13 May 2019

[Bess Tuggle] - Memoirs of Surviving Children: Out of the (sometimes dirty) Mouths of Babes

Okay, to set this one up, my children (biological and otherwise) were raised in a two-story house with a full basement.  The first floor of the house was wide open.  The kitchen had an island stove/oven.  Turn around and the kitchen sink and window was right there. The back door opened into the kitchen, the main door we used, and we all kicked our shoes off next to the back door (not that it really mattered with the dogs, cats and other random creatures that shared our home from time to time).The kitchen was completely open to the living room.  Upstairs, I had a loft office along with the master bedroom, bathroom and closet; if you weren’t 18 you didn’t –dare- walk up those stairs!  I could lift my butt up 6” off my desk chair and see the boys playing in the back yard.  I could also look over the loft rail and check on them in the kitchen and the living room.  To this day, I don’t think they realize that there was one A/C vent on the top floor that let me hear everything going on in the basement.  If I just busted myself out, so be it.  My memories still give me grins and giggles.

I had supper on the table every day at 5:30.

Standing in the kitchen cooking, with my oldest doing his elementary school homework, son #3, at about 2 ½ years old, gets on his knees in one of the kitchen chairs, puts his elbows on the table, leans over, and asks his brother “What’s that f’in shhhhiIIIIiiittt?”  

I stopped, mid-stir on whatever I was coming up with to feed the masses, and asked “What did you say?”

At 2 ½ he had a tiny, pint sized little adorable voice.  He answered immediately “F’in shhhhiIIIIiiittt.” 

I turned my back to the stove and table, put my hands over my face, and laughed so hard I cried until I couldn’t catch my breath.  Now I’ve got a child that’s scared to death because Mama was crying – and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it at that moment.

His father finally walked in the back door from work and asked what was wrong.  I’m sure I looked completely distraught.  Tears everywhere, hitching breath… I finally caught my breath long enough to tell him to ask his son what he said.  

“F’in shhhhiIIIIiiittt.”  

Son #3 got sent to his room.  Neither of us could deal with that one with a straight face.

When his father asked me where he got that from I calmly answered “Do you remember your tirade walking in the back door last night after work, tripping over the boys’ shoes?”

Supper was burned to a crisp.  Nothing more to be said.

Bess Tuggle


A jack of all trades, Ms. Tuggle has been a Covington resident since the late 70’s. She's been a K-Mart cashier, cabinet builder, vet tech, office manager for a beef cattle ranch and water well company (where she was able to hold benefits for D.A.R.E. and Scouts), a court reporter, business manager, assistant at a private investigation firm, legal assistant, convenience store clerk, landscaper and elementary school substitute teacher.  Her greatest pleasure is being a wife, mother and grandmother.  Her stories are all real, and all names will be withheld to protect the innocent, and also maybe the guilty, depending on the crime & the Statute of Limitations.  


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