Tricky Dick: Not a Story About Nixon


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

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96 responses to “Tricky Dick: Not a Story About Nixon”

  1. My son has a bit of OCD. Well, somedays it’s a lot of OCD. At the age of 4, he became obsessed with his pee pee. To be very correct, he was obsessed with his erected pee pee. Nothing like having your child yell in the grocery store with his pregnant mom, and 4 other siblings who are homeschooled and according to many people should not be out in the daytime away from a schoolbook . . . what was i saying? Oh, yelling “my pee pee is up. Mom, my pee pee is up!” Me: “It just means it is working. Think about something else.” Oh please think about something else! It happened so often that my adopted Haitian daughter with broken English would reply, “Think. About. Something. Else!”

  2. My child had just mastered the potty and was oh so proud that she knew she sat but because brothers/males have a penis they stand up. She decide to share this information at full volume with her father in the center of a flea market while sitting on his shoulders. In a vain attempt to quiet her, he said shhhhhh- I know! That is JUST ASKING FOR IT! She assumed he had not heard her correctly since he did not cite her brilliance so she filled her little lungs with air and bellowed “Daddy, THAT MAN has a penis!” pointing to a random stranger. Her father NEVER took her to another flea market.

  3. When my oldest brother was 3 (back in the 50’s) his favorite things in the world was trucks. Unfortunately for my mom his tr sound came out as an F, so trucks became… yeah I am so glad neither of my boys had that problem

  4. I am super-duper late to your tricky dick party, but I think you will appreciate this gem.

    I had a friend in college whose little nephew had trouble pronouncing “tr” – he substituted “f” instead. This became problematic when the little guy saw a toy dumptruck at Toys R Us, and pointed and yelled, “DUMF*CK!!!” across the store.

    20 years later, I still snicker when I think about his poor mom trying to explain that one to the poor unfortunate soul standing next to the toy dumptruck.

  5. When my son was little he pronounced coconut as “chunky c*nt”. Yep. That’s a “u” in the place of the * just in case there was any question. He had a shower curtain that had animals such as monkeys, giraffes, lions, and then it also had coconut trees. So, he would sit in the bath, point and name the things on the curtain…”Wion! Giwaffe! Monkey! Chunky C*nt!” Pee-your-pants-funny while at the same time praying to little baby Jesus that he never sees a coconut in the grocery store.

    • and my girlfriend had a young son that was sittin on her lap in church. the man at podium was talking about happiness and how important it is and the little boy yells out..Hey mom , I “have a penis” too..(apparently happiness is Have a penis.)

  6. We have a local pizza place called Bits and Pizzas. My little guy thinks it is called Bitchin’ Pizza! Sounds good to me!

  7. I had a cousin who was slightly older than me, and therefore my language model, who would boldly label any chicken delicacy as “shittin.” The refrigerator was also the “shiterator.” I am now a speech-language pathologist and am certain this is the subconscious cause of my career choice!

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