Writing Life

Don’t Lick The Minivan: A Review and #Giveaway

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When my son was an infant, I knew I was doing everything wrong.

I was sure of it.

Looking around, I saw smiling mommies bouncing quiet babies on their knees.

Meanwhile, I had The Screaming One.

I was failing Motherhood-101, and I had no one to confide in.

Leanne Shirtliffe’s book Don’t Lick The Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say To My Kids has hit the stores, and — boy oh boy — do I wish I had it 13 years ago.

While living abroad in Thailand, Leanne gave birth to twins, William and Vivian. After a bit of a rocky start, Leanne found the babies (she lost them on the way home from the hospital), the right nursing bra (not so easy in a country where boobies are slightly less bodacious than ripe Canadian ta-tas), and she started to find funny everywhere.

You know those days when you’re feeling like you’re the world’s suckiest parent with rotten-good-for-nothing kids?

Leanne teaches us to find humor in those low moments.

She tells us how:

  • Her husband left the babies with drunken strangers. (Sorry to throw you under the tuk-tuk, Chris.)
  • William liked to pee. Everywhere. On everything.
  • Vivian drew on the dining room table. Using a Sharpie. (The permanent kind.)
  • The twins carved their names into her minivan’s paint…with rocks.

She sucks at crafts.

She’s anti-glitter.

She let her son sleep next to a turd.

Leanne has this way of making us see the humor in the exchanges we have with our kids. When you are suffering through life’s most unfunny moments, remember we are all partners in this ordinary, extraordinary thing: raising tiny humans. And Leanne? She reminds us it’s okay to laugh with them – as well as at them.

Because Leanne is yummypickles, one person is going to be able to win a copy of Don’t Lick The Minivan.

What do you have to do to win?

Leave me a comment telling me a naughty thing you did as a child that you thought was hilarious OR tell me something naughty that one (or more) of your kids did that was heinous at the time, but you can look back at now and laugh. Kind of.

Can’t wait to win a contest? Buy Don’t Lick the Minivan on Amazon.

Buy Don’t Lick the Minivan at Barnes & Noble 

They even have an audible version. Listen to the sample.

tweet us @rasjacobson & @lshirtliffe

NOTE: This contest is open to residents of the US and Canada only. Random Number Generator will be helping me on this one. One winner will be announced on my blog on May 27th. If that person doesn’t contact me within 24 hours, I’ll select another winner. Don’t be that turd.

• • •

Ain't she cute?
Ain’t she cute?

Leanne Shirtliffe’s book, Don’t Lick the Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say to my Kids, has received glowing endorsements from Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess), Jill Smokler (Scary Mommy), Kirkus Review, and others. When she’s not stopping her eight-year-old twins from licking frozen flagpoles, Leanne keeps a blog at and teaches English to teenagers who are slightly less hormonal than she is. Follow her on Twitter at @lshirtliffe.

NOTE: Michelle from Steadily Skipping Stones recorded a fun interview video with Leanne on her blog! When you are done reading this post, click HERE to hear Leanne answer silly and serious questions from her fans.

136 thoughts on “Don’t Lick The Minivan: A Review and #Giveaway

  1. I’ve been reading Leanne’s blog about her book and I just crack up. My favorite is still William’s response to her audiobook. 😀

    Something naughty I did as a kid? Well in true creepster kid form, I gave all my Barbies haircuts and then hid strands of their hair in my mom’s JC Penney catalogs. And also under the couch. I’m sure that wasn’t frightening at all for her to find. ha!

    1. I used to cut my doll’s hair, too. And stick pins in their ears. Whaaaat? They needed earrings! (But what was with the stashing the hair in the JC Penney catalogues? *insert creepy music* I wonder what you were thinking. Like why were you saving it?

      1. Oh, this brings back fond memories of my Barbie years. I also gave my main Barbie a pixie cut. But she had special “curling” hair, so it was never the same. And I put pins in their ears for earings, too. Ah, memories.

          1. Thank goodness Barbies aren’t anatomically correct. They’re not even human correct. My legs have never done that, anyway.

  2. OMG I am so excited for Leanne. I thought I couldn’t look forward to reading her book any more than I already am, and then I came here!

    Please don’t count this as a formal entry since I’ve already ordered my copy, but as a kid, I used to play this game with my best friend, where we’d blindfold each other and feed each other stuff from the kitchen and have to guess what it was. My dad had a can on the stove filled with bacon grease, and, well, I’m not saying I fed it to my friend, but… we never played that game again. (Side note: She still speaks to me to this day. What a gal.)

  3. OMG! DLM is hysterical. Don’t put me in the drawing, Renee. Why?

    I already purchased a copy, and am about to link over to purchase another one as a birthday gift for my niece.

    This book is hilarious, even for those of us who never birthed and raised our own.

    Who can not love Leanne’s HumoUr.

  4. I dunno how funny this will sound in print, but this story still cracks me up today.

    My father had an old valiant. Spare parts were difficult to get and expensive. One day someone stole the grill from the front of the car and my father was moaning complaining so much about it, that my brother and I had an idea.

    A week later we snuck out in the evening and removed the replacement grill he had bought, for “$70 bloody dollars!”. The next evening he got home from work and was steaming, “somebody has darn well stolen it again, that’s it!” So he drove to the local police station and reported it stolen.

    The next day we replaced it. When my poor father found it again he was perplexed, but thought he’d better do the right thing and go back to the police station and report that it was no longer stolen.

    The police said “let us get this straight… someone stole your grill, you bought a new one, then they stole it again and now they’ve brought it back?”


    “but why?”

    “Perhaps it didnt fit properly, perhaps they had an attack of conscience, perhaps they were scared of getting caught” my father replied.

    The police thought he was mad or dreaming it and sent him on his way!

    My poor father never got over the shame of it!

  5. I need this book. I, of course, didn’t win Jules’ giveaway (something about actually having to enter . . . details, details) but this one is all mine.

    Ok, since I was a perfect angel of a child, I don’t have any of my own stories (unless you count the teenaged years, because that’s when all hell broke loose), I don’t really have a story. And, of course, MY children take after their angelic momma, so . . . crap. Does this mean I don’t get to win this one either?

    Ok, you’re getting a teenaged moment . . . when I was 15, I decided that I wanted to borrow my parents car and drive to 7-11 for a slurpee. I mean, how hard could it be to drive, right? I saw my parents and tons of other people doing it every day. So, me and the bestie got in the car, drove a few miles down the windy twisty roads from our house to the closest town, got our slurpees and everything was fine. Just as I was pulling into the driveway and thought, “holy hell, I’m gonna actually get away with this!” I unwisely decided to swing the car in towards the garage . . . and completely sideswiped the Lincoln Towncar sitting in our driveway. Sort of hard NOT to notice that when my parents finally came home. Yeah, I bet they just laugh and laugh and laugh about that now! 😉

  6. This experience was so mortifying at the time that I couldn’t bear to write about it until a few years passed. Even now, in the retelling, I get that same “deer in the headlights” feeling. And to think this was my kid! I finally got the courage to write about it, and it’s the second story down, titled “Shopping Cart Un-Etiquette.” Rest assured, our daughter is much better…for now. 🙂

        1. That’s a very good way of putting it – somehow, our daughter was born without a filter. And that wasn’t the only time she just burst out with whatever was on her mind! Egads, makes you wonder how we make it!

          1. I think it would be fun to be around someone a little unfiltered. My 13 year old has always been super mature. It’s like living with an 85-year old Jewish man. I suppose I’m the unfiltered one. Poor kid.

      1. Yes, “mortified” is exactly how I felt. Frozen solid in a vat of embarrassment. Our son was never like that, so at least I had a “balancing” child to even things out!

  7. Did you really just say yummypickles? Lol.

    My parents got me a chemistry set back in the day because at one point in my life, I showed signs of being semi-intelligent. This was a young adult chemistry set and I was maybe 8 or 9. After several attempts to find an experiment whose instructions I could even understand in the first place, followed by a couple of failed experiments, I just decided to throw all of the contents of the box into a pile on the patio along with some gasoline and fire to see what would happen. As if the fire itself wasn’t going to be awesomeness in the nth degree, I had my buddy get all of his sisters Barbie and strawberry shortcake dolls along with his and my GI Joes. The flames and colors were pretty epic but the GI Joe figures turned sadist by tossing Barbies and Strawberry smelling enemies onto the fire pile because they wouldn’t up the location of the secret plans to take over the world! Bwahahahahahaha! My buddy lost his eyebrows and eyelashess and the stain from all of the chemicals can still be seen on the patio to this day. Good times!

    1. You made a huge friggin’ bonfire on the patio! Omigosh! Your parents must have wanted to kill you two! Hilarious now, no doubt! I love that the stain remains today. Do you think your friend’s eyebrows are still blowin’ in the wind? Do you guys tell this story at every family gathering? I would.

  8. My kids are too young to be naughty, really, but G$ did eat Astroglide once. The funny thing is that I’ve never brought Astroglide into our house and my wife insists that she didn’t either. Hmmmmmm….

  9. I loved this post!! My favorite line?

    “She let her son sleep next to a turd.” That is beyond funny, and reaches into the secret closets of most parent-child relationships. Fantastic!

    One of my earliest memories (probably due to the ass-whooping I received) was when I was about 4. My childhood memories don’t go back much farther than that. I fell off a slide and cracked my head open around that age and simply don’t remember anything before it. My aunt, who was supposed to be watching me, still owes me. 😉

    Okay, back to the act that induced an ass-whooping and consequently jump started my shady memories. I was about 4, and for whatever reason, didn’t want to go use the bathroom. But I NEEDED to. Life as a 4-year-old must have been pretty hectic because I chose to let “it” go in my shorts while playing in my room (the “it” here oddly enough rhymes with what “it” refers to).

    Once the deed was done, I must have decided I couldn’t just walk around with that in my shorts. I took my underwear off like a good little boy and put them away where they belonged, in my drawers, with “it” wrapped up like a present.

    Moms of course find everything out. The fact that folded underwear doesn’t retain smell didn’t help my cause. I’m sure she had a laughing years later, but at the time not even her Neal Diamond record could soothe her anger. Dad talked with me later (once my butt was clean).

    1. Omigosh Z. I sincerely hope that you did something really nice for your mother on Mother’s Day because, dude, that takes the cake. I don’t even think WIlliam hid his turds. He pissed on everything. Yes. But you hid your poop? Of course Neil Diamond couldn’t calm her down. Glad your dad was there for you, so you could figure out how to get your $hit together. IYKWIM.

      Also, did this happen before or after you’d cracked your head open. Because if it happened afterwards, I’m thinking you could lay this mess on your aunt. Just sayin’. 😉

      1. This was after the head-bustin’. (brilliant idea)

        I don’t remember giving her something nice on Mother’s Day. I do remember ruining her kitchen knives because I thought I was a ninja and could throw them in to trees, played Frisbee with her records, ate the cat’s Friskies because they were orange and star-shaped (it must taste good, right?)

        Yeah, I don’t know why my parents had more children. Maybe because it couldn’t possibly have gotten any worse. 😀

        And yes, Dad sure helped me get my $hit together.

  10. When I was two, my mother took me shopping with her and my four year-old sister. I got tired and went back to the car to take a nap. Unfortunately, I found a car that looked like ours but wasn’t. When I came wandering up to Mother later, I couldn’t understand what she was so upset about. I knew where I was all along.

    1. You fell asleep in a stranger’s car? Oh, that is rich! I actually started to cry a little when I read this entry. After Zack’s comments above, yours is like the tipping point or something. Tears are pouring down my face. Seriously.

  11. There are WAY too many for me to give just one….

    From the way back machine (2 years ago) when Thing 2 was in 2nd grade and had pajama day: The kids were allowed to wear pj’s and bring in a stuffed animal. Thing 2 brought a stuffed beaver (see where I’m going with this?). He always gets very excited about the end of the school year. This year was no exception. He was running through the house yelling at the top of his lungs, “My beaver loves wood!!!!” Over and over again. Then he switched it up to anthropomorphizing the beaver with, “Hi, I’m a beaver, I love wood. Got Wood? I love wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood!!!!”

    and since I can’t ever let myself off the hook:

    There was the time I fully pressed my little brother over my head and threw him off a rather high dirt hill. Also the weeks where I would throw flaming paper airplanes from my 2nd floor window onto the VERY dry grass below. Or when I was a Boy Scout and we used my (unknown to me) very expensive London Fog raincoat to keep a fire going.

    1. Leanne “would” love the “my beaver loves wood” story! That is exactly what she talks about when she talks about the amazingly funny stuff that comes out of people’s mouths.

      And you used a London Fog raincoat as kindling? Oh. My. Gawd. These are the best comments. Ever!

  12. These are so funny! I have so many stories of my kids doing crazy stuff and me feeling like I definitely have no clue what I am doing as a parent. The most recent incident was the other night as I was making dinner. My youngest son Oliver came in the kitchen and declared “Don’t you dare put baloney on my sandwich or I will throw it in your face!” Then moments later I hear my husband in the other room talking to my oldest son Adrian. “Quit choking your brother! We don’t choke people. It’s not cool.” Adrian explained to me later that day that he was only choking his brother because he wouldn’t marry him. So, the we had to have a talk about the fact that you cannot marry your family members and we don’t show our love for someone by choking them. Oh lordy.

    1. Audrey, can you even believe this comment thread? I am siting here laughing. And by the way, yes you can marry your family members. I lived in Louisiana and you can. It happens. (Apparently all the stinkin’ time down there.) But it’s good to have boundaries. You know, no choking is a good rule in general, I’d say. Unless you are in prison and someone you love tries to shiv you. Then I’d say, all bets are off.

      1. I was sitting here trying to think of something horrible I did as a child and the list got pretty long. The best one that came to mind was when I was probably 6 or 7 years old. I had a friend over from down the street named Emily and we were contemplating how applesauce was made while staring at my ceiling fan. (I sound like a pot head at 6 years old!). Anyhow, one of us got the bright idea to see if we could make applesauce with apples and my fan. The problem was, we couldn’t find any apples. We did however find a jar of applesauce and proceeded to “make it more sauce like” by throwing it the ceiling fan covering both of us and my entire room floor to ceiling. It was really fun. My mom still doesn’t know about the incident to this day. Her boyfriend at the time who was babysitting us helped me clean the entire room.

        1. I can totally picture kids tossing apples into the whirling blades of a ceiling fan. Of course. Why doesn’t every kid do that at some point? Amazing, Audrey! P.S.: Your mother’s boyfriend was LITERALLY awesome-sauce! Hahahahahahaha I crack myself up. 😉

          1. Leanne,
            Twins with applesauce! That would be double trouble for sure. My two boys get into pretty big messes. Just the other day I realized they were both in the bathroom together…..and they were quiet. You and I both know that is not a good sign. Anyhow, they had toothpaste, shampoo, vinegar, and God only know what else mostly mixed in a bowl and partly all over the rest of the bathroom. When I inquired as to what exactly they were doing, my oldest responded “It’s science mom, duh…” and an eye roll.

          2. I only have ONE kid, and he does all his best “science” in the bathroom. I can only imagine what two get minds might cook up. I’d be nervous when it gets quiet, too. Stay ever vigilant.

  13. Oooh, ooh! I wanna win this one! I want to give it to my sister-in-law. She also has boy/girl twins, just turned 4. And her birthday is May 28! Perfect timing for this giveaway! Only problem is, I was such a perfect child that I don’t really have any naughty tales. Sure, sometimes I didn’t have the laundry folded or the table set or the salad made by the time my mom came home from work, but I still did it. The only thing that comes to mind is a time when I was very young, probably 5 or 6. I was curious what would happen if I said a swear word in front of my dad. I was trying to decide between “bullshit” and “horseshit”. Since I loved horses (and had no love for bulls), I decided on the latter. I was standing right next to my dad as he sat in a comfy chair in the living room reading the paper. I said it very slowly, all by itself, with no context to go with it. There was absolutely no reaction whatsoever. I’m sure he probably told my mom about it later, and the two of them had a good laugh about it. Or maybe he didn’t even hear me! Who knows? Of course, my own teen swears whenever she wants, and doesn’t care if I hear it. And now her little sister will come to me crying and shout, “she called me a bitch!” Ah, sisters!

  14. There’s never been any doubt in my mind that Leanne’s book was going to be hilarious. I think, as children, we all do goofy things..even the well behaved ones. I believe I was 2 when my grandparents came to visit us in California. My mom was 9 months pregnant with my sister. Expecting gifts, I went into the guest bedroom where my g-parents luggage was stored while they visited with the ‘rents. Came across a box of “chocolate” and ate the whole thing. Turns out it was Ex-Lax. My mom freaked, ready to call poison control. Grandparents waved it off telling her I’d be fine, but on the toilet for the rest of the night. And that’s just one of many incidents I managed to get myself into.

    1. You ate the Ex-Lax. Omigosh! I’m going to have to call Darla from She’s a Maineiac over to see that in writing. It’s going to bring back all kinds of flashbacks for her. I can’t even imagine that poop-storm. I mean, I can. Last year I had to have a colonoscopy, so I get it. But to be so young and have that happen. Um, I’m guessing you developed a natural fear of chocolate, yes? 😉

  15. I was an angel child.

    Okay, maybe not. I remember being 8 years old and jumping rope in the house. My mom told me to stop and then briefly went outside to get the mail or something. Me being the obedient child that I was immediately started jump roping again, catching my rope on the old, antique lamp on the table behind me. I managed to spin around just in time to catch the lamp and saving it from the brunt of the impact, though the light bulb broke. Once my mother made sure I didn’t cut myself and the lamp was properly back in place, she made sure I never forgot that punishment for the rest of my life. And I never did jump rope again in the house, that’s for sure.

    I’m sure I did other funny/bad things, but that’s the one that sticks out in my head. My poor mother. 🙂

    1. Wow, Sarah! I can’t believe your catlike reflexes kicked in, allowing you to save the lamp! That’s kind of incredible. I’m guessing there’s no jumping rope in your house either, right? Those lessons leave their mark.

      1. Well, Ryan hasn’t tried it yet, so I haven’t had to make a rule. 😉 But, I won’t be. We only have one lamp, and I’ll about have a heart attack if we lose that one.

        I am surprised myself; I’m about as klutzy as it gets. Yet, I managed to react fast enough for once in my life. And the lamp is still in one piece in my mom’s house. Ironically, when she changed the living room decor and wanted to move it elsewhere, I asked for it to be put in my room because it is a pretty lamp. So, until I went off to college, it sat by my bed side. 🙂

  16. I had to take my time and read all of the stories! Very funny stuff. My stories are not so funny, because I actually WAS a good kid. For example, my mom got a phone call one time just after giving my baby sister a bath. So I helped. I watched the baby. Then I helped some more. I put Vaseline on the baby like my mom did. By the (short) time she came back, I had covered my sister all over. ALL over. Becca got another, much longer bath, and my mom said she thought she’d never get all the Vaseline out of her hair.

    My cousin and I opened a big dispenser of baby powder and “sprinkled” it all over the room. When they caught us, my mom said they couldn’t see us through the white haze of baby powder smoke. But I’m fairly certain that wasn’t my fault.

    1. You greased up that baby real good, didn’t you? You were such a good little mother’s helper. Yes you were! And now that I’m home, I’m linking up to your hilarious video! I wish we had thought of doing that sooner! Thanks for having people click over to my place. I tweeted your post, and then I covered it in baby powder. Sorry.

      1. 😀 I added this one to the thursday post too! (On my new podcast site, heehee!) And don’t worry, a little baby powder never hurts. A lot of baby powder, on the other hand…

  17. I will definitely pick up this book. My most popular blog post (most hits) was on this exact topic (“You’re Just Hugging Me So You Can Rub Your Nose on My Shirt!”). Remind me to tell you abou thte time as a kid I took my poop out of the potty chair and rubbed it all over my mom’s white couches. I don’t remember, but she does! She should have known I had some anger issues right then! Great giveaway idea!

    1. What’s the big deal? Clearly, you were channeling Picasso. 😉 But seriously, you picked the white couches? The white ones? You couldn’t have picked the unattractive floral one that your father never liked?

  18. Once when doing a paint-by-number book, I asked my Mom what “non-toxic” from the front cover of the book meant. She told me it meant that it wouldn’t kill you. Well, this was exciting news! I had always thought the bowl of water you clean your brush in was so pretty & full of such interesting colors, so I decided to drink it . . . the whole bowl right down! Too bad for me (and my Mom), because I woke up in the middle of the night covered in vomit. Ewww!

    1. You DRANK the non-toxic paint water? Omigosh, Karin! I am telling you this FOR REAL. Honestly, I can’t believe neither William nor Viv did this. If one of them were going to do it, it would have been WIlliam. He would have been interested in seeing if he could pee rainbows. I’ll bet your barf was super pretty. Especially in the middle of the night.

  19. Renee, I’m starting to wonder if you’re keeping a log of all these true confessions with which you are going to blackmail us later. 😉

    I did something similar to Zack above. Except I didn’t have the good sense to hide the evidence in my drawers. Instead I tried to sneak past my mother in the living room to get to the bathroom and destroy the evidence. Between the odorous trail I was leaving and the way I was walking funny, she figured out what was going on pretty quick. Her reaction was not pretty.

    And I so need to buy this book for my daughter-in-law! She will love it.

    1. I can’t believe that you tried to destroy the evidence. Who did you think you were? Nixon? 😉 I LOVE these comments soooo much. I’m blessed with readers who are willing to share. Hey! Tingo Tuesday is coming up on June 4th! It was preempted this month on account of my blogoversary! Look for it!

  20. The comments on this post are hilarious!
    I was a bit of a terror child so I have a multitude of stories. The best one is when I hit my little brother over the head with a cricket bat and then ‘ran away’ so I wouldn’t get in trouble and because my mother told him he could hit me back. (We were 12 and 9 years old). While running away I had already imagined what my new life as a homeless child would entail including my teen pregnancy (WTF shows was I watching on TV to come up with this shit!?). When I gave up running away and came home my parents thought I had been hiding under the house the whole time (maybe 30 minutes) and I tried to convince them that they should have been worried about me because I legitimately ran away. My brother did get to whack me with the cricket bat. Bastard

    1. Dalie, your brief childhood stint as a runaway is epic. I once got fed up and packed up a little suitcase and started hoofing it to my grandparents’ apartment. My father picked me up and offered to give me a lift. By the time we got to their place, I was ready to go home. My brother did not, however, whack me with a bat when I got home. Not that day, at least. Awesome story.

  21. I needed her book 15 years ago! But I’m still happy to get perspective as the mother of two teens.

    My crazy thing growing up are my head scars–all three of them occurring when I was disobeying my parents. The first time, I was five years old and jumping on the bed (which every kid knows you’re NOT supposed to do) and I stumbled into the corner of the door, slicing my forehead–Stitches #1. Then, a few years later, I was in a field where I was not supposed to be, and WHAM! a guy threw a rock which hit my head and caused a gash–Stitches #2. And in high school, my sibling and I took a detour to another city instead of driving straight home from a trip and SMASH! a van hit our car and left the scene and my head hit the windshield because I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt because it was one month before the seatbelt law in Texas and even though my sibling demanded that I wear it, I refused with a cocky smirk and said that there was no way I was going to strap myself in with that restrictive belt thingy–Stitches #3.

    You’d think I would have learned my lesson sooner. You know, without being conked in the head so many times.

    1. I think it takes three good conks to the head before the lesson sinks in. I have a 13 year old (as you know), and the themes in Leanne’s book are just so universal — I’m sure people who don’t even have children would enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by, Julie.

  22. We were visiting family in my hometown and figured a family walk to get GOOD coffee was needed. A gang of us headed out, all walking in small groups. My eldest wanted to run ahead, so our youngest was taking her time with her dad. You know kids, oohh shiny! They were very slow. They were slow until they got to a fire hydrant. Lil C pointed at it making fire truck noises making her dad smile…then bent over and licked it. For real, a huge lick on a gross fire hydrant in an area filled with dogs and less than stellar behaved people. He picked her up and ran. And we all almost threw up. She, however, was perfectly fine and had no idea about why there was such a commotion. She just asked sweetly for her coffee (hot chocolate). Kids are weird.

  23. Honestly, I don’t have kids but the book sounds hilarious. So I just went ahead and bought it. Needed a fun companion to a textbook-y thing that’s been sitting in my Amazon cart anyway.

    But I’ll still tell a time when I was a bad boy: Hawaii, 5 years old, lived next to a nature preserve area (which doubled as cow pasture), was warned not to hop around in there but did it anyway, came back covered in ticks and obvious I didn’t follow instrux. Tried to pretend I didn’t know how it happened. Did not go over successfully.

      1. This might just be a Hawaii approach, but we basically heated up a fireplace poker type thingy, then when you put the tip of it to their backs they let go REALLY quickly. The centipedes, however, required a hammer. Good times.

      2. Ha, ignore that last comment from my business-y blog type thing, I forgot I was logged in! Now you know how boring I truly am =P

        The hot poker thing worked for the ticks. Not sure I’d recommend it now though

        1. I DID look at that comment rather carefully. I wasn’t sure it was SPAM, as it was attached to your name! But I HAVE to put it in, now that you mentioned the hot poker-thingy! 😉 And, Joe? You may be many things. But you are never, ever boring!

          1. Ha! Aww shucks. Right back’atcha, goodness knows YOU aren’t boring. More than a few times I’ve made the mistake of reading your blog at work and looking like a weirdo for cackling madly in the middle of the office.

  24. This book sounds hilarious! I definitely want to check it out, even if I don’t win.

    When I was a child, I was constantly locking people out. My mom has told me over and over again about a time when I was about two years old, and she went outside one afternoon for two seconds to get the mail. My dad was already outside doing yard work. And I suppose as soon as she left, I ran around locking every door. When she came back, the doors were all locked, and she started knocking and shouting my name. My dad came over to see what was going on, and apparently neither of them could get me to open the door. They looked through the window and saw me standing there in the kitchen, stripped down naked, and pulling my dad’s newspaper apart by sections and tossing pages all over the floor, having a ball. My teenage half-sister finally drove up and she sweet-talked me into unlocking the door for them. I’ve always been partial to my sister.

    My mom also tells me that I locked her out of the car once on a snowy winter evening in Wisconsin when she and her sister went to go put flowers on their grandfather’s grave around Christmas time. I was also just toddler age at the time, and no matter what they said, I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) unlock the doors. They were freezing out there, and my mom’s sister had to walk to the nearest payphone to call a locksmith to come out (during the holidays) to break into the car. I was just hanging out in my car seat, enjoying the heat inside the running car that was probably nearly out of gas by the time my mom and my aunt were able to get back inside…

    1. I’ve heard of kids doing this to their parents! It’s pretty hysterical, really. The idea of watching your child — from the outside — and yet being completely unable to negotiate that kid into letting you back inside. Great stories! One day this WILL come back to bite you. You realize this, yes?

  25. I’m not attempting a double dipping of giveaway points here – it’s just that all these comments about cars flashed the urge to confess about the time my girlfriend and I drove her mom’s car through the back of her garage! Like Rachel, my incident happened on a cold Wisconsin night, New Year’s Eve, sometime in the early ’80s. My friend’s mom had gone out with her boyfriend for the evening, and Barb and I were bored. We decided it would be cool to nab her mom’s car keys from her not-so-secret hiding spot on top of the dresser and go out cruising for a couple hours. The problem arose when it started snowing. As Wisconsinites know, we can get some doozy snowstorms coming out of nowhere. Well, that’s what happened – by the time we returned to Barb’s house, there was a drift across the driveway. Her younger brother came out and opened the garage door. We told Barb to step on the gas JUST. A. LITTLE. BIT. The next thing we knew, we heard VROOOM! and the nose of the car had knocked out three or four boards on the far end of the garage. Talk about mortification! Egads, what to do? Not much getting around the obviousness of what happened, so we ‘fessed up to Barb’s mom. Not a pretty sight! I can laugh now, but back then? Not so much!

  26. Love Leanne’s blog and can’t wait to get my hands on her book!

    The first “naughty” thing I did that comes to mind is telling my parents I was going to a dance class every tuesday night for a semester in high school when I had actually cancelled the class myself and went to the mall that night each week instead. I had my license. I knew they’d never let me quit. It’s a more involved story . . . in hindsight it was really underhanded and I’d be PISSED if my kids did that! Nothing truly harmful but definitely dishonest!

    1. Nina: I once forged a note so I could ditch Hebrew School and stay after school to go to a roller skating party. My mother came and busted me. It never occurred to me that the dumb Hebrew School would call to let her know I wasn’t there. It was the first of many sneaky things I did when I was young. I’m SURE you’ll be much smarter with your own brood, you know, because you were sneaky yourself. You’ll recognize it. Probably. 😉

  27. Congratulations Leanne!
    When I was 4 or 5 years-old, we lived in an apartment. Several neighbors had freezers in the basement. One of the neighborhood kids and I raided one of them and we each took a Popsicle.
    When my mom saw me sucking on it, I was in big trouble. I had to march upstairs to the neighbor lady’s apartment and apologize.
    I never stole anything again. Honest!
    I can’t wait to read the book! It sounds hilarious!

    1. I have a freezer in my garage FILLED with a huge box of 1000 ICCEEs specifically for the neighborhood kids to take and eat! You would have loved being my neighbor. 😉 Unless you came in the kitchen and tried to get the good stuff. Then it would have gotten ugly.

  28. This naughty childhood prank is one of my tame ones: one of my daily chores growing up was cleaning up the breakfast table, dishes, and entire kitchen in the mornings. My younger sister did dinner because she was usually a major grouch in the morning. One of my pet-peeves at the breakfast table was when my sister would use the butter, or pancake syrup, etc, and then friggin put it down right there next to her instead of back in the middle of the table within reach for everyone else, because who wants to talk to a grouch or worse tell a grouch to do something in the morning!? So I rigged up the spray-hose next to the kitchen faucet with clear Scotch-tape in the “on” position & pointed it toward the front of the sink. Unfortunately, Mom turned it on while both she & my sister were placing their dishes into the sink. Innocent bystander yes, but mission accomplished!

    I think for the next 3 days I got no breakfast cooking or service. Childhood naughtiness requires more forethought than first thought.

    1. Ooooh! I’m guessing your mother was LESS than pleased. Did you get a SPANKING? 😉 Meanwhile, we just bought a 54″ round table and this putting things just out of reach has become an issue for the first time ever. Who would have thought those extra 6 inches would have made such a difference? IYKWIM. 😉

      1. I got chased by a popping spatula and a swinging sister. I could always out run everyone in the family! “Danced like a butterfly…..stung like a bee!” 😉

        54″…Mmmmm, but that DOES make for some delicious….um, “positions”! Hehe…I’d be asking every hottie to pass me something whether I needed it or not! *evil grin* IKYKWIM.

  29. The first ‘naughty’ thing that comes to mind is a memory that I have from kinderarten. I remember making my mom really angry, (don’t remember the specific offense), and running circles around the house. She would try to catch me and never could. I remember cackling and running further away. Terrible!

  30. Leanne is one of the funniest people I’ve ever encountered, which makes your witty-larious blog a perfect fit. I never imagined I’d want to read a parenting-geared book—but I do. This one. Wishing Leanne huge success!

    1. Hi August: The book is surprisingly universal in its themes. You’ll red it and remember all the things YOU did as a child and laugh — and then you’ll want to call your mother an apologize! It’s also excellent birth control. So there’s that, too. 😉

  31. This book sounds incredibly hilarious! All first time moms should probably have a copy! 🙂

    One funny (now) thing I did was pull a prank on my Grandma when she came to visit….she climbed in her bed and I delighted in hearing her hysterical squeals when, in the dark, her leg discovered the wig I’d hidden between the sheets. (heh, heh, heh!)

  32. These stories are great!!

    One day I came out of the bathroom, and both my daughters, ages 3 and 1, were perched on the edge of the counter. The big girl had boosted up her baby sister by pushing on her chubby diapered bum, and they were eating sugar! They had emptied the sugar bowl, mostly into their mouths but also stuck all over baby’s drooly belly, in her hair and ears, on the counter, all over the floor, you name it.
    I tried so hard to look stern and not laugh, but it was impossible!

    When my hubby was a kid, he brought home the head of a dead dog that had lain under the snow all winter. He got out his mom’s spaghetti pot, filled it with bleach and water, and set it on a charcoal bbq on the lawn. Boiled up that dog’s head until all the maggots and stuff floated to the top… (tmi sorry) Then he brought the clean white bones to school for science. Yuck. Glad he’s all grown up now.

    1. Chikadee: I’m trying to wrap my head around your husband dragging home the dead dog’s carcass and using one of his mother’s big pots to boil off the skin. That said, it isn’t hard, I have a friend who did this with a deer carcass. And a raccoon carcass. And he’s an adult. And his wife didn’t divorce him. I think he bought her a new pot though. 😉

      Sounds like your kiddies inherited their daddy’s sense of adventure.

  33. The books sounds great and very funny.

    One of the silly things I did growing up was climb up the pipe by the toilet window, then my brother handed me the hose which I carefully slipped through the window. We waited until someone came in, then I signaled my sister to turn on the hose and spray the unsuspecting person inside.
    Luckily my sister didn’t manage to turn it on very much so only a little water went in and it was my Nana inside who thought it was funny and laughed the whole thing off.
    Once she went home however, we were in big trouble.

    1. Kelliefish! How are you?! You SPRAYED your Nana! Was she on the potty? Omigosh! You could totally hang out with William. He’s wicked big into sticking his hose into places it should be.

      Wait that sounded wrong.

      But it’s true.

      1. I did! Would never do it again though. I don’t think we gave her time to sit down.
        I read the book, its amazing. Made me feel a million times better after my 1 year old came at me with a carving knife! He was giving it to me… THe knives got put on a higher shelf very quickly after that.

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