The Kn Word

Pardon the spittle on the screen, Kittens, but I have a bad cold. I woke up Friday with a sore throat and a cough and it’s only gotten worse. JD has been stuffy and snorting for weeks and he finally managed to include me in the fun. Knot that it kept me down. It kept me from showering, but let’s be honest, that’s always a 50/50 proposition anyway.

Despite the stuffiness, I mustered up enough energy on Friday afternoon to go and get my hair done. I knew it was well past time when my daughter, the same one that can barely be bothered to wash HER hair, started asking why the top of my head was a different color than the rest. The good knews is that my hairdresser gave me some blonde highlights that look good. The bad knews is that I felt too bad to go out and about. My church was having a woman’s retreat, and if that’s not the perfect venue to unveil blonde highlights I don’t know what is, but I went to bed instead.

Saturday, I felt just as bad but there were important things to do. Like go to the outlet mall and buy some knew clothes. I really didn’t want to go, but my company has started this knew thing where they want me to come into the office occasionally but they have a strict anti-pajama policy. Because this isn’t my first rodeo, I went shopping prepared. I wore my super-duper anti-belly Spanx, tights and a shirt that I didn’t have to pull over my head but could unbutton instead. I’m not sure what I bought, since the temperature spiked and I was feverish and all I remember was staring at my sweat-stained, Spanx-wearing self in the mirror of Ann Taylor and thinking I was going to pass out before I got my pants buttoned. Whatever. As long as the pants aren’t flannel with a drawstring I’m sure I’ll look fine.

Sunday, I lay in bed blowing my nose all day, except for the part where Baby Alison came over and then I moved my stinky self and my pile of Kleenex to the couch. Moon had a friend over and they played and had fun and generally made the house a total wreck. Then JD went to take her friend home, and as Moon and she were getting into the car, it happened.

JD said that the door was locked so Moon walked around to the other side and said, “Open the door, my N-WORD”


JD said he was blown away and gave Moon the “That is not a word we ever use” talk and asked where she’d heard it. She just shrugged and got teary-eyed and said she was sorry, blah, blah, blah. When they got home, he told me about it, so I did what any good mother would do. As she was getting into bed, I lay down beside her and told her that I wanted to talk to her about the word she used. So I started with SLAVERY and SIN, and the consequences that we are still paying today. I talked to her about separate schools and separate water fountains and the church bombings in Alabama. I explained how the N WORD was used, and how ugly it was and I even mentioned Paula Flipping Dean. I gave her the whole sordid history, which was very hard to do without actually ever SAYING the word. Then I said that while her friends at school may use the word, we don’t and never will, not even in the rap version way of, AND THEN I SAID THE WORD.

Which is when Moon looked at me with astonishment and said, “Mom, I said KNUCKLE.”


“Yeah. You know how DAD calls people a KNUCLEhead? I was standing in my socks and said, Open the door, ya KNUCKLE.”

Oh. Yeah, that’s bad too.

Now I think I’ll go give JD another decongestant. Good-Knight.

One thought on “The Kn Word

  1. I hope you are feeling better. Next time ask Moon to repeat what she said before you go to all that trouble but at least she will know never to call anyone that word. I needed that laugh this morning.

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