Insult Tennis

I don’t know if any of you play this game with your kids. It’s not as harsh as it sounds. The goal isn’t to crush their delicate self-esteem, or to make their happy faces crumple. That is not how I roll.

The goal is simply to come up with the most fantastic and hilarious insult that you can. If the other person collapses into hysterics, then you win.

It reminds me a bit of this scene from Hook:

It’s good clean fun. Honestly. Little Girl is still a bit young for it, but Big Girl loves employing that big old imagination of hers to try and outfox me. Now I don’t know if many of you know this, but I talk a lot. I know, big surprise, right? And I have the kind of vocabulary that you get from replacing social interaction with book-reading.

This means I can come out with such gems as, “You are a stinky-footed monkey burger!” Total genius.

Big Girl counters with something tasteful, like, “You’re a poo poo lemon meringue!” And so on it goes.


I’d say that I win about 70% of the time. And if you’re sat there, judging me right now for that heinously low percentage, just stop. Cut a woman some slack. I’m tired, and it’s really hard to play this game without accidentally swearing.

Despite my, in my opinion, amazingly high success rate, Big Girl can sometimes still get one over on me. And the other night, she did that most epically.

I had gone into her room to give her a kiss and tuck her in. Although in Big Girl’s world, it’s never that simple. First of all, complex conversations must be had about the optimal colour of fairy wings, and how many clowns it would take to reach the moon if they stood on each other’s heads. If we’re lucky, occasionally she talks about something that actually happened.


In my quest to disentangle myself, I may or may not have got slightly caught up in a game of insult tennis. And at first, I was totally ahead. I even managed to throw in the word ‘anthropomorphic.’ In context. I know, you’re impressed.

So far, so good. Until Big Girl unexpectedly upped her game.

“You’re a slimy shrimp wizard!” I yelled in triumph. And by yelled, I mean whispered. Even for this battle, I wasn’t prepared to wake Squeak up again.

Big Girl smiled a particularly mischievous smile, and said, “You’re a boring vagina!”


Whoa. Shit! I gasped and laughed in surrender. She giggled smugly.

Then, her face became serious again. She frowned at me and said matter-of-factly, “They are actually quite boring.”

Guys, we have a winner.

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