Parents, Write Down Those Cub Quotes!

I am a chronicler. From the day my daughter Erin uttered her first word, I wrote down her every amusing comment. Since she was our little bear cub, I called her collection of witticisms Cub Quotes. By the time Erin reached adulthood, I had accumulated more than 100 typed pages of these tender, amusing and laugh-out-loud remembrances that spanned her entire kidhood.

Five years old
Erin was lying with her head on my chest looking at me. I was lying on her bedroom floor. I smelled something and asked her if she passed gas. Without changing her expression, she said, “It’s your breath.”

Paging through Cub Quotes now, I am astonished that I have no recollection of some of the incidents I captured so long ago. I know that, at the time, I thought I’d remember every clever comment forever. Not so much. Time blurs the sharp edges of memory to the point where, if I do remember the incident, my printed account of it often differs from my memory of it. And if I do remember it clearly, I may be hard-pressed to guess how old Erin was when she said it.

Eight years old
Erin wanted me to rub her back at bedtime. I told her it was too late. As I was leaving, she called after me, “Rub your cub!”

For the sake of accuracy and posterity, I am so glad I wrote down these Cub Quotes on the day they occurred. Erin, of course, loved hearing them as she was growing up. Just like my sister and I used to say to our mom when we were kids, Erin would occasionally beseech her mom and me to “tell me about when I was little.” Instead of trying to remember long-ago events, I’d simply pull out the Cub Quotes three-ring binder and regale her with hilarious stories from her younger days.

Nine years old
After Erin visited the orthodontist, I told her that I had had braces, too. “You had braces?” she asked incredulously. “Yes,” I said. She reached over, pulled up my upper lip and gave my teeth a quick once-over. “Didn’t help,” she said.

Parents, I urge you to write down your peanut’s (or your grandpeanut’s) funny comments. You’ll be grateful you did, and so will generations yet to come. To this day, I still love opening my Cub Quotes collection and reminiscing about the wonderful days of Erin’s kidhood.

Eleven years old
Erin and I were at my parents’ for the weekend. We were downstairs. Erin asked me, “What do you do when you’re a grown-up? Is it boring? Because when you’re a kid you can frolic.”

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28 Responses to “Parents, Write Down Those Cub Quotes!”

  1. darcyp Says:

    So Ean has started proclaiming what should go into his Pookwotes already. It has become a great bonding experience for us…Thank you so much for the suggestions, Phil!

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    My pleasure, Darcy! It’s exciting to know that other parents are recording their beloved cub’s quotes for posterity!

  3. Alyssa Says:

    Thanks, Phil. I’ve forwarded your idea to several friends with small children. It made me remember a family story about something I supposedly said as a 4-year-old. I was holding the screen door open, and my grandparents told me to shut the door so I don’t let all the flies in. Apparently I told them, “I don’t let the flies in. They come in all by themself!”

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    That’s what I’m talking about, Alyssa! It’s so much fun reminiscing! Thanks for forwarding the idea along. The more people who record their kids’ bon mots, the better!

  5. Karen Says:

    Here are two of my favorites. When my daughter was about 2 1/2, I asked her to carry a book for me. She said “No.” I’m sure I gave her a look, because then she told me, “Sometimes, the answer is No.” Perhaps she had heard her parents say that to her a few times??

    And my son, when he was also around that age, sneezed twice during breakfast. I said “Bless you.” and he said, “I did two Bless Yous Mommy.”

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Good ones, Karen. Those memories from when our kids were young get more precious the older we get!

  7. JenniferHansen Says:

    My kids are pretty much grown up now, 27, 24, 21, 15. I did create many books of events and photos but never thought of writing out quotes. It would have been a great thing to do.

  8. Phil Bolsta Says:

    One word: grandcubs!

  9. Debbie Says:

    Absolutely adore this. Thanks so much for sharing. My kids are also grown…25 and 31 but can’t wait for the opportunity to practice this when I am fortunate to have grandcubs.

  10. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Hurrah for grandcubs! Thanks, Debbie!

  11. Phil Gornail Says:

    Phil, you were right. I thoroughly enjoyed this blog. ;-D

    Last week my 6 yr old daughter, Summer, was trying to reach one of her brother’s graphic novels and he noticed her at the corner of his eyes…so he said to her, “Summer you’re not to look at that.”

    She said, “hmmmph,” turned to look at me with her lips curled then continued with, “why can’t I look at that dadddy…is it cause it’s inappropriate?”

    (insert double take on my part)

  12. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Love it! Kids always know more than we think they do! Thanks, Phil!

  13. Kristine Says:

    Thanks, Phil! I think I will start now even though he is only saying a few words. We have an an issue with ants right now and this morning he got down low and was “talking” to them. :)

  14. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Yes, please do start now, Kristine. You will be glad you did!

  15. Penny Says:

    Thanks you for sharing. I so wish I had done that. I had a friend who would always tell me to write things down when I would pass on those funny stories when my son said something clever. I thought I would always remember them. You are so right about time blurring the memory. My oldest is 8 1/2 now and youngest 2 1/2. I may have to start doing that now. Your daughter is very lucky to have you for a father. Wishing you the best…

  16. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Time’s a wastin’, Penny! Start writing down those Cub Quotes now. You’ve got plenty of time left!

  17. Grace Mauzy Says:

    Phil, how wonderful to have had the foresight to have done this. I wish I had. But with four kids I just lost track. But I do have about a kazillion pictures and that helps us with the funny memories. Time does really blur those memories so if you are parent of young kids start now just like Phil says!

  18. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thanks Grace! But it’s never too late to start writing down memorable moments. And I’m sure you continue to have your share!

  19. wanda Says:

    Aww. These captured memories brought tears to my eyes. Wish I would have done this. Will be chronicling the grandcubs :)

  20. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Glad to hear the grandcubs’ bon mots will be recorded for posterity, Wanda! Enjoy spoiling them!

  21. MNCyn Says:

    I’m envisioning a line of greeting cards called, “Cub Quotes.” :-)

  22. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I think they’d be a hit, MNCyn!

  23. Rajean Blomquist Says:

    Such a simple concept that means more than millions in the bank to any parent. Thanks for the prompts and reminders to keep with it. Time well spent and easy to share.

  24. Phil Bolsta Says:

    My pleasure, Rajean! May your life be filled with wonderful stories!

  25. Susan Says:

    Kids are so wise, and hilarious! Thanks for sharing these, Phil!

  26. Phil Bolsta Says:

    My pleasure, Susan! You have a lot of hilarious moments to look forward to with your own little one. Being a parent is the best!

  27. Jim Says:

    Okay, Phil, first I want to say that I looked at the link to other quotes and saw my picture with Emily. We both cracked up just looking at that. But I have another story similar to the one you have on this page.
    A few years ago when Emily was about 8, as we were going through a checkout lane, I grabbed a package of Listerine Breath Strips.
    Emily asked “What are those?”
    I said “You use them to take away bad breath.”
    Her response, “You should buy two.”

  28. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Hilarious, Jim! Definitely an all-star cub quote!

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