wtf? wednesday

by Janelle Hanchett

I miss Ava. I miss the clever things she says. I can’t wait for her to get back from Europe. One more week. Anyhoo, on her behalf, I’ll share this little story for wtf? wednesday …it has always been one of my favorites.

We were camping at my husband’s family cabin up in the Caribou Wilderness near Mt. Lassen. Ava was about three. We were sitting at the picnic table inside, drinking hot chocolate. Or maybe it was Irish coffee. Well, one thing we know for sure is that AVA was drinking hot chocolate. I was drinking something, most likely involving whiskey. Anyway, Ava asks “Want to ‘say cheers?’” and of course we do, so we clink our mugs and “say cheers” and then Mac says “bottoms up” before taking a drink. We all take a drink, but Ava stops. She looks around at us (me, Mac, my mom) a little confused. Then she sets her mug down, wriggles around into a standing position on the picnic bench, picks up the mug and takes a drink, proudly announcing “I’m drinking with my bottom up!”

Yeah. I love that.


Merging onto the Bay Bridge on our way to San Francisco, some human in a Lexus SUV totally (dangerously) cuts us off, forcing me to slam on my breaks and yell inappropriate words out the closed window. From the back seat, Rocket asks “Why did that guy do that?” I answer (always a diplomat, you know…) “well I guess he was in a hurry,” to which Rocket responds “Maybe. OR, he’s an idiot.”

(Now where did he learn such skepticism and general intolerance? Totally inappropriate for a boy his age. His mother should really do something.)


Rocket, playing with his wooden sword (yes, exactly the Waldorf type of toy I made fun of in this post), looks very serious and says to me “this sword looks like it’s made of wood. But it’s actually a real sword made of metal but covered in wood, so I won’t hurt myself.”

(Why is that so freaking cute?)


And then sometimes kids say things that beg the deep philosophical WTF?, because they are so right on – so brilliant in their simplicity. And so GOOD. As in holy. And loving. And perfect. Here’s an example:

Me: “Rocket, are you excited to go to the Japanese Tea Garden?”

Him: “yeah.”

Me: “I know you love it there, but you don’t sound very excited.”

Him: “well, I like it there, but I don’t love it. It’s a thing. We don’t really love things, Mama. We love our family. Plus, Ava isn’t here, so it won’t be all of us. It won’t be ‘just right.’”

What he loves is his hanging with his sister. What he likes is the tea garden. That makes sense to him — because why would you “love” some object, some place or thing? 

Someday he’ll realize that the whole world is based on The Love of Things that now seems so wholly incomprehensible to him.

But until then, he’ll just have his spectacular innocence and sweet clear truth.


8 Comments | Posted in wtf? wednesdays | April 13, 2011
  • Christina

    I LOVE these stories.

    We were going over the ‘thrill hills’ when my son Gage was about 4 years old. He says, with sheer delight, “This makes my penis tickle.”

    My husband and I look at each other and nod, “Yes, I guess it does.”

    I have never heard it described so accurately.

    The best. (a little secret, this is the only reason I am a preschool teacher)

    • renegademama

      Buahahahaha! Christina I love this so much I can hardly speak. Your son is my new favorite person. P.S. I am restraining myself from saying a few choice things about the joys of tickling penises. I am. I’m not saying it. Shhhhhh. Janelle! Quiet!

  • eringirl

    The last part about loving his sister makes me melt inside. THAT is what I want for my kids. Because that is how I feel about my family. I am 29 years old and I ache for my brother and sister to move back to Sacramento. They both live in San Francisco and I miss them so freaking much. Everytime they tell me they hang out, I get all sorts of sad that I wasn’t hanging out with them too. I don’t know how you teach that love and appreciation, but I am sure as hell going to try. Because those types of relationships are what matter.

  • Shan

    Too good for words. But good enough for A word I heard on some sappy, awful, “my daddy works all the time so I’m going on a show that will let me be in charge of his schedule and his Blackberry… at least while the cameras are rolling” show:

    Spro-TACK-uh-lerrrr! (Written in Shan phonics.)

    • renegademama

      Shan you kill me. And I love Shan phonics. They’re good phonics. I think I’m going to use them to teach my 5-year old to read. That is, if he ever ever EVER learns to read. 🙂 (He really has no interest. And I’m really okay with it. Well sort of. Not really. I’m trying.).

  • christal

    Just want to say that I love your WTF? Wednesday, and your blog is becoming one of my favorites 🙂

    • renegademama

      Thank you so much! Really glad to hear the feedback – I was actually wondering if maybe people got bored by the wednesday thing — I don’t know…I’m so new at this, I appreciate the feedback A LOT. Just one person enjoying it makes it worth it. Thanks again for reading. Just checked out your blog – I’m your newest follower I’m sure. 🙂

  • Kimberly

    Hard to believe that beneath all that fighting, my kids may actually like one another. Sigh.