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Featured Writer: Mimi Greenwood

  Working Mother  10 issues  
  American Baby


  Christian Parenting Today
  Campus Life  9 issues
  Today's Christian Woman

Mimi Greenwood Knight is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Parents Magazine and Christian Parenting Today. Her essays and article have also appeared in Working Mother, American Baby, Today's Christian Woman, Campus Life, Sesame Street Parents, Bottom Line Personal, At-Home Mother and Mothers at Home as well as in anthologies like A Cup of Comfort Devotional, Chicken Soup for Every Mom's Soul, Three-Ring Circus; How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Family, and Lists to Live By. She can be reached at

Enjoy her fun essay, that anyone who has spent time with with young boys will understand. 

One Crappy Essay

                Anyone who’s raised a boy or who grew up with brothers can relate to the car trip I endured the other day. Once in the life of every red-blooded, American boy there comes a word that, from the first time he hears it, completely enchants him. For my five brothers it was the word “booger”. For my son, Hewson, it’s none other than the melodious “turd”.

                In the early 60s there was nothing funnier to my brothers than taking any sentence (song title, slogan, whatever I just said) and slipping booger in place of another word. I can still hear them crooning, “I’m looking over a four pound booger” then collapsing in torrents of laughter on the backseat where I was trapped with them for our annual endurance trip from Kansas City to New Orleans and back. The more they used their word, the harder they laughed. The harder they laughed, the madder I got. The madder I got, the greater the allure of the word. I also caught a glimpse of my parents once in the rear view mirror as they pretended to scold my brothers while snickering to each other. I felt completely betrayed.

                Now I’m the mom of four kids including one red blooded 8 year old boy and one far too serious 11 year old sister. As much as I’ve tried to reason with her and explain, “If you don’t let him get to you, he’ll get bored and stop saying it.” she doesn’t listen any more than I did. So last Thursday the three of us piled into the car and set out in search of a new mini van. It wasn’t Kansas City to New Orleans but for my daughter, Molly, it might as well have been as Hewson set about using his new found word with a gusto that would’ve made his uncles proud. He began with highway sign; signs like Turds May Ice in Cold Weather , Turd Limit 70, Caution Falling Turds and my own personal favorite, Highway Workers, Give Them a Turd.

                Molly’s pleas of  “MAAA- MAAA, make him stop!” started a tug of war inside me. On one hand, I remember too well the booger days of the late 60s. On the other hand, when I looked from my new position in the rearview mirror and saw the impish look on Hewson’s freckled face as he sang out, Unlawful to Turd and Authorized Turds Only, I felt a laugh growing inside me. I remembered my brothers singing, “She’s Got a Booger to Ride”, took a deep breath and told Hewson, “All right, Buddy, enough turd talk for a while. Find something else to do.”

                He did for a few miles then we hit a populated area and the billboards began. A national motel chain offered Free Continental Turds. An airline invited customers to Come Turd with Us. I disguised a chuckle as a cough.



     Molly turned red in the face. “Mom, “I’m going to clobber him if he doesn‘t shut up!”

                We passed a truck warning, Caution Wide Turds.

                Another truck offering, Quality Refrigerated Turds! A good one!

                “Mom, aren’t you going to say anything?”

                I swallowed repeatedly, made myself think of something sad, and tried changing the subject, “What   
                ‘cha reading there, Sis?”

                She cut her brother a look and held up the book in her lap. “It’s for school. A collection of poems by
                 Edgar Allan Poe.”

                “Oh”, Hewson retorted. “Turdy Allan Poe. I’ve heard of him,” then broke into a rousing rendition of
                 “Hail to the Turd”. (Better than “Turd to the Chief” I thought. But didn‘t say it.)

                We passed through a No Turd Zone and a car with an I Brake for Turds bumper sticker. That’s when Molly walloped Hewson good. But, as any brother can tell you, laughter is stronger than Novocain for deadening the sting of a sister’s slug. He didn‘t miss a beat, Caution… Steep Turds Ahead.  She punched him again. I tried to referee from the front seat.

                “Molly, if you’ll stop pounding your brother I’m sure he’ll stop talking turd for a while. Right,
                  Nobody heard me.

                 Yield to Oncoming Turds POUND!

                Center Lane for Turds Only POUND!

                This Turd Stops at all Railroad Crossings DOUBLE POUND!

                I threatened to “Pull this car over and you’ll both be sorry.” I was talking to myself. That’s when I saw it, clearly written on the passenger side mirror. Turds in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear. No, I can’t. I owe it to Molly, to all of sisterdom to take her side on this. I willed myself to remember how badly I wanted to open the back door of our old Impala and kick my brothers out onto the highway.

                The fray in the back seat continued as we turned off the interstate and into a residential neighborhood, Slow Turds at Play.

                “I’m gonna kill him, Mom. I MEAN it!”

                Quiet! Turd Zone.

                “All right, I warned him.”


                Fines higher in turd area.

                “Mom, you’re just gonna’ let him say it?”

                No more signs but Hewson was on a roll, “A turd in the hand is worth two in the bush”.

                “Yeah” I thought. “The early turd gets the worm.” I tried my hardest to conjure up a picture of my brothers after we got home from New Orleans and they recruited a few neighborhood boys in singing, “The booger, my friend, is blowing in the wind.”

                “Got turds?’ Hewson asked.

                “The squeaky turd gets the grease,” I thought.

                That was last week. Molly hasn’t killed her brother yet and we still haven’t found a new mini van. We’re setting out to shop some more today.  Things aren’t looking good though. As we climbed in the van, I overheard Hewson singing, “Who let the turds out! Who? Who? Who?” 

See More of Mimi Greenwood's work at