Do You Have a Rooterus?

A friend just told me about a horribly embarrassing moment when his toddler blurted out something inappropriate in a crowd.  The rest of our conversation was about innocent remarks gone badly.


We are in Kroger’s produce section. Alli is three years old. She’s riding in the front of the cart. It’s obviously Senior Citizen Day and we are getting a few stares simply because we do not match, and maybe because Alli is rather adorable.

Alli seems to sense that she is center stage surrounded by not only greens and bananas, but by a lot of people looking at her.

While I reach for a bag of apples, she yells, “Don’t hit me!”

Suddenly all eyes are on me.

All I could do was look at my child, dumbfounded.

That little rascal busted out laughing. She was laughing so hard, she was kicking her feet, rocking the cart and loving every minute of my discomfort (which seemed to last a good hour.)

Up and down every aisle, I received glare upon glare. My only saving grace was that Alli was so bubbly and giggly and friendly, that she did not look abused in any way.

I can only guess she picked up that phrase at Parent’s Day Out. I know she never heard it in our household.

The child also called crackers, crack.  She would ask for them at most inopportune times by holding her little hands out with a desperate look and shouting, “Crack! Crack!”

When she was a little older and was learning body part names, she asked her Daddy, over dinner, “Do you have a rooterus?” (uterus)

(On a side note, at present I have one I’d like to give away.)

It seems I was a bit of a vocal ham myself. I don’t remember too many of the events, but I have heard the stories repeatedly.

In the early ‘60’s you didn’t see many shaven or bald heads. If a man was balding, he wore a hat. Evidently in the middle of a crowded Sunday after church crowd at Shoney’s I stood up in my chair, pointed to the man who had just walked in the door with his bald head and announced,

“LOOK! It’s Mr. Clean!”

It is also rumored that I pointed with my middle finger.

And then there’s the time my parents and brothers were laughing at me during dinner. I became upset and told them to stop laughing at me. My father said, “But we are not laughing at you, we are laughing with you!”

To which I replied in a most dramatic voice, “But I wasn’t laughing!”

I am nobody’s fool.


There’s also the one about a card game…

My family didn’t want to exclude me but they also didn’t want me messing up their card game, so they’d let me sit at the table with them with my own cards. Only I never realized I really wasn’t part of the game. They were just letting me pretend to play. One night it dawned on me that my score was not being included.

I threw down my cards and said, “I feel like such a fool.”

Of course, that statement and all of the above are unendingly used in our family.


But I guess that’s the way it will be forever more…I still refer to crackers as crack when I’m around Alli.

Well, on to recent news…

This blog was actually one I had ready to post last week when all hell broke loose when my mother took ill. (She is stable and I will fill you in later.)

Remember that one weaving I was doing back in winter, the one with the tiny thread? Hmmm. It looks more like something you’d find in a first aid kit for a skinned knee than something you’d actually make a shawl with.  So, I wove some feathers into it and added it to a wall hanging of items that Alli has made over the years.

A grapevine had to be removed from our fence out back before it choked out the roses. I could not bear to just get rid of it, so I made a basket.

I think I’ve been very inspired by Mr. and Mrs. Robin’s nest

Larry's shot of our bird babies.

And finally, on Easter Sunday we carried our webcam over to my parents and let them Skype with Alli. I sometimes forget how much technology has changed over the generations. They are amazed that they can sit in their home in one state and converse, real-time with their grandchild who’s in another state.

Two weeks from now, about the time Mr. and Mrs. Robin find their nest empty, our baby bird will be back to the nest with her fun way with words.

I better stock up on crack.

-Libby Lu


8 thoughts on “Do You Have a Rooterus?

  1. Love this post. I love children’s innocent remarks.
    I used to take my oldest nephew out with me to the supermarket to give my sister an hour of solitude. (He’s now 36, so we are talking a LONG time ago). One day he saw a very obese man. I was afraid of what he might say- I hate when kids hurt people’s feelings, even if unintentional – but he said, “That man is very chubby!” That was so innocent; I still smile when I think of it.
    Another time there was a very large black guy in a big hat. We didn’t live in the most diverse neighborhood, so I cringed when my nephew asked, “What does that man look like to you?” Then he answered his own question: “He looks like a cowboy to ME!” I was only too happy to agree!

  2. A daughter of one of my friends used the same line on her mother when she arrived at day care one day. The pre-schooler shrunk back, put her hands up to protect herself, and said, “Don’t hit me, Mommy!” So you are not alone.
    One of my favorites with mine: a nice older lady at church learned that Henry was named for my grandfather, and said to young (6ish) Henry, “Maybe you’ll be a grandfather named Henry one day!” He replied, “Yeah, but you’ll be dead then.”

  3. Libby, Libby, Libby! I am laughing out loud in the solitude of my home! You indeed are one talented writer! When a certain childhood friend of my father’s visits he has everyone enthralled with stories of my own childhood. Now I have him on the “censored list”! My own children were starting to take notes! I love you! Anna

    • Awww Anna, Thank you for being a loyal reader and such a dear friend. I thought I’d heard all the tales, but this past week, sitting with my Dad I’ve heard some new ones. There’s a friend I worked with in Colorado who wrote Alli a long letter at graduation with all kinds of stories of our escapades. Oh my. Verbal History. Love you more! L.

  4. Great stories! At two years old, we are at the beginning stages of “funny things said in public”. He used to make a woooo sound for fire truck. But now when he sees one its “fruck”. Said loudly and quickly, “Mommy, fruck!” doesn’t sound quite right. 🙂

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