The Washington Post

Editor’s Query: Tell us about a time when... a child’s honesty got you in trouble

One Sunday morning, I was racing to get us out the door and to church on time. My husband was lagging a bit and still shaving.

I decided to take it upon myself to get the car out of the garage and get the two children settled in. I left the car door ajar just a bit while backing out so I could see where I was going. As you can guess, I jammed the car door into the garage door frame.

Unbecoming for a Sunday school teacher, I let out a phrase of frustration that included a bad word. I turned to the children and told them not to tell their dad what had just happened — that I would tell him myself.

My 7-year-old took off running as fast as he could toward the house. I ran to stop him from getting to his dad first. He got there before I did and, with a little smirk on his face, announced: “Mom just said a very bad potty word.”

I was mortified. If my son or daughter had used that same word, cat box duty would have been theirs for a week.

My husband found this to be quite amusing until he realized why I had used that bad word.

We didn’t make it to church on time.

As a matter of fact, we didn’t make it to church at all, as we could not get either the car or garage doors closed.

Susan DeHetre,


NEW QUERY: Tell us about a time when a fight ended in tears of laughter.

The Washington Post is partnering with the Public Insight Network (PIN) to hear more of your 100 percent true stories taken from your own experience. Submit your answer to the query above here. By sharing your story, you become part of PIN — a network of 130,000 people who contribute to high-quality journalism. Editors will choose an entry to run in the Magazine, but we will also share more of your stories online. You can also submit to The Washington Post Magazine, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Include your daytime phone number. Recount your story in 250 words or fewer.

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