Tricky Dick: Not a Story About Nixon

Feb 5 2013


When we were kids, we used to sit cross-legged at school and call it Indian Style. No one calls it that anymore for all the right reasons. Hooray for cultural sensitivity and change!

Now kids sit Crisscross at school. Except no one calls it just Crisscross, because ho hum, right? How boring. Now when you sit cross-legged, you have to call it Crisscross Applesauce. Frankly, I don’t know what applesauce has to do with anything, but there it is, an essential suffix. Woe betide the mama who thinks she’s tight enough with Crisscross to only use his first name. Those kindergartners, man, they will school you. It’s Crisscross Applesauce, Mom, they will say and then they will look at you like you are equal parts dumb as bricks and to be pitied. Kind of how I look at banana muffins that are missing chocolate chips. Like, it was sweet of you to try so hard, but this is incomplete.

So, OK. You know what? Fine. Crisscross Applesauce. Got it.


It has recently been brought to my attention that, although I am not allowed to mess with Criss’s name, my children are welcome to call him whatever they like. For example, last night they decided the very best name for Criss is to drop Applesauce entirely and call him Crisscross Tricky Dick.

I just…

I don’t even…

I can’t…

Crisscross Tricky Dick? I clarified. Sure enough. That is, in fact, correct.

What is a dick anyway? I asked. It’s nothing, I discovered. It’s just a silly word, they said. OhpraiseJesusandallthesaints, I replied.

You know, Tricky Dick doesn’t even rhyme with Crisscross, I argued, hoping to appeal to their rhyming sympathies. But their hearts were hard, y’all — stone — and they were not moved.

I let it go because I’ve learned to do that sometimes. Which is a total lie. I let it go because I have no idea what to do with Crisscross Tricky Dick. Tell them to stop? Ignore it and hope it goes away? I DON’T KNOW. Also, SOMEONE HELP ME.

I sent my boys to school today. I think I deserve a badge for bravery. I’m supposed to pick them up in a half hour, and I’m nervous. When I’m nervous, I talk too much. God only knows what I might say.

Pardon me, Nice Kindergarten Teachers, but did my sons by any chance mention Tricky Dick today? Perhaps during circle time on the reading rug? If they did, you should know we are big history buffs at our house. Huge. And we’ve been talking Nixonian politics a lot lately. ‘Cause Watergate? Cannot. Get. Enough. Amirite?

This is just like that time Abby was 2 and thought Clifford the Big Red Dog was pronounced bullshit. And she said Clifford a lot. And at high volume. And in the food court at the mall. And in front of her grandmother. The one who doesn’t swear.

In conclusion, I just…

I don’t even…

I can’t…


P.S. If you have a story to share about something your kid has said, I’m not opposed to hearing it. Just saying.


image credit “Sillouette Child Doing Meditation” by sattva at