A Reputation Ruined

November 26, 2006 at 10:27 am 21 comments

girls-1983.jpgOne of the things Pap and I do very well together is throw parties.  We have a knack for putting together just the right food, music, atmosphere and people for a really interesting evening.  In 1983 we were stationed in Indiana, and the buzz about our upcoming Christmas party was loud and annoying enough that both our squadron commanders and the base commander invited themselves to the event.  If you’ve never served in the military, you might not know that this just isn’t done.  Officers don’t mingle with enlisted.  We were a wreck but up for the challenge.  Me and Pap were very cocky in the olden days. 

In 1983, we had only the oldest two girls.  They really were as adorable as they look here.  That’s grandgirls mom on the right, Tiffany, and Girl Prof., Michelle on the left.  They were two and three on the night of this Christmas party, and we were cocky about our terrific kids too. They had new ruffled nightgowns and a babysitter who had been instructed to bring them out for good-night kisses just after all the guests had arrived and were settled in the living room, admiring my perfect decorations. 

Three days before the party I was running around like a madwoman cleaning and getting things ready in the house so Pap took the girls to fetch the Christmas tree.  They came home rosy cheeked and giggling later that night, a perfect tree strapped to the top of our car. 

Tiffany didn’t even have her coat off before she started telling me about their trip.

       “Me and Daddy went to the farm.  We walked up and down the dirt with a big man who said ‘this one? this a good tree?’, then we went to the big man’s house and had hot chocolate!” 

Tiffany was a dramatic kid, this speech involved much arm waving and stomping about.  By the time she got to “chocolate” I was hmmming, and uh huhhing and hustling her down the hall to get her ready for bed. 

The day of the party went extremely well.  I should have known something was up, but… I wasn’t just cocky about my party skills I was downright arrogant. 

The party was in full swing, the officers wives planted in my best chairs in the living room while my friends mingled uncomfortably on the fringes.  The men had taken up residence in the kitchen, closer to the food and alcohol.  The babysitter brought the girls out at the appointed hour.

They looked like little angels, as sweet and tidy as two porcelain dolls.  Tiffany was holding Michelle’s hand, her little eyes sparkling.  Base Commander’s wife is enchanted, she couldn’t be happy just looking at them, she also felt the need to talk to them. 

    “Your mother tells me you helped pick out this lovely Christmas Tree, Tiffany, was that fun?” She says in her patronizing talking to children voice.

    “Me and Daddy went to the farm.  We walked up and down the dirt with a big man who said ‘this one? this a good tree?’, then we went to the big man’s house and had hot chocolate!  Then we went outside and Daddy said ‘this g_d damned tree won’t fit on the mother f*!%$&#^ car!’  Then we came home.”

You could have heard a pin drop in my house, my jaw was laying in my lap and the rest of the ladies looked like I’d just spit in their wine.  Just when I was sure I was about to spontaneously combust, we heard the sound of a deep male voice start laughing.  Followed by another and soon the entire cast inhabiting the kitchen.  Base Commander came stumbling out of the kitchen wiping his eyes.

     “Mother… remember that time Junior told the preacher what I’d said about his sermon?”

The tension broken, we stumbled through a half hour of embarrassing moments created by our children and then the officers left and the real party started.  Pap and I lost our cocky attitudes and all shred of arrogance that night, we also stopped swearing.   


Entry filed under: Holidays, life with kids.

And We’re Off…. The Power of Tradition

21 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Hammer  |  November 26, 2006 at 1:39 pm


    It’s amazing what kids will pick up. I have to keep tight control over my mouth or I live to regret it.

  • 2. Stacy  |  November 26, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    Oh, Kat! That story is just too precious and funny. I think every parent has been there. My own low moment came in the late 80s. I was angry at my husband (who was not home) and had been ranting, muttering and who-knows-what-else about him in front of a silent witness. My 3 yr. old son. Silent, that is, until my husband pulled into the drive. That’s when my darling baby boy went out on the porch and announced matter of factly in his loudest voice that “the b*****d’s home!” Oy.

  • 3. tony  |  November 26, 2006 at 7:48 pm

    That is great! Kids DO say the darndest things!

    Oh…my stomach hurts now from laughing so much. That is hilarious! Very cute pic, btw.

  • 4. Quilldancer  |  November 26, 2006 at 8:03 pm

    Kat, that is an absolutely wonderful story! I really did laugh out loud!

  • 5. Mr. Fabulous  |  November 26, 2006 at 8:12 pm

    LMAO I laughed out loud too!

  • 6. LauraJ  |  November 26, 2006 at 8:29 pm

    that was too (#&$)$# funny!!

  • 7. twobuyfour  |  November 26, 2006 at 8:56 pm

    Ahhh! Good times! Good times. Who doesn’t have fabulously funny anecdotes about the inappropriate things their children have said? They are amazing creatures. I never tire of reading of them.

    Merry Christmas.

  • 8. Hayden  |  November 26, 2006 at 9:12 pm

    great story, Kat! Thanks for the laugh to start my day!

  • 9. katcampbell  |  November 26, 2006 at 9:15 pm

    Hammer – Amazing little parrots aren’t they? If I’d have stayed childless, I’d have no stories to tell though.

    Stacy – That’s funny! What did your husband do?

    Tony – I bet YOUR parents could tell a similar story! BTW thank you for the advice on getting the text to align with the picture, but it went RIGHT over my head. “HTML” is a swear word that gives me hives.

    Quilldancer – Payback for all the times you’ve given me a headache from laughing!

    Mr. Fab – Nothing like a couple of kids to keep ‘ya humble.

    Laura = Aren’t you lucky you’re single so Aaron won’t pick up this kind of trashy language!

    TwoBuy! Nice to see you out and about! I’m looking forward to reading others stories of their kids embarrassing them…what’s yours?

  • 10. Dave M  |  November 26, 2006 at 10:00 pm

    When kidscome out with sayings like that and then someone asks them “where did you learn that”. They reply “my Dad says that”. Really drops you in it.

  • 11. NMOTB  |  November 27, 2006 at 12:06 am

    I just loved that story!!! That is one thing about children – they say it as it is!!!

  • 12. Velvet Sacks  |  November 27, 2006 at 12:44 am

    What a great story, Kat! The more angelic they look, the funnier it is when stuff like that comes out of their mouths. And yours DO look angelic in that photo. I’ll be giggling about this all day now.

  • 13. skye  |  November 27, 2006 at 2:07 am

    Great story!…lol.

    One day when my niece was young, I had her out in the car with me when I got cut off. I slipped and said a couple choice words about the &%#@*$# driver. Later that day, don’t you know she comes out with the same words in front of her parents. When asked where she’d learned them, she pointed at me. My brother-in-law wouldn’t believe it, because I was just too genteel a woman…whew.

  • 14. katcampbell  |  November 27, 2006 at 3:55 am

    Dave – that’s the trouble with kids, you can’t teach them to lie and say TV!

    NMOTB – Yup, and since you said it first, you can’t even punish the little buggers.

    Velvet – They were such sweet little things, I could have killed Pap for talking that way in front of them. It really did cure him, he still doesn’t swear except in dire circumstances.

    Skye – You lucky dog! Mine would have sold me out in a heartbeat!

  • 15. mrsjosegoldbloom  |  November 27, 2006 at 8:51 am

    Kat that is a great story, I laughed so hard I was crying. My kids have put me in that very same situation so I know how you felt at the time, but it is funny later.

  • 16. smileymama  |  November 27, 2006 at 8:59 am

    Oh that was soooooo funny!! … Thanks for stopping by–that was my youngest (8) who had said that…we just never know what she’ll come up with next!!

  • 17. katcampbell  |  November 27, 2006 at 9:40 am

    Mrs. Jose – They didn’t set me up often, but when they did it was always a butt kicker!

    Smileymama – Welcome! Eight year olds are the best, my oldest grandgirl is 8 and I have to keep on my toes to stay ahead of her.

  • 18. sunfloweroptimism  |  November 27, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    Oh, dear, I can’t stop laughing Kat! You must have wanted to crawl under the rug. Such language coming out of a sweet little face like that! – too funny! Now I know where the grandgirls get all their cuteness from – great photo.

    Robert Fulghum – “Don’t worry that children never listen to you. Worry that they are always watching you.”

    So true, huh? (still LOL!)

  • 19. katcampbell  |  November 28, 2006 at 3:52 am

    Sunflower – As embarrassing as it was, its one of my favorite stories. Sometimes truth, and humor, are so much stranger than fiction! Robert Fulghum hit the nail right on the head!

  • 20. guyana-gyal  |  November 28, 2006 at 11:47 pm

    I’ve done my share of embarrassing my parents. So have my siblings. tee hee.

    I bet your party was the talk of the military. HAHAHA I must share this with my mum.

  • 21. anhinga  |  February 21, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    This reminds me of a boating trip with just our granddaughters. As we pulled into dock, Hannah said, “Ahmaw said a bad word.” Anything is possible, but I really didn’t think I had.

    “What word did I say, Hannah?”

    “I’m not allowed to say it. It’s a bad word.”

    No matter my prodding she refused to tell me the bad word she couldn’t say that I had said. This was maddening to me, almost bringing me to bad words. 🙂 Only much later whenI learned she thought “stupid” was a bad word did it click. Stupid. I must have said stupid.


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