As any parent can attest, kids really do say the darndest things. One minute we're amazed at the miracle of language development, especially when we hear them say "mama" or "dada" for the first time. The next, we're baffled to discover our little ones have created their own vocabulary loaded with a mix of words and phrases, some of which we've taught them, and others we're not quite sure where or how they picked up. Needless to say, their words can create some odd, hilarious, and often downright humiliating situations for us parents.
While we might be totally mortified in the heat of the moment—it's hard to ignore those onlookers staring in disbelief!—these kid-isms certainly make for stories we'll cherish forever. Laugh along with these parents as they recall some of the most outlandish and embarrassing things that have come out of the mouths of their little ones.
Mommy's bathroom dilemma
"When my daughter was around 2 years old and potty training, we were in a public bathroom when I needed to change a tampon and liner. She was supposed to be staring at the door, but caught a peek and thought I was cleaning poop from my underwear. In her best soothing 'mom voice,' she yelled, 'Did you go poopy in your diaper? Aw it's o-tay.' I responded with 'I got it sweetie—just look at your toy.' Her next quip: 'You poop? O-tay, o-tay, let me help you,' and started layering toilet paper all over the floor. Thankfully, the lady in the stall next to me had a great sense of humor, but I still insisted we stay in the stall until I was sure the entire bathroom was empty."
—Caroline A., from Parkville, Maryland
Rhymes with "Spadina"
"I've always been very open about sex and the human body with my children, but never imagined it would come back to, well, bite me. In Toronto, where we live, we have a street and subway station called Spadina. See where I'm about to go with this? When my son was about 4, we were traveling on the subway and I told him to listen for our stop. When we'd arrived, he announced, in a confident voice, 'Spadina! That sounds like vagina—like a boy's penis!' Indeed."
—Leslie S., from Toronto, Ontario
Two forbidden words
"By the time my oldest, Jack, was 2, he was very verbal and had been using name-calling and potty words all too often. My husband and I decided to ban him from saying the words 'nerd' and 'fart.' Well, one day, we were in the Target parking lot when a man walked by. Jack looked right at him and said, 'My mom said I can't say the 'f' or 'n' word anymore.' Needless to say I was mortified."
—Sarah C., from Seattle, Washington
"My son Hank was 4 years old at the time when he overheard someone saying 'Jesus Christ' as if it were a curse word. A little sponge, he began repeating this whenever he got upset and I quickly tried to divert him, requesting that he say 'cheese and crackers' instead. One day, we were in the grocery store and I opened a box of crackers for him because he was hungry. He got upset that they were plain and not the cheesy fish he likes best. Because I had opened them already, I gave them to him anyway. The crackers were small and in his frustration, he dropped some on the floor. Upset, he started to yell, 'Jesus crackers!' People were looking, giving me horrible looks, and I tried to shush him: 'No, Hank, it's cheese and crackers!' Angrily, he pointed at the box of cheesy fish crackers he had wanted and said, 'No! Those are cheese crackers. These are Jesus crackers!'"
—Valeria W., from Chesapeake, Virginia
Where the sun don't shine
"My 4-year-old son Cooper and I were at CVS at 5pm on a weekday, so basically half the town was also there. He must still have memories from when he was younger of me taking his rectal temperature, because while we were standing in line waiting to get a prescription, he snuck off and found the eyeglass screwdrivers, grabbed one, and screamed across the store, 'Mom! Why you gotta put this in my butt? I don't like when you put this in my butt!' He instantly got the attention of everyone in the store. I tried to laugh it off and say (as loudly as possible), 'Ohhh you think that's a thermometer! We don't take your temperature like that anymore, honey!' to reassure onlookers, but I think the damage was already done."
—Caroline O., from Marblehead, Massachusetts
Kidnappers on the loose
"My son used to really hate leaving playgrounds. When we would go to pick him up to carry him away, he used to cry out 'Help, help!' at the top of his voice, making us look like kidnappers! It was mortifying!"
—Lisa R., Victoria, B.C., Canada
Smarty pants and...
"When my son was about 5, he introduced my husband and I by saying, 'That's my dad. He's smart. That's my mom. She's angry.'"
—Katerina C., from Los Angeles, California
A bald-faced lie
"One day in San Francisco, I was at the movie theater with my young daughter. After we sat down, I realized that the actor Joel Grey was seated right in front of us. So I turned to my daughter and, in a very low whisper, told her about the person we were seated behind. After viewing the actor's receding hair, in a very loud voice she shouted, 'I didn't know Joel Grey was bald.'"
—Allen K., from San Francisco, California
Hold my beer please, Mom
"My son Spencer was about 2-and-a-half and we were on our way to the grocery store—he was in the back, in the car seat. He was heavily into pretend play at the time and was pretending to drink a beer. We reached the store and I came around to the rear of the car to get him out of the car seat. As I opened the door and undid his seat belt, he shouted, super loudly, 'Mom! Hold my beer please!' so he could get out of the car more easily I suppose. I did a very slow turn to see if anyone around us had heard, honestly worried there might be someone from DCFS lurking nearby."
—Hollis H., from Lincolnwood, Illinois
Mom's night in jail
"One time, I got stuck in traffic and was late to pick up my son Jacob from daycare. He was 3 at the time. Somehow he got the word 'traffic' confused with 'jail' and told everyone the next morning, 'My mommy was stuck in jail last night.' The teacher asked me the next day how my night in the slammer was."
—Kaity F., from Freehold, New Jersey
"I was shopping in Target with my then 7 year old. I always told her she can tell me anything she'd like. So when we were walking the aisles, she said, 'Mommy, I wish I had a stepmom!' I remember a few awkward glances and weird smiles. I'm sure my frown said more to the people around us than anything. I didn't say anything more in the moment than 'OK' with a light chuckle. Now her dad and I are happily married, I might add, so later in the car I explained what would have to happen in order for her to have a stepmom. She looked so disappointed and said, 'Mommy, I'm sorry.' I actually thought it was cute because I knew she hadn't connected the dots."
—Tiya C., from Chicago, Illinois