What the crap?

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life32 Comments


That's Aidan's newest expletive. What the crap. I've heard it come from her mouth numerous times during the past week leading up to the release of I'm-not-even-going-to-link-the-book-because-Lord- Knows-JK Rowling-is-set-for-life-a-billion-times-over-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.

What the crap?

Is this just what the kids are saying these days? Is it just a matter of time before it's something stronger? Is this the final indicator of parental failure and youth run amock?

Aidan had strep for a week, right after we came back from the cabin. She was one sick little bird. When we finally went into the doctor's office for a series of different, mildly invasive tests (because the quick strep was negative)… she was sitting in the doctor's office, miserably rocking, with a sick stomach, among other things, and me, trying to make her feel better told her it was okay to be mad at her stomach for feeling so icky.

Wanting to see if i could make her smile, i said she should say something to help get her anger out over being sick, something like this: I DAMN THEE! while pointing to her stomach.

I said it with my best over-wraught, quasi-Shakesperean accent.

She didn't smile, but… she has since whipped it out in conversation. And rather appropriately so, I might add, with both conviction and a dead-on English accent.

Here's to appropriately timed, Victorian-era expletives that at least bring some theater and grandeur to…well, mild expletives.



p.s. And yes, Aidan checked out the last Harry Potter book from the library, and read it on Saturday, stopping only to eat and use the bathroom a handful of times, despite Dan's it-was-funnier-the-first-time repeat question: "Has Yoda died yet?"

Cathy ZielskeWhat the crap?

32 Comments on “What the crap?”

  1. #2
    Modern Mommy

    also glad Aiden is feeling well enough to read “the book” and drop a few expletives. My three year old wowed is with her stunning verbal ability the other day when she dropped the standard but still effective, “what the hell” Bad parent, I promptly put myself in timeout.

  2. #3

    Ah, yes, out of the mouths of pre-teens. My son and daughter have taken fondly to the word ‘crap’ with a variety of beginnings and endings…’holy…’, ‘what the…’, ‘oh…’, well you get the picture. At first, I admonished them appropriately and vigorously, telling them it was inappropriate and not to be uttered again. Yet, as time passed, my energy for punishing this verbal slip waned. I too felt that yet again my lack of discipline was another indicator of my failure as a mother…another strike against me in my quest for mother of the year (sigh…maybe next year)…but I guess I feel like it is better than the other expletives sure to flow from their lips in the years to come… that no matter how hard I try, it will happen…a cop out perhpaps? Maybe, but I feel like there are bigger battles to fight…so I join you in your thoughts today…
    So on that cheery note….
    Damn thee to Mondays!!! Thanks for the momentary diversion.

  3. #5

    My four year old is fond of her version, “What the heck, what you are?” It works for her….

  4. #6

    Oooh, my first comment ever. *SQUEE* Cathy, your books are great. I’m a digital scrapper, but still find them inspiring. *fangirls you*

    Ok, I just had to say it. Now on to what prompted me to comment…

    If you want dramatic and Victorian, “Blast it all!” is also very fun to say in a fake English accent. Just a thought.

  5. #7

    mine just say
    WHAT THE???
    leaving the last word up to the imagination.
    its kind of embarassing to have your four year old daughter exclaim that in a public place.
    that middle photo is AWESOME.
    when did you do these?

  6. #8

    I have that problem and also the expression “That p#@!#2 me off” and I try to admonish them; but being 17 and 19 makes it a little more difficult. I have asked that they try not to use it in front of their granparents especially their grandmothers; because we all know who will be the receipeant of that lecture!?

    My guys stayed up all night saturday reading the new HP; they both finished it up Sunday morning and have been real good not to tell me what happens. Gotta love’em.

    Really enjoy your blog! Thank you.

  7. #9

    My just-turned-13-year-old uses “what the crap” ALOT. Too much. Yet, I’m more troubled by my 5 year old’s latest habit of prefacing his statements with “Ahem”. Such as “Ahem (very grovely and drawn out), I am waiting for my drink”. Quite certain I won’t be writing any “how to” books on parenting anytime soon.

  8. #10
    Sherri P

    My 12 year old son has been using ‘crap’ in various expressions, with ‘what the’ and ‘oh’ for awhile now. ‘Crud’ is interchangeable with ‘crap’ and no less attractive to me. What’s even less attractive is my 6 year old daughter emulating big brother! I too am not the one to ask for parenting advice!
    And I love the photos! You get such gorgeous shots of your gorgeous kids!

  9. #12

    Ummm … ok, she checked it out? From a library? No wonder she uses Victorian expletives; when is the last time a kid checked out a Harry Potter book from the library? Doesn’t she want to own it? To smell the clean crisp pages and revel in the fact that it is her own? Oh, wait, that’s just me.

    And I myself use the expression, “what the poop.” Do not ask me where that came from. As my loving relatives have pointed out, it doesn’t even make sense.

  10. #13

    dan’s yoda line totally cracks me up! something my dh would definitely say… instead his HP question has been: are you done yet??? thanks for yet another giggle.

    what the crap?! your blog is funny!

  11. #14

    Cathy, I have heard the newest release of Harry Potter even has the the “effing”. I always thought these were kids books, but according so of the girls at work who are reading the newest it has lots of expletives.

  12. #17
    Beth S.

    Nice to know I’m not alone. My 12 year old says “What the heck” but it basically means the same thing as it’s said in a moment of disgust (usually because I’ve asked him to do something or said no to buying something). Is it parental failure? Well, sure. I prefer, however, to blame society but realize that I have more to do with it than I like to admit. Haven’t come up with the answer yet other than military school!
    Hang in there! You’re not alone!

  13. #18

    add us to the “what the …? ” as they trail off. 8.5 and almost 7. {sigh}

    your daughter sounds quite entertaining … just like mom.


  14. #19

    My three year old has taken to repeating a pharase I have said a few times (stop making this so difficult) but with his own twist: i’m trying to make this dificult for you.

    Not the same as what the crap, but it is what it is.

  15. #20

    Cathy, I teach second grade and if this is the worst you’ve heard come out of Aidan’s mouth, consider yourself lucky and a wonderful parent! Like anyone else, I’ve been known to use some “colorful language” at home when my computer doesn’t respond as I wish it to, or when I’ve stubbed my toe on a piece of furniture, but, I’ve been teaching for 36 years and it truly amazes me at the language that I hear each year. It gets worse and worse. They mimic what they hear at home, because the parents are even worse during conferences! We have a large portion of the population who need a big dose of civility training!

  16. #21

    My nearly 13 year old son was saying “what the?” leaving the last word out also. I let him know I really didn’t like the way it sounded, so he has since changed it to “what the SNAP” (he used it no less than five times on the way home from dinner tonight). It seems I can’t win for losing…

  17. #22

    oh man I just laughed out loud (very loud) when I read Dan’s question. Killer. I am so not into Harry Potter. I went to the store on Saturday afternoon, looked at the last chapter and saw the result and was totally crumbed. If she’d had any balls about her she would have killed off the lot of them!

  18. #23
    Karen Breen-Bondie

    I am still corrective when my eldest, at 18, says, “sucks” or “frickin’/friggin'”. I’m not in denial; I know he swears out of my earshot. It’s just called having manners and respecting those around you.

    And like MarieP, above, I also started saying “what the poop” about two years ago. I’m no prude, however.

    We all know the word they want to say and just substituting it with a similar word is almost as offensive to me. I’m still taken aback when I hear a kid say “that sucks”.

  19. #24
    anne - paris, fr

    nice photos of your daughter.

    my daughter was 3 yrs old when she came home from school and said “merde” (shit). i was shocked!! my mother-in-law laughed when she heard the story. i had a one on one talked with my daughter:-) luckily, she understood. she’s 6 yrs now & haven’t repeat that word again.

  20. #25
    Judy Cotner

    I heard my son’s friend (8 years old, mind you) say, “What the freak?” the other day. Wha? It doesn’t get any closer to the real thing than that!

  21. #28

    poor Aidan!!! my oldest ds just survived strep himself….just wasn’t pretty!
    ours seems to be “what the heck??” and we are rather partial of “freakin/friggin”…..though “shit” will always be my personal fav swear word! lol!!
    and congrats to Aidan for getting to check out the book. our library’s waitlist is 775 peeps! I bought it and read it Saturday. oldest ds is working his way through it now.

  22. #29
    Melissa LaFavers

    Cathy, I laughed out loud about Dan’s question about Yoda. Hilarious. Sounds to me like you are raising a daughter with a strong spirit and a lot of wit. One thing Rowling has done, she’s gotten kids to be a bit more excited about reading.


  23. #30
    Julia Budd

    No JK doesn’t need a link to her latest novel, but do bear in mind that since her success started, she’s donated £30million sterling to charities (her fave is a single parent support charity).

    Anyway……..we have ‘oh crap’ and have almost become desensitised, will try harder. Despite being british, we rarely use the phrases that we are attributed with. Damn shame.

  24. #31

    Bloody TV. That was how my 3yo choose to dob me in for my big indescretion whilst on the telephone the other and i said.. get off the bloody stairs. (I had asked several times, it was dangerous. I was on a call i couldn’t pause) and I was cranky and bad.
    And he dobbed me in beautiful. Bloody TV. Beg your pardon Lochie. Bloody TV. Daddy loses it. We dont say that! (i am laughing too hard to assist/explain).. we dont ever say that OK Lochie. He looks right at me and says.. sometimes we do don’t we mummy.
    What the crap… I could live with that one for a while, beats the alternatives. Harry long Live and Yoda. 😉

  25. #32

    I did a yahoo search for ‘saying crap + pre-teens and ended up on this site!Yeah It’s not just me! My kids are really easy for the most part, but they are bent on this saying crap thing! I’m not particularly conservative, but I cringe hearing my kids (12 & 9) say it. I hate ‘suck’ too. The kids here (tiny town in Illinois!) say it in school with no repercussions. After my daughter told me ‘it’s part of our vernacular’, I took the really lame stance of saying I hate it; say it behind my back. She’s been able to whip me in an argument since she was 8. I’m just glad I didn’t have to look up ‘vernacular’!

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