’s mom who submitted this note from her archives. Please go visit her blog at Art Club Blog.

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Please look through your own archives and send submissions of funny stuff that kids write to stuffkidswrite(at)gmail(dot)com.

How To Stop Old People from Going into Your Bedroom

My friend Lisa has 3 daughters within two years of each other. Their household is a busy one. As a family, they do a lot of crazy things together, like going backwoods camping, sleeping in tents in the winter for fun, and  – gasp – doing crafts.

Recently, one of her 8-year-old twins decided to keep her older sister out of her room. She crafted the following note and hung it on her door.

M. does mean it. I know that little puppy in the corner looks innocent, but he could turn on you.

I think I need one of these for my bedroom. Only I might change the “over” to “under.” I mean it. Woof.

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?

The Origin of the “Dear Jane” Letter

I’ve broken up with a few men in my time. It was nearly as painful as being dumped. Okay, maybe not. But it was the one time in my life where I had few words.

I could have used Ian then.

Ian is seven.

Ian gets it. He’s got the phrasing.

Look at the character worksheet Ian completed at school last month. The question was: “Would you like to have the character as a friend? Tell why or why not.”

Ian’s response: “I would not like to have the character for a freind because she is a girl and not my tipe.”

Thank you Ian for being direct. We are grateful that you’re not going to be one of those guys who just doesn’t return our calls or texts or tweets …

When Your 7-year-old Is As Melodramatic As a Teen

I wrote schmaltzy, over-the-top poetry as a teenager. I still have some of it. Vague notions of what it would be like to be loved by a boy, or at least to find one who wasn’t afraid of me, filled my notebook.

Most of this over-emoting passed in Junior High, thankfully. In Senior High, I seemed to hit my stride (almost literally on the basketball court), replacing many of my obsessive thoughts about boys with other obsessions, like my free throw and turnover percentages.

Now, decades later, I think I’ve passed on my early teen propensity for melodrama to my daughter, Vivian, who frequently expresses all of her emotions in writing. Recently, I annoyed my Grade Two cutie once again. I can’t remember what I wouldn’t do for her (perhaps pack her school bag or let her have a third cheese stick). Suffice it to say I was ignoring her request, like many an online parent.

Snubbed, Vivian threw open her craft drawer, yanked out a sheet of paper, and scrawled her thoughts quickly. She then slammed her note on the table beside me and strode away.

I had come face-to-face with a teenager, possibly my younger self.

I closed my computer and read the note below:

As a parent, not only have I become my mother, but I’ve also become my daughter.

Send help, most likely to Vivian, who’s stuck with me.

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Please help me to interpret Vivian’s usage of “Uh-ta” in the note.  Funny responses are welcome.

From Liquor to Body Parts: Kids and Their Vices

On the first few days of school, most teachers gather some background information, trying to get to know the students who will be occupying their classroom for the next ten months.

So like all his second grade classmates, J completed a worksheet about his favorite activities, hobbies, and sports. His mom Susanna came across her son’s handiwork at his Back-To-School night.

This is what she saw.

As a teacher herself, Susanna was particularly horrified by her son’s favorite hobby: partying. More subtle was his favorite place to go, Ronny’s Market, their neighborhood liquor store. And she’s pretty sure J’s favorite thing to collect is “pennies,” not penis as it looks. But at she says, who knows?

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To read about more of J’s antics, please go and visit Susanna Morgan’s blog, Not June.

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How would your child/niece/neighbor’s kid (or you) answer these questions?

Please remember to submit your child’s writing to us at stuffkidswrite (at) gmail (dot) com.