My informant is a mother of three who lives just outside of Boston with her husband of over 30 years. She is originally from Cape Cod, the part of Massachusetts that is full of beaches and is a world known tourist destination. She is a lover of all thing water; she has worked extensively in water policy and water pollution as an environmentalist.


“We don’t need to be here.”


“We have a saying from a family friend of mine, from the kids who are now like 30, 31 or so. But this was a long time ago when the youngest one was 2. They were visiting our house, and he decided that he did not want to be there anymore. There was this store, the cow store. It had all of these cows in it, singing cows on the walls.

So he just said, “We don’t need to be here”

It started because he asked, “Can we go to the cow store?” And they said sure, you know because it was like a perfect store for a kid. It had all of these cute cows in it. I don’t if it is still around. But they were staying at our house. Like sleeping over.

So he said, “Can we go to the cow store?”

And they said, “Sure, once we leave here.”

So then he said, “Can we leave. We don’t need to be here.”

It was so cute and funny. My husband and I say it all the time. It’s a good saying when we want to get out of something, but it’s kind of cuter because it came from the mouth of a babe.”


This saying gets thrown quite a bit between the informant and her husband. I think it is a two-fold thing for them. For one, this was when they were newly weds, still young, fresh out of college. I feel as though people often want to recall those days, the good old days.

I also think that it started as something that was adorable; people like seeing kids say things so blunt, like that old T.V. show “Kids Say The Darndest Things.” But I think that after they said it back and forth a few times, it started taking on a new meaning. This idea that when they don’t want to go somewhere or want to leave someplace, that they have this code now, “We don’t need to be here.” It’s a cute way to whine. She even told me that her husband especially started saying it to their kids when the kids started to whine or complain.