A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Man, that was a really big wave.

My kids are all back in school, and I’m finally going through some summer photos.

Boy howdy, we sure did have some fun this summer. We went to visit one set of my parents in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for a week. East Coast beaches are my favorite. The water is dark and wild at times, so you have to be on your toes.

You never know when a really big wave is going to clobber you, which just adds to the fun.

But you know what’s really fun?

…layering two bathing suits and tricking your kids into believing that the huge wave you just ate actually hit you so hard that it knocked your bathing suit right off your tuchus and onto your head.



It gets them every time.

And honestly, is there any sound in the world better than your kids laughing?



Nope. It’s the best.



Look at that face on my daughter. Priceless. Totally worth the potential shame of crawling out of the surf with a wet tankini bottom on my kisser.

Props to my Step-Dad Donn for picking up my camera when he suspected something was up and capturing one of my favorite memories of the summer. He’s good people, yo.

What’s your best fail-proof way to crack up your kids? (I need some fresh ideas.)



  1. Arnebya

    OK THAT is funny as hell! And yes, the look on her face is priceless. There is nothing like the laughter of a child, especially when it’s directed at us (you know, as opposed to the scowling, eye rolling, foot stomping that has become “normal” as of late). My fail-proof way of making them laugh? I have a face I make that turns me into a bonafide Who from Whoville. Gets ’em every time. Or, seriously, I just figured this out: when I laugh at something they think is funny and they realize I am genuinely laughing instead of just smiling wishing they’d stop talking.

    • The Bearded Iris

      I want to see that face, Arnebya! Start clickin’!!!

      And yes, that genuine laugh from us is always music to their ears, right? Probably so special because it doesn’t happen very often. I can only remember a handful of times that I’ve gotten my dad to laugh like that and they are some of my favorites.

  2. Kristen K.

    For me, it’s any fart joke… But my husband, he can make the boys laugh by doing stupid stuff, like fake tripping over a curb, or walking into an automatic door…he does really good physical humor. I’m the one that will do goofy things in public. But, my sons just like to laugh at everything. If I chase daddy with a spider and he screams, that is a big hit.

    I’m so trying the bathing suit thing next week!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oooh, chasing daddy with a spider! I could never do that because I’m totally skeert of spiders. And elevators. But I could probably chase someone with an old white dog turd.

      Please report back after you do the bathing suit trick! I want pictures! 🙂

  3. Jen

    Ha! I love this.

    And right now, since my kids are little, the best most fool proof way to crack my kids up is to say ‘Butt Poop Butt’.

    Gets them every freaking time.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Ha! I love that…anything with the word “underwear” works with Bucket Head too. Or farts. Or boogers.

      • Kristen E

        A four-year-old I babysit loves to say “Look under there!” So I say “Under where?” and he always yells out “UNDERWEAR” and then giggles for a long time. I say whatever makes the job easiest 🙂

  4. Melissa

    This made me smile so much! Thanks – my day was in need of a pick-me-up. 🙂 Too cute! What a fun mom you are.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Aw, yay! That’s awesome Melissa. Thanks for letting me know. Now I feel two inches taller.

      I’m not fun all the time, but it’s a lot easier to let loose when we’re on vacation. Thanks for being here!

  5. Kathy V.

    That is hi-LAR-ious! I’m definitely stealing that idea as soon as humanly possible. My poor husband will have a heart attack.

    • The Bearded Iris

      It’s even better if your base layer is strapless because then it really does look like you’re naked and your suit is on your head. Good times…good, good times.

  6. just keep swimming

    Making your kids laugh is the best. Great idea!

  7. Lisa Hewitt

    You are killing me with these pictures. Seriously beautiful kids. O.k. – mine (keep in mind he is older) – If I call him Axel (that would one of the cats), 23 minutes – anytime anyone asks me “how long will it be until…”, whatever it is. 23 minutes. Wednesday – that is just from trying to run down a holiday schedule one year and he asked – what is happening Thursday and I said Wednesday. Now everything (especially crap we don’t want to do) we do it on Wednesday. I have seriously impressed him because I turned him on to blogs – he was all – whatever – but his childhood wrestling hero has a blog! Yeah I know.

    • The Bearded Iris

      I can just hear you being a cut up like that, Lisa. So awesome that you turned your kids on to blogs! Cool mom award, BAM!

  8. Brianne

    Freakin’ GENIUS! OMG those pictures are wonderful! Props to the stepdad!

    What an awesome momma, homemade poo and fake tankini bottoms. Show me the way Yoda!

    • Brianne

      also, please frame that and send it with her when she goes away to college…

      • The Bearded Iris

        Thanks Bri! That is a great idea…maybe I can make the frame out of fake turds so she’ll realize how much she misses me. 🙂

  9. John

    That’s a pretty fantastic gag to play on your kids.

    And I love Rehobeth Beach. I just wish the parking situation weren’t so out of control there.

  10. Daryce

    Freakin’ hysterical!!

  11. HouseTalkN

    OMG! Just look at her face! Nuttin’ better than making our kiddos howl with laughter!
    Kerry at HouseTalkN

  12. Sasha

    OM Freakin’ G, what a priceless picture of YOU, too! And you two are having a blast. Yes, loving those laughs. At 5, The Tater giggles alot and it’s just the best sound! Thanks for a great blog AND a great laugh today. I’m giving you the Versatile Blogger Award – Carry On!


  13. Kristin @ What She Said

    The look on BOTH your faces is priceless! That’s awesome.

    The quickest way to get my daughter to laugh is to tickle her. She’s beyond ticklish, so even the hint of a ticklefest will cause her to start giggling. And then the giggling turns into big, beautiful belly laughs that come right from her gut. And then she starts to shriek and that’s when I stop because I don’t do little girl shrieking. Oy.

    Otherwise, I just laugh like Diesel from Thomas. For some reason, that gets her every time. Every.Damn.Time.

    Little weirdo.

  14. Jocelynn

    Looks like you guys had a blast! My fiance and I are headed to DE in two weeks with our 2 year old son. I have only been there once before, and the last time, we opted to go to Ocean City, MD instead, but this time, we are Rehobeth bound!

  15. tiffany

    That is so cute!!! Im totally going to that someday…My current little joke is that I take sip or bite of something and purposely get it on my face and see if my friends kid notices…she is 3, she only laughs sometimes…sometimes I think she is embarrassed for me. LOL

  16. Leigh Ann

    Your kids have the coolest mom EVER. my kids are still little enough that it’s fun to hide around the corner and scare the crap out of them.

  17. Hollow Tree Ventures

    I had to laugh at this because I really DID lose my top the last time we were at the beach. Naturally I didn’t notice, so I went ahead and stood right up in the waist-deep water. I understand the sight of my bleach-white jigglers nearly burned some people’s eyes out of their sockets – I think my kids were the only ones who didn’t see. Thankfully.

  18. Tracy in Suburbia

    I’m sorry.. I just couldn’t get past the line that said, “My kids are all back in school.” Still in shock from that one.

  19. Bree

    Wow, you are a fun mom!

  20. Jana (@jana0926)

    Holy shit! That’s fucking hilarious!!

  21. Rebecca

    I am dying!! My daughter laughed at this with me. My husband thought it was funny. And you know the best compliment, they said, ‘Oh my gosh, mom, she looks like you- you would totally do that to us!’
    I swear I am not stalking you SWF style!
    Good work Iris, good work.

  22. Jane

    Hilarious! I love to laugh and laugh out loud but there is nothing better than making kids laugh out loud. You’re the best!!

  23. Abby

    Terrific shot there, Donn! I love that your kids think you’re funny. Sometimes I get the laughs from the hubs, sometimes I don’t. It’s a delicate balance between fart jokes and the Macarena.

  24. Carol

    This is sooo funny! I can’t wait to show this to my kids when they get home from school today. They love your posts (the ones I show them) and this one is right up there with the helicopter mom video. You are so hilarious.

  25. Amanda @ Werdyab

    hahahahaha! That’s hilarious!

  26. Monika

    Frickin’ awesome pictures. What a great memory! 🙂

  27. Tiffany

    Best. Picture. Ever. What a treasure!

  28. Joanne B.

    Next year you’ll have to REALLY lose your top to top that one! You are such a great mom! WHO does that! Wearing ONE bathing suit is more than enough (ugh), let alone TWO! THAT is what I call love! We have a summer house in Rehoboth Beach too! Loved seeing your pics as we did not get to go this year. We have such great memories as my now 20 y o daughter was growing up. Loved seeing your daughter’s smile…that is a memory for sure. You are wonderful and this is what life is all about, for sure…How nice to see stuff like this!

  29. Lady Jennie

    In the Bahamas I actually DID lose my bathing suit. I hadn’t done double duty like you so intelligently did.

    Still love to hear my kids laugh.

  30. One Funny Motha

    That photo w/ your daughter is just great. I once used the word crapulous with my kids and said they could use it b/c it doesn’t mean crap. They LOVED that. Had them cracking up for weeks.

  31. Kate

    One of the most awesome photos I’ve ever seen! The looks on your faces are amazing. That’s a true bonding moment. Boobies get my kids. Anything regarding boobs… There are a pair of mountains in my town called the Uncanoonucs. The name is a Native American word for “breasts”. So, they are a big hit.

  32. Suniverse

    I love those pictures. LOVE THEM.

  33. Carrie

    My God I’ve missed you. I can really only read my blog-sex-partners at work and well, sometimes you get filtered.

    And come up blacklisted as ‘porn’…and I just can’t imagine why.


    Anyway. That is some hysterical stuff!! I’m sure your sweet girl was DYING thinking her momma’s tuchus was gonna be shining for the whole world to see!!

    Brilliant stuff there…I don’t have kids but am seriously thinking about trying this at the nearest water park.

    The kids there NOT being mine may make this little jewel even better!!

    Love you, sister!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Love you too, sister!

      Ugh, stupid filters. When are these computers going to learn that VAGINA is not a bad word?

  34. Julie

    You’re pretty much golden here as a parent, because no matter what you do to screw them up they can never forget that you did stuff like this as well.

    • The Bearded Iris

      God, I hope so. 🙂

  35. Allysgrandma

    You know what’s even better (or maybe I just don’t make my kids laugh anymore and I have forgotten), making your grandchild laugh! Ally got some sort of fart sounding gorp for her 4th birthday…it’s like playdough, but slicker and feels wet but isn’t….like my vagina….anyway it makes farting noises when you push or pull it out of it’s little container and Ally just cracks up.

  36. Mark

    I agree that the most precious thing in this world is our child’s laughter and the paint of happiness on their face. That was a cool stunt by the way.

  37. Allison @ Motherhood, WTF?

    My kids are easy marks. S is ridiculously silly and will fall over laughing if I fake tickle her. I can be across the room. If I hold my hands up and wiggle my fingers she goes nuts. L is more sophisticated. I need to say butt or poop.

    But my favorite way to make them laugh is also how I get out of a crappy mood. When I realize I’ve been yelling at or just not nice to the kids, I look at them with my stern face, and point my finger at them, and say in my stern voice, “There will be NO.MORE.FUN. That’s it! I don’t want to see another smile. No! Don’t you do it…” Works every time to get us all happy again.

  38. Bethany @ Bad Parenting Moments

    Amazing photos. Amazing smiles. Read your eviction notice to the mean girls first and then came to this post. It’s amazing how happy you are IN the moment and how critical we are in everything that follows. So glad the mean girls took a hike and that you hit publish because this post and these photos are pure joy wrapped up in a ball of gorgeous.

  39. Anne @ Domesblissity

    Can I be one of your kids Iris? (I think I’ve said that before.) It would be a laugh a minute at your place and what a great place to be. I crack my kids up when I emulate their poo poo jokes or pretend to be one of the mean kids at school and how silly they look when those mean kids are being mean. You keep me wanting to be a funny Mum.

    Anne xx

  40. Ninja Mom

    And now I’m crying over how beautiful the look on your daughter’s face is! And yours in the second photo. Jaysus Christmas, I better not be pregnant. What’s with this sincere emotion BS? I blame you.

  41. chickadee

    The best laugh from my daughters: they were fighting in the bath – again – and I stepped in, fully dressed, and sat down between them. The younger one (6) took one look at my soaking wet clothes, gave that delicious giggle and kept laughing until she had hiccups and sore cheeks. She still talks about it, months later. One of my finer parenting moments if I do say so myself, it totally changed the mood.

  42. Alexandra

    LOVE the sound of my kids laughing anyway.

    Knowing that I’m the one that cracked them up? Lemme die know, it can’t get any better.

    WONDERFUL photo of how you made your girl crack up.

  43. Catherine

    Love the pictures and your faces 🙂

    Vintage Inspired Girls

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