The Case of the Missing Nipple


Verb: “What if I shoot a stranger with a bone arrow?”

Me: “That’s not nice.”

Verb: “No, Mom, a bad stranger. A bad stranger who is trying to take me. What if I shoot him in the eye with a bone arrow?”

Interrogator: “Well, that would hurt. And he probably wouldn’t be able to see.”

Me: “How about we change the subject?”

Verb: “OK, if a stranger tries to take me, I will hit him and kick him.”

Me: “And you can bite him. And scream. But only if a stranger tries to take you. Otherwise, no hitting, kicking, biting, screaming.”

Verb: “Or bone arrows.”

Me: “Right.”

Interrogator: “What if somebody shot a stranger who was trying to take you?”

Verb: “Like who? Like our grandfather?”

Me: “Guess what? My grandfather was shot.”

Chorus: “What?”

Me: “My grandfather was shot.”

Interrogator: “Your grandfather got a shot?”

Me: “No, my grandfather was shot.”

Interrogator: “Shocked?”

Me: “SHOT. He was SHOT. With a gun!”

Interrogator: “He was shot with a gun?”

Kenyan: “Who would do that?”

Verb: “A bad guy.”

Me: “He was in the war.”

Interrogator: “What war?”

Me: “World War II. The one against Adolf Hitler.”

Waldorf: “Adolf? That’s a ridiculous name.”

Me: “Well, he was a ridiculous man. Not in a good way.”

Interrogator: “Who gave him a shot?”

Waldorf: “No one gave him a shot, for crying out loud! He was shot! Pow pow pow!”

Interrogator: “So, did he die?”

Me: “He did. But not from getting shot.”

Verb: “He got shot to death and he lived?”

Me: “No. He got shot. And someone removed the bullet. And he lived. Then, when he was old, he died.”

Waldorf: “Oh, wait a minute, this is your grandfather who lost his nipple, right?”

Me: “Right.”

Kenyan: “He lost his what?”

Me: “His nipple.”

Verb, to Interrogator: “Hahahaha! She said ‘nipple’!”

Me: “I said nipple, yes. Nipple, nipple, nipple. My grandfather was shot. And he lost his nipple. It’s not funny.”

Interrogator: “Did the bullet shoot his nipple off?”

Me: “No. The bullet went into his chest. After the bullet was removed, they sewed my Pop back together and he only had one nipple left after he came out of surgery.”

Interrogator: “Well, what did they do with the other one?”

Me: “I don’t know.”

Interrogator: “Well, where did it go?”

Me: “Maybe it was inside out. I don’t know.”

Verb: “An inside out nipple is just weird.”

Me: “Well, anyway, he was a soldier. And he was very brave. And he got shot. Then he came home, and soon after, Lolly was born.”

Kenyan: ‘Was he older than Dad?”

Interrogator: “Whose Dad?”

Kenyan: “Your Dad.”

Interrogator: “My Dad? My Dad is your Dad.”

Kenyan: “I know!”

Interrogator: “You mean our Dad?”

Waldorf: “Yes! For crying out loud! I can’t stand this anymore!”

Kenyan: “So? Was your grandfather older than our Dad?”

Me: “Obviously he was older than Dad. Dad hadn’t even been born yet.”

Kenyan: “I mean when he was shot!”

Interrogator: “Who was shot?”

Kenyan: “Interrogator!”


Interrogator: “We’re still talking about this? Why is everyone screaming in this car?”

Kenyan: “Unfortunately, yes. We are still talking about it.”

Me: “My grandfather, at the time he was shot, was younger than your Dad is now.”

Verb: “And then he died?”

Me: “Well, not right then. He lived first. Then, he died. When he was old.”

Interrogator: “And he didn’t have a nipple.”

Me: “Right.”

Interrogator: “I hope he shot that bad guy back.”

Verb: “With a bone arrow.”

Interrogator: “In the eye.”


This is Childhood continues this week with Amanda Magee’s dazzling tribute to Eight. Amanda is an amazing talent. Please read her here.

13 thoughts on “The Case of the Missing Nipple

  1. This is absolutely one of my favorites. Oh my gosh, Bethany. I am dying with laughing. “Waldorf: “Yes! For crying out loud! I can’t stand this anymore!” — that sent me over the edge. This was all way better than “Who’d On First.”

    Love your humor. You are amazing. 😀

  2. Reading this while at work and trying so. hard. not to laugh out loud. I had the exact same thought in my head as D.D. Falvo – it’s better than “Who’s on First!”

    • Colleen, it felt like Abbott and Costello had cloned themselves and were passengers in my minivan. I started banging on the steering wheel laughing when Waldorf was crying out in exasperation.

      Thanks for reading!!

  3. I can very much relate to this. Trying to connect the lives for my grandparents to those of my children is an uphill battle. It’s a completely alien world to them. Conversations about my grandparents’ lives in the war turn into “theater of absurd” after a few moments because literally everything needs to be explained.

    This was very funny, too. As usual.

    Thank you!

    • Thanks, Olga! Truth be told, it was shrapnel, not a bullet that entered my grandfather’s chest. No chance in hell I was going to explain that gem to the kids. I’ll let my Mom tell that story. If she has them overnight.

      I read a friend’s blog post yesterday about her experiences in Catholic school when she was in first grade. A teacher duct taped her mouth closed and tied her to her chair to keep her from talking and sitting with her legs under her. This was in America in our life time. And no one was arrested. My kids watch that stuff happen. On TV. And it’s animated. Because it’s a cartoon about outrageous things that don’t occur. So, I absolutely hear you about sharing the stories of our grandparents with our children.

      Thanks for reading!!

    • Thank you, Jessica! I know you can relate. The funniest part about it was listening to how frustrated my oldest son got. He’s turning into me! Thanks for reading!!

  4. Oh my gosh! This is absolutely hilarious! Int: “who was shot? “Kenyan:” interrogator!” Rofl! Thanks for sharing this, Bethany. XO to all of u who made my day 😀

    • Latha, I’m so glad you laughed! It was a ridiculous exchange in the car. More ridiculous than usual! Thanks for reading!

  5. Oh my gosh this had me laughing so hard I was crying, my three year old kept telling my to stop he couldn’t hear Batman. Haha, to be a mother…

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