That Time Crappy Baby Tried to Run Away (Or so I thought)

The boys are asleep and have been quiet for a couple hours. On my way to the bathroom, I notice that their bedroom door is open so I poke my head in to check on them.

Crappy Boy is sleeping in his bed under the covers.

Crappy Baby is not. He is sleeping next to his bed like this:

monkey-gun-1He is also wearing a backpack and has slippers on.

The backpack has wheels and one of those handles that you can pull up to wheel it around. It doesn’t look very comfortable.

Obviously, I didn’t put him to bed wearing slippers OR a backpack so he managed this himself. Why would he put a backpack and slippers on?

Was he planning to go somewhere? Was he -GASP- planning to run away?

I carefully remove the backpack and lift him back into his bed.

Then I find Crappy Papa:

monkey-gun-2And my worry takes over and removes all logical thoughts.

Oh no! He was planning to run away!

Crappy Papa tries to assess the seriousness of the situation:


That’s true. If he packed clothes or food then we’ll have our answer.

monkey-gun-4Oh please don’t let there be clothes.

monkey-gun-5A stuffed monkey named Bobo. It is his favorite. Okay, that’s fine.


monkey-gun-6By ‘gun’ I mean a bent stick from the backyard that they sometimes pretend is a gun.


So of all the options he could have packed (clothes, food, legos) he packed a monkey and a gun.


A monkey? And a gun?


After we laugh about how disturbing that combination is we start to really think about how disturbing that combination is.

What kind of trip requires a monkey and a gun?

What kind of dangerous business is he involved in anyway? Is he going to Las Vegas? Is he dealing primates on the black market?

Crappy Papa and I joke about all sorts of possibilities and while I’m (mostly) reassured that he probably wasn’t planning to run away, I’m still a little curious as to why he needed those particular items. What was he doing?

So the next morning, I mention to him that he fell asleep with his backpack on and he jumps in right away explaining:


Hawaii? Oh! So not Vegas then.


Oh no. Please tell me he didn’t shoot the frog with his gun.

monkey-gun-11Well. That sounds innocent.

But what about the gun? And the monkey? I MUST know!


Gun? Monkey?


Gun? He doesn’t need the gun?

monkey-gun-14Fishing pole? What fishing pole?


monkey-gun-15Of course! How could I have been so stupid?

You don’t bring a monkey and a gun to Hawaii.

You bring a monkey and a fishing pole to Hawaii.

I was the only one who assumed it was a gun.

Isn’t this is a perfect example of how the innocent acts of children can be so distorted and misinterpreted when seen through an adult lens?

Thanks for refocusing my lens, sweetie. And bring your fishing pole anyway, you might get sick of hamburgers.



He wasn’t, for the record, planning to run away to Hawaii either. He “goes there in his dreams” at night. No idea why he has to pack for dreams, but whatever works.  

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63 Responses to That Time Crappy Baby Tried to Run Away (Or so I thought)

  1. Outi says:

    Awwww, that was adorable! 😀

  2. Holly says:

    So funny! We have several “guns” at our house too–you drew them spot-on. Love your blog!

  3. Jill says:

    OMG that was pure awesome.

  4. MaryH says:

    This might be my all time favorite crappy post! I love, love it!!!! 🙂

  5. Amanda says:

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve interpreted something so completely wrong and in an adult way. Great story!

  6. Karen says:

    This is the sweetest ever. It would be exactly the same in my house except my son really would have packed a gun. Even for Hawaii! LOL

  7. Sandra says:

    I’m so glad you posted this. I had a situation at preschool where the teacher told us our 3 year old was “exposing herself” to other children in the bathroom, asking them to look at her privates. She said, “She obsessed with her privates. She was touching herself all day!” We felt so ashamed, the way she said it, the insinuation. I didn’t know what to do so I very subtly said, “You know your privates are private, right?” She said, “Yes Mama.” I asked her about showing her friends in the bathroom. Turns out the poor girl had a raging yeast infection and was asking a buddy to check out what was going on in there. She was itchy and irritated and instead of being concerned that there might be something, they went right to the perv scenario! We can laugh about it now, but had a strong discussion with the director of the daycare.

    • Chris D. says:

      I had a similar thing happen. My son is most ticklish JUST below his belly button, and when he was in preschool they said that while he and another child were tickling another kid, he was trying to touch/tickle the kid’s genitals. Totally embarrassed, we asked him about the incident and he said he was tickling the boy’s belly like where he is most ticklish. But of course the adults projected their adult lens upon my FOUR YEAR OLD and accused him of being some kind of sexual deviant even though he never touched the kid’s crotch nor had he any intention of doing so. I can’t tell you how angry that made me!!

      • Marci says:

        Same thing happened to my son. The parents of the boy my son tickled filed a complaint against my little guy. And tummy tickling is such a sweet innocent thing. Made me really mad and sad.

    • Annon for this message says:

      Hmm, Just hoping my (2 1/2yrold) son does not repeat what he does at home at his day care. He is fascinated about girl and boy body parts. Even though we talk about it to him, have a book, he still likes to talk about it lots and lots. Asking some pretty interesting questions… and happy to show. Still working on the private bit. 🙂

  8. Jen says:

    I LOVE that he had the foresight to pack for his dreams. That is freaking adorable. I often dream I am getting eaten by a shark or a Killer Whale. Perhaps I should start packing a harpoon gun before I go to sleep?

  9. BeckyKay says:

    That is so sweet!! I got a little teary-eyed just reading this!

    (but monkey and GUN is still funnier….)

    • Colleen says:

      I totally got teary-eyed, too – in between my giggles – such sweetness and innocence. I can see my 3 year old doing something like this to us one of these days – the imaginations on these little ones is just enviable. Love your posts!

  10. bri says:

    Love this! I didn’t pack clothes when I tried (many times) to run away as a child. I packed an apple and my favorite toys. Luckily for my parents our backyard was big enough to run away too, so I never really left the house.

  11. Tineka says:

    Reminds me of the time I found my daughter in her bed with her nightgown up around her neck, and a bathing suit pulled on with the straps over the nightgown… And the other time I found her with tights, and a hat on along with her nighty…

  12. Kerry says:

    I love that he’s packing for his dreams. Best to be prepared!

  13. June says:

    My MIL told me about the time my husband planned to run away (for real). He was probably in first grade or so at the time, and they’d recently had some kind of fight. She saw him as he came down the stairs with a small suitcase. She asked what he was doing. He said he was running away. She shook her head and said he wasn’t allowed to do that. So he turned around, went back upstairs, unpacked, put away the bag, and no one ever spoke of it again. 😀

  14. So sweet! My six year old has apparently been dreaming about flying and every morning he jumps around the living room trying to make it happen. He seems to be very disappointed when he finds out he can’t really fly!

    • Sanj says:

      What!?? We can’t fly?? Ohhhhhh noooooo …. hmmm.
      That can’t be right. I know if I just flap my wings a bit harder or faster, it will finally work.

  15. MacKenzie says:

    When I ran away I brought a loaf of bread and water. No clothes. After I got lost and had to call my parents to pick me up, they inspected the bag and asked if I tried to run away. I told them I was going to feed ducks. I’m not sure they bought it. Eek!

  16. Emily says:

    I say all the time how much I miss seeing life through my former childlike eyes , the innocence & imagination that I once had is so fact & reality based now ! 🙁

  17. Genivieve says:

    One of my kids wanted to run away and I told him he could leave the family like he came into it – no food, no clothes, no shoes. He said OK but he was going to wait until after fair because he wanted us to pay for the carnival rides. By the time fair came and went he wasn’t so mad that naked and hungry sounded better than living by Mom’s rules. He was about 6 or 7 at the time. Still cracks me up.

  18. allison says:

    Love love love. On a side note, somebody gave us Hyperbole and a Half for Christmas and Eve (10) picked it up and started flipping through it because “I thought it looked like Crappy Pictures”. A few minutes later she said “Mom, every swear in the world is in here.” Oops. She seems unscarred, but I might just tell her to visit your website when she needs a Crappy Pictures hit. 🙂

  19. Nicole says:

    Totally off-topic, but how long has Crappy Baby been wearing shorts? How did I not notice this???

  20. Jackie says:

    My daughter likes to help pack when we go visit the grandparents in a different state. She packs everything but clothing. She has her essential toys and blankets. In her mind she doesn’t need anything else.

    • Charity says:

      My little brother once packed the TV remote for a beach vacation. His reasoning was he wanted to be in control of the TV once we got there.

  21. I can only imagine what a school district with a zero tolerance policy would make of that story. He had a GUN? In only YOUR version of a DREAM? And you THOUGHT he might run away? Alert the authorities! Expel him! Report the parents! And if you think I’m the one who’s over reacting to potential overreaction, just go take a look at the archives at But my real message is I love that you don’t mind that your kid even has a toy gun. Or travels by himself to Hawaii in his dreams. Because there are helicopter parents out there who would discourage that kind of independence. Even in his subconscious.

    Happy 2014!

  22. Karen L. says:

    We’ve had that whole jumping to conclusions thing at or house too! When my oldest was about 5 he absentmindedly chewed off the edges of his toast into an all too familiar shape, but then surprised us when he said, “look Mommy, it’s a drill!”

  23. Cher says:

    My son told me he was going to run away when he was little, he never did. But I did remind him to pack his bag and be home for supper. I always loved the imaginations my two boys had. Today, people don’t see things through a childs eye, just their own. It is sad that sometimes people don’t like it when you hug a child or give an innocent kiss to a child. My children always crawled in bed with me and my husband, when they were scared or had a bad dream or in the mornings to watch cartoons in bed with mom, dad, Oscar the cat and Sebastian the golden retriever.

  24. Leanna says:

    When I wanted to run away I would pack my barbies and their clothes in my orange circular suitcase. Only ever got as far as the corner (next door). Not sure why I never went further or why I never packed clothes or food.

  25. Nikki finley says:

    My 2 year old boy has a favorite monkey named Bobo too! Love this story 🙂

  26. Jorie says:

    I always wanted to run away with my belongings died up in a bandana and hung from the end of a stick slung over my shoulder. You have to have a bundle on a stick if you’re running away. My mom was patient enough to lend me the bandana, but I never could get my belongings tied up to my satisfaction.

  27. Paula says:

    This makes me giggle. 🙂
    One night my son told me all about how his Grandma (who lives 8 hours away) took him to Mexico the night before and then when she brought him home she dropped him off at 96 but he lives at 98 and so he had to walk home. So together we called her and asked her politely to please drop him off at the correct house when they go on dream trips together :p

  28. Niki W says:

    Am I the only one that sees Amber holding a poop, not a gun? Hahaha!

  29. Katie says:

    Gotta love kids’ imaginations. On another note, I got your book for Christmas. Actually got the whole thing read in 2 days, which is amazing for me these days. I loved it, and the parts I read aloud to my hubby made him LOL. My 5-year-old loves your drawings, although admittedly there were times when she’d try to read the regular text (and yes, she could have as she reads several years above her grade level) and I had to distract her lest she pick up words that I didn’t care for her to repeat at school. Your observations about life with kids are spot-on! Hilarious! Get the book, people!

  30. Michele H says:

    I live on the Big Island of Hawaii. We welcome any and all monkeys and fishing poles, lol! I look forward to more stories about your crappy children 🙂

  31. Lauren says:

    that’s hysterical! I remember trying to run away. It wasn’t my parents’ fault, though, my brother took my barbie and that was just the final straw. I packed my grandma’s old dress and a bear. My mother calmly asked if I needed a toothbrush, so I ran back to get it. Then she calmly asked if I needed underwear, so I went after them too. Then she asked where I was going to live, and I told her, “at Crystal’s”. She asked if Crystal had a brother, and I finally gave up and went to bed! Crystal had a barbie stealing brother too.

  32. Alice says:

    My daughter loves, more than almost anything, to pack her “packback.” Right now it isn’t in her room so she can’t use it to run away, but I’m 99% sure I can guess what one of her top two items would be if she could, and it’s akin to the monkey named Bobo. This post sounded so true to me.

  33. Lisa says:

    My 2 year old son magically turns my vacuum attachments into “boom booms” (guns). No idea where he got the idea. Boys will be boys.

  34. Tiffany says:

    I was always threatening to runaway when I was younger. I had a bag permanently packed in my closet just in case the situation ever presented itself. It was full of newspapers and macaroni noodles. I had great ideas about sleeping on a park bench wrapped in newspapers, just like the homeless people in Central Park in the movies. I also once threatened to runaway while my older sister was babysitting me. She said I couldn’t runaway with the shirt on that I was wearing because it was her’s. So I whipped it off and ran out the door…thankfully I was old enough to be wearing a sports bra because we lived right on the highway 🙂

  35. That is just too friggin’ adorable. Packing for his dreams? So beautiful.

  36. woolies says:

    I can remember running away (really ) when I was about 5. I packed my blanky and a whole thing of Oreos. I had my priorities straight!
    This story is adorable.

  37. Haha nice! My daughter packs the most random shit into any bag, basket, box, sock she can find. She is our little borrower. It’s always like a marble, a thimble, half eaten cracker, and a piece of crocheted play food.

  38. mark says:

    … if it was a gun yesterday it is only common sense to think it is a gun today. but we all know kids don’t always posses a lot of common sense. and grown-ups don’t always use our imagination.

  39. DrL says:

    That has got to be the cutest story ever

  40. Your stories are the greatest! Those kids are a hoot!

  41. Amber says:

    To dream like a child again, that would be amazing!

  42. Catherine Rolfe says:

    Ha ha ha – that’s amazing!

  43. Robonanny says:

    My son goes to Jamaica (from the UK) and beats Usain Bolt in running races in his dreams. He tells me all about how he got there and back overnight over breakfast. Love it!

  44. Char says:

    Ha ha! That’s brilliant!

    I often trip up by assuming the kids are using something as one thing when it is actually something else.

    Luckily, they’re very, *very* good at condescendingly putting me in my place.

  45. Ana Kreigler says:

    Oh, adult eyes on children’s lives… last night my daughter was doing a “Legend of Zelda” ballet, but had to “surprise” my husband and I with her ballet clothes, that were under her pjs. The whole “show” started with her stripping. My husband and I were giggling uncontrollably because she had no idea why it was funny.

  46. Matthew says:

    A monkey and a gun? Sounds like a great setup to a Samuel L. Jackson movie. Seriously.

  47. Charissa says:

    Speaking about adult mind making kids ideas seem less than innocent, when my friends daughter was 5, she drew a picture for me and her. It looked exactly like a penis. We could not help but start laughing really hard, and we were out to dinner in a restaurant. The waitress could not hold her disdain when she saw the picture. Her daughter could not understand why people were both laughing and scowling at her picture of an alligator.

  48. Molly says:

    I laughed the entire time. I love the way she tells the same tales that we all live through in such a funny and fresh way.

    I too ¨ran away¨ as a kid. I brought a banana and a book, you know, in case I got bored.

  49. I can actually hear how much louder he says, “Hawaii, Mama” at the end. My kids TOTALLY do that.

    My 3.5yo daughter and I were indoors at a school when she said she wanted it to snow. We live near San Francisco, and I said it doesn’t snow here. She looked at me like I was an idiot and said, “No, Mama! Outside!!!!”

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