Tag Archives: Stories

Sunglasses on a Cloudy Day


This is Riley running his first ever kids’ race after I completed a local 5K this spring. The announcer was hilarious, calling the play-by-play and giving each kid a nickname. “Here comes Sunglasses on a Cloudy Day! Oh! He stops to get his picture taken!” We all laughed because yes, that pretty much sums this kid up.

Riley has worn these exact same blue, shark sunglasses since he was 2 and a half and we bought them for him at a candy shop in the northwoods of Wisconsin while we were on vacation.

The day he got his "sunjagges."

The day he got his “sunjagges.”

Here’s the day he got them. He called them “sunjagges” for probably a year. Sometimes we still refer to them as that.

But you know I’m not writing this post as a happy ode to the shark sunglasses.

Two days ago, Riley lost them. Scratch that. I think someone at school took them. They are gone.

He has worn them every single day for the last three years and yes, I know this is so completely a First World Problem, but I’m still sad. I knew the day would come that they’d break or get lost or become too small to fit his face. But I’m still sad that that day is here.


Frolicking in the Wisconsin River in 2012

Frolicking in the Wisconsin River in 2012

Drumming on dad's drums w/sunglasses.

Drumming on dad’s drums w/sunglasses.


First boat ride of 2013.

First boat ride of 2013.

Even posing for professional pictures requires his sunglasses.

Even posing for professional pictures requires his sunglasses.

First day of K4 (with sunglasses)

First day of K4 (with sunglasses)

First day of K5 (with sunglasses)

First day of K5 (with sunglasses)

Ok, ok, you get the point. The kid is never without them. He’s known as the kid with the sunglasses by just about everyone. His teachers know he doesn’t like to go out for recess without them. So today I took him to school early so we could check Lost and Found. His teacher, Riley and I rifled through a giant bin of grody elementary school kid clothes to no avail. I really think they’re gone. Every day he left them in the hallway underneath his backpack and I’m sure some kid just swiped them and kept on walking.

Last night Riley asked me about God. He does this sometimes. He told me that sometimes he prays to God. No, we are not necessarily a church-going religious family, but he attended a Christian K3 school and learned a LOT about the big man upstairs there.

“What do you pray for, buddy?” I asked.

“Just stuff that I need,” he replied.

“Like toys?” I asked with a smile, totally knowing where this was headed.

“No, I asked God to find my sunglasses.”

Oh. *sniffle

Today I ordered him a new pair. We will celebrate the fact that a 2, 3, 4, and 5 year old managed to last THREE YEARS without losing or breaking something. And then we will replace them with the exact same pair and go on with our lives.

UPDATE: The sunglasses have been found! In a bizarre turn of events, the sunglasses were found in the backpack of a classmate the exact day that the replacement pair were delivered. Because of course they were. It looks like it was a case of mistaken backpack identity and all is right with the world.


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Single Mom Week




As I wrote a year ago, I was once again a single mom for 5 lovely days while my husband went on a “dude trip” out to the Pacific Northeast. In the past, I might have put “lovely” in sarcastic quotations, but I can honestly say that this was a really enjoyable, albeit tiring week for me.

Last year, I wrote this. A tale of solo parenting a 4-year old and a 5-month old baby. The house was a mess, I was crabby, the dog didn’t even want to be around me and then I got a cold.

This year, I psyched myself up for it. I knew it was going to be challenging with a now- 5-year old and a 22-month old. But I was looking forward to a nice weekend, a day off work and then Grandma and Grandpa stepping in so I didn’t have to use up all of my PTO.

Day 1: Playground. The happiest place on Earth for my children. Because they don’t know about Disneyworld. Yet.




Riley offered to hold Charlotte for several trips down this ginormous slide and the proud smile on his face, and the glee-filled grin on hers mad me so happy that I instantly texted it to Daddy.

Sunday we spent the day at my parent’s house, which is almost an hour away out in the country. Gale-force winds and 40-degree temps kept us in the house the whole time. I was clearly off my game this day as I shockingly discovered that I only had one diaper in the diaper bag. Can you even call it a diaper bag if it holds no diapers?

I didn’t have time to ponder this because little miss pooped so incredibly much that I took a journey to the closest gas station, 10 minutes away, and spent $15 on a pack of diapers one size too big. This was horrifically traumatic for an extreme couponer like myself. Let’s not talk about it.

Monday was my day off work and Charlotte and I took Riley to school and then hit up the grocery story together. I honestly don’t think I’ve grocery shopped with just her since she was a tiny infant in the car seat carrier. At almost 2, she wasn’t exactly pleasant to shop with, especially because I refuse to be one of those parents who opens the food before they buy it to quiet down a loud baby. So I had a loud baby who was yelling “open open!” and thrusting a package of string cheese at me. No, it wasn’t 100% pleasant, but she happily soaked in the oohs and aahs of other weekday shoppers and finally got that cheese in the car.

I rented Frozen from Red Box because it was a rainy day and I believe we are the only household with young children in North America who has yet to see the movie. So we snuggled under the covers and watched:




And yes, it’s worth the hype. Super cute movie. We celebrated watching it by crowning our own Princess Charlotte.



The next few days were a blur of early morning showers before the kids woke up, greeting my parents who were staying with the kids all day while I worked and straightening up the house after the kids were finally tucked into bed. Yes, it was exhausting, but they missed their daddy so much that I tried to make this our own fun little staycation.

We went to story time at the library, which was the cutest thing ever. No pictures because I was too busy watching Charlotte try to keep up with the older kids and sing along with songs she’d never heard before. Too cute.

The entire week was freezing cold and rainy. I’m not kidding. We didn’t get a single day above 45 degrees or not raining. So we could not even go outside at all. We made rice krispie treats, we colored, we danced, we built forts. And on the last day of Daddy’s trip, we hit up an indoor playground for kids:



How did our forefathers entertain their children in crappy weather?



These are all dried beans. I found beans in her diaper that night. Gross.

20140509-153702.jpgI would like this giant Lite Brite in my house. K, thanks.

The week was not uneventful though. Thursday, I had to work from home with both kids. Not an easy feat. Pair that with the fact that I had a client call that was not scheduled during naptime, I knew this could be tricky. And it was.

Derek’s office is in the basement, so I decided to set up shop there and keep Charlotte in the room she’s normally in while Daddy works. I gated her in, gave her a snack and turned on Dora. Within 15 minutes, she had broken out and was in the office with me, babbling and talking, while I muted my phone and only briefly unmuted it to give one or two word answers.

The previous day I had started cleaning out our storage room (Super Mom!) so a lot of old toys were out in the basement that usually aren’t. Luckily, Charlotte began playing with the toys while I continued the call with my client. As I spoke on the call, I kept an eye on Charlotte and then to my horror, I saw a mouse casually traipse across the basement floor. Had I not been on the phone, I would have screamed and jumped onto the desk clutching my innocent child.

Since I was having a billable conference call, I had to remain calm. I sat still for a minute, all while talking status with the client. Without missing a beat (I think) I overturned a garbage can, dumping its contents onto the office floor and RAN after the mouse, with my iPhone pressed to my ear. I flipped the garbage can over the mouse and put a heavy box on it. The thing squealed to high heaven.

After the call, I called Derek who said to leave it since he’d be home later that night. The poor mouse died in there. I have no idea how it got in, but I don’t think there are any others. We’ve had a loaded trap set out for a week now and haven’t caught anythin.g

Finally, Derek was home. I missed him so much and the kids did too. But I would probably give myself a sold B+ this year as opposed to a C- from last year.


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Jury Duty

A few weeks ago, this showed up in my mailbox:

Woo. Hoo.

Woo. Hoo.

I was called for jury duty about 5 years ago. I was never picked to be on an actual case and I credited that to the fact that I was a newspaper reporter at the time and my dad works in law enforcement. Today, I work in PR and my dad is retired, so this time, I actually was on a case.

It’s over now so I can talk about it. No, the process wasn’t awesome. It wasn’t fascinating. It wasn’t like Law and Order. It was depressing. Kind of boring. Emotionally draining. Three full days in a federal court room. I lost sleep over it. As we were deliberating in the jury room (for 2 and a half hours), my throat started to hurt and the next day I was full-blown sick. This took a toll on me.

Here’s the scoop.

It was an armed robbery case by a 4-time convicted felon. However, the evidence was purely circumstantial. No fingerprints. No DNA. None of the victims possessions found in his pockets. It was  hard case to decide. There was testimony from the defendant’s lifelong best friend, who took a plea deal to testify against his friend.

The victim cried. The defendant cried. The jurors cried. It was horrible.

When it was turned over to us, the jury, we were exactly split: 6 voted guilty, 6 voted not guilty. Then we all started talking. I was one of the staunchest not-guilty jurors. I felt it was all circumstantial. Maybe it was another tall, well-spoken black man who committed the robbery, not this one. Maybe he really didn’t do it. But the more we talked about it, one by one, all the not guilty jurors changed their votes to guilty. We convicted a 23-year old man.

Once we were all in agreement, the reality of the situation set in. The woman sitting next to me just muttered, “Oh my God” under her breath. Another juror started to cry, head in her hands. It was an intense experience.

And then we had to go into the court room.

The defendant stood when we walked in, wearing a sport coat that was too big for him, and puffy eyes from crying. I couldn’t even look at him. The verdict was read. Guilty.

The air was thick in the court room and I felt like I couldn’t even breathe. I definitely couldn’t lift my head. And then in the silence of the court room, sobbing. I don’t know that I’ll be able to forget the sound the defendant made when we realized he was going to jail for a long, long time. He sobbed. He kept muttering, “this is my life, this is my life.”

I just kept thinking, I hope we made the right decision.

The judge came back to talk to us afterwards. He was able to give us a few nuggets of information that made sense and made me feel better about our verdict. We walked out of the jury room and into the hallway, to go wait for the elevator.

There was a ruckus behind us and one of the jurors whispered, “That’s the guy’s family.”

I looked around and there we stood. Alone. No bailiff. No security. We quickly shuffled on to the elevator and dropped five floors below.

When the elevator doors opened, we filed out. Suddenly, right there, was the defendant’s mother. Yelling at us for convicting her son when he “didn’t do nothing.” She was yelling at us. Asking us how we could do that. Someone grabbed her and pulled her away from us.

It was awful. We felt bad enough in that moment. We didn’t need a mother yelling at us. Maybe she should have yelled at her son more when he was growing up and he wouldn’t have been a 5 time convicted felon by age 23.

Since the case is over, I’ve been able to look up the defendant’s record and learn more about this case and this man. He is not a good man. I’ve come to terms with our verdict. We made the right decision. Having this guy off the streets will undoubtedly save other individuals and families from  heartache.

I’m going to enjoy these next four years knowing I can’t be called for jury duty again.

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Scariest Moment Ever

In the blink of an eye, everything can change. People know this. Parents especially know this. Now, especially know this.

Last weekend, we attended the wedding of my cousin out of town. It was the kids’ first night in a hotel. The hotel had a waterpark. Needless to say, everyone was excited and in a good mood.

The wedding itself was awesome. Very fun. Both kids tore it up on the dance floor, which was so cute I couldn’t even stand it.

Nothing cuter than little kids on the dance floor, am I right?

Nothing cuter than little kids on the dance floor, am I right?

The kids stayed up until 9:00, in great moods. Then happily slept through the night. While I tossed and turned in the Lumpiest Hotel Bed Ever. I woke up and was not a happy camper, though I was relieved both kids actually slept with all four of us in the same room.

We decided to head to the water park in the hotel that morning before check out. Derek ran down to the lobby to grab us some breakfast and then made a pot of coffee in the room. I poured myself a cup while Riley ate a bagel and watched cartoons. Charlotte was content to walk around the hotel room.

Riley asked for his water bottle, so I set my coffee down on the nightstand, pushed it back farther because I was conscious of the fact that our 1-year old was walking around the room, took 3 steps to the cooler, and heard Charlotte scream.

She had somehow grabbed my full coffee cup and spilled it down the front of her.

Within 10 seconds, I had her under the faucet in the tub, letting the cold water drench her chest and shoulder, which immediately turned red as she screamed. Derek grabbed her to take off the soaked onesie while I ran across the hall to get my parents. The saving grace was that our entire family was here.

My dad, a retired cop, sprang into action, wetting towels with cold water and draping them over her tiny body while I held her and she wailed. I think the scariest thing for me was that she woudn’t stop crying. She’s the type of baby that even if she’s hurt, if I pick her up, she’s comforted and she quiets down. The fact that I couldn’t comfort her terrified me.

My mom suggested calling the nurse’s hotline from our insurance company, so Derek did. They recommended we take her to the ER. I was shocked. I honestly didn’t think it was that bad. I just couldn’t believe this was happening.

So off we zipped to the nearest ER, 35 minutes away. With my husband’s driving, we made it in 25. Charlotte actually slept in the car, which was such a relief.

When we got to the ER, we told the receptionists why we were there and they peered into her car seat carrier, to see a smiling baby. She was smiling. Giggling. I couldn’t believe it.

As I filled out paper work, a nurse came in, looked under the wet towels at Charlotte’s skin and immediately took her back into the ER. That scared me.

When I finished with the paper work, they led me to her room. They had her out of her car seat and had taken the towels off of her. When I saw her red, blistered, burned skin, I thought I could faint. Instead I immediately started crying. I couldn’t believe how bad it was. I felt the worst I’ve ever felt in my life. How did I let this happen to her? To our tiny, 1-year old baby?

Long story short, several doctors examined her. Several burn doctors examined her. They ultimately just washed the wounds, bandaged her up and sent us home. But here’s the amazing thing – this kid is a trooper. The toughest baby I’ve ever met. She was walking around her ER room, giggling. She was smiling and flirting with the doctors. She was her normal, sweet self. And she had 1st and 2nd degree burns. Unbelievable.

I was so worried that she was in pain and would be up all night crying. But she napped on the way home. She slept all through the night. Amazing.

The next day we took her to the pediatrician to get her bandages changed.

My poor baby.

My poor baby.

Yes I have photos of her burns. No, I will not post them here. You don’t want to see them. And I don’t want to look at them.

Our sweet girl is going to make a full, quick recovery, according to the doctor. Anyone reading this, remember this story. When you think you are being careful with something that can really hurt a curious toddler, be even more careful. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. You may think you’re going to a hotel waterpark, and find yourself in the emergency room in your pajamas. True story.


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No Day At the Beach

Sunday started off promising. I ran 5 miles in keeping with my half marathon training plan. We came home and immediately got ready to head about 45 minutes north to the shores of Lake Michigan to meet our photographer friend for some awesome 1 year pictures of our little Charlotte. We try to do a beach day at least once a summer. Yes, we live within minutes of this Great Lake, but it’s um…not so great in our area. So we need to venture north of Milwaukee to find pristine beaches and clean water. After the photo shoot, we promised the kids a fun-filled beach day.

Backing out of the driveway, I said, “I think today is going to be fuuuuuun!” Little did I know that I was actually being sarcastic. Damn.

After stopping to gas up, Derek turned the car back on to hear it sputter a bit before turning over. That was weird, we thought. Sign #1.

We hopped on the freeway and talked about all the fun we were going to have at the beach. Riley could not contain his excitement. Suddenly the ABS light on the dash board illuminated. Sign #2.

Since that is for the braking system, we were confident the car would run just fine, so we ventured on. A few minutes later, I looked over at the dash board and realized none of it was working – the speedometer, gas guage, everything, was at zero. And we were on the highway going 65 mph.

No sooner could we devise a plan for action, when Derek gloomily reported that we were losing power. We moved over to the shoulder and took the next exit. By some miracle, we were able to coast about 4 miles to a gas station. Our alternator was blown.

So now we’re 45 minutes from home, in 90 degree heat, with two kids. Not a good scenario. I immediately did what any other girl would do in my position. I called my dad.

He said he’d throw some tools and a tow chain in his truck and be there as fast as he could. But still, he was about an hour away.

I don’t know if I’ll ever forget the expression from Riley when I told him that our truck was broken and we couldn’t go to the beach today. His face immediately crumbled into tears. It was no temper tantrum – far from it. It was genuine sadness and disappointment. I felt it too. I hugged him so tightly and promised him over and over that we’d go to the beach again.

Down the road we saw a George Webb’s and decided that ages 4 and 1 are not to early to expose children to the worst best of Milwaukee’s post-bar food. So we walked there like homeless people and  we ate deep fried, greasy food, with no fruit or vegetables at 11:30 on a Sunday morning.

Afterwards, we walked back to our car to wait for Dad. We passed the time the best we could.

Why is pretending you're driving so much fun?

Why is pretending you’re driving so much fun?

The baby's gotta stand somewhere. The front passenger seat, it is!

The baby’s gotta stand somewhere. The front passenger seat, it is!

We searched our iPhones and found that there was a Ford dealership about a mile away, so we decided to get towed there and see if they could fix it on Monday.

photo (19)

Being a Sunday, this was pretty much our only option. We had been talking about trading in our 2005 Ford Escape for weeks. It started leaking oil, had over 100K miles and was starting to rust. It had seen better days. Yes, it makes me nostalgic – this was the vehicle both our kids came home from the hospital in! But we knew it was time to let her go.

We checked out cars on the lot at the dealership that day, but then searched for more online. And then we found her.

Long story short, we took the next day off work and bought a brand new Ford Escape. In a funky color. That I will be driving until I have teenagers. While that thought may depress me, at least I find solace in the fact that it is an awesome ride and not a minivan. Score!

New wheels!

New wheels!

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A Half Day Doctor’s Visit

Tuesday was a rough day.

Let me back up for a minute. When I was pregnant with Riley, a regular ultrasound showed us that his kidneys were two different sizes. No biggie, we thought. But doctors thought otherwise. Long story short – he’s fine. More than fine, he’s perfectly healthy and brilliant and beyond adorable. Ok, I may be a little biased.

So every two years or so we take him to Children’s Hospital for an ultrasound of his kidneys and bladder and then up a few floors to see a pediatric urologist. I believe Tuesday was the fourth time we’ve done this in Riley’s life.

Derek and I took a half day off of work so we could make it to the 8:30 ultrasound and 9:00 doctor visit. We happily decided to go out for brunch afterwards. Riley was promised bacon.

It was pretty hectic getting all four of us up, ready and out the door by 8 a.m., but we did it and made it to the ultrasound appointment on time. But barely.

In the waiting room. Riley was very proud of his hospital bracelet. Which made my heart hurt.

In the waiting room. Riley was very proud of his hospital bracelet. Which made my heart hurt. Yes, those crayons are in a kidney-shaped puke bowl.

I can’t describe how proud I was of Riley when we got in the darkened room for his ultrasound. The last time we were here he wasn’t even two yet. He has no recollection of it, but he happily climbed up on the table without even being asked to, laid down and stared at the monitor. He was ready.

Children's Hospital is great. They project the solar system on the ceiling. Riley thought it w

Children’s Hospital is great. They project the solar system on the ceiling. Riley thought it was rad. 

But he thought the ultrasound was even cooler.

But he thought the ultrasound was even cooler.

So the tech finished up. Riley cracked her up the whole time. He’s so funny and clever. Again, I’m biased. Oh and here’s a funny thing. When I told him that morning that he was having pictures of the inside of his tummy taken, he asked what kind of camera it was. I told him it was an ultrasound. He said, “Like when we saw Charlotte in your tummy?” I can’t believe he remembers the 20-week ultrasound of our 6-month old baby. Like I said, he doesn’t miss much.

So up we went to the fourth floor to await our 9 a.m. appointment. We got there right on time, checked in and took a seat.

And waited.

And waited.

I realized it was 9:40 and thought, hmmmm, we’ve been waiting a while.

Then it was 10:00.

Then it was 10:15

Then it was 10:30.

Riley started to get antsy. Charlotte fell asleep. I started to get pissed. Derek too.

“Our appointment was an hour and a half ago,” I half whispered to Derek.

“What’s the point of making an appointment if we’re going to wait for an hour and a half?” he asked.

So I carried my sleeping baby up to the receptionist and asked how much longer it was going to be. I didn’t bother telling her that our appointment was supposed to happen an hour and a half ago. But I probably should have.

She went in the back to ask the nurse I guess and came back to report that there was one person ahead of us and then it would be our turn. What time was that person’s appointment, I wondered, 8:30? How early did this guy start seeing patients if he was already an hour and a half behind for a 9 a.m. appointment?

We took another seat and Riley started to get really antsy. The people in the waiting room annoyed me. (Ugh, I hate when parents show off their “parenting” skills by repeatedly and fakely saying their child’s name over and over. Shut up and go over and get your kid! He’s not supposed to be running behind the receptionist desk. DUH!)

Needless to say, our whole family was not pleased.

They called another person back. I vowed that if Riley wasn’t called next I was going to start yelling. And I’m not typically a yeller. Unless I’m in childbirth with no pain meds, but that’s another story.

Finally, the frazzled nurse called our name. It was 11:00. A full TWO HOURS we had been waiting. Under my breath I muttered, “it’s a miracle…” and again, my boy didn’t miss a beat.

“It’s a miracle!” he yelled as we walked through the waiting room. “A miracle finally happened!” He was giddy. Or delirious. Or both. We all were.

We walk through the door and the nurse says, “I’ll need to get her weight.”

Um? Did I hear that right? Derek told Riley to step on the scale.

“Did she have her ultrasound this morning?” the nurse asked.

I couldn’t believe it. I felt like I was about to erupt. Scroll up and look at the outfit Riley was wearing. DID HE LOOK LIKE A GIRL???

“Um….HE?” I prompted her. She looked up at us for the first time since we’d gotten there TWO HOURS EARLIER.

“He. Sorry.”

Oblivious, Riley complimented her on the “cool” stickers she had on rolls by the scale. She thanked him but didn’t offer him one. Isn’t this a pediatric office? Give the poor kid a sticker!

We went into the exam room FINALLY and she entered some info into the computer. They didn’t have a pharmacy on file for us so she asked us where we’d want a prescription sent. I knew we weren’t going to need a prescription but told her our pharmacy anyway. The computer couldn’t locate WALGREENS. I know, such an obscure pharmacy. She asked us for the zip code of the store we frequent and neither of us knew. Um…duh. So she CALLED Walgreens and asked them their zip code. The hell? Ten minutes later she was done on the computer. Growl.

She said the doctor was with another patient and she’d let us know when it would be close to the time that he’d see us. Not a good sign.

She brought in a bunch of toys for Riley. An even worse sign.

By this time it was more than TWO HOURS after our appointment time. We’d been given no reason for the delay. No one even acknowledged it.

We waited. 11:10, 11:15, 11:25.

“Are we in a science experiment,” I deliriously pondered. No way we were going for brunch. I’d be lucky to make it back to work for my 1:00 client call. I couldn’t believe I was wasting PTO on this. “Can we just leave? Are we being punked?”

“If we are, I’m punching Ashton Kutcher right in his pretty face,” Derek replied.

Finally at 11:30 the nurse came in to say the doctor would be in soon.

“What is soon? Ten minutes?”

“I don’t know. I can’t even guess,” she replied. GEE THANKS.

At 11:36 the doctor came in. I checked my watch to see. At 11:41 he was gone. Riley’s kidneys are growing He’s fine.

We waited two and a half hours for that? And we are probably paying several hundred dollars out of pocket for this.

And the worst part of the whole wait two and a half hours for a 6 minute appointment? Drumroll please….

…..the doctor never apologized for keeping us waiting.


I’m dumbfounded. Maybe I shouldn’t be, but really. Now I’m going to get a fatty bill for this? Lovely.

I don’t really know what to do about this at this point. I’m thinking of waiting to see the bill and then calling to complain. Any other suggestions?




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My Funny Boy – A Recap

Yes, we all know kids say the darndest things and all that crap, but really, my child DOES say the darndest (funniest) things sometimes. Below is a recap of things he recently said:

No matter what, he calls scotch tape “sticky tape.” It’s always, “Can you fix my book with sticky tape?” or something like that. Which, while it’s not exactly funny, it’s so cute I could puke.

Naps have not been happening regularly in our house as of late. We’re lucky if he naps 3 days a week. The other day, he refused to sleep and when his daddy came in to ask why he wouldn’t nap, he said, “My tummy hurts.” Derek asked, “Why does your tummy hurt?” He replied, “From playing too hard.” Well, it’s nice to see that he’s doing something productive when he should be napping. Time management at its finest!

A few weeks ago, Riley had his first experience fishing. I come from a family of fishermen. My husband loves to fish (though I think it’s mostly because he likes to sit outside and stare at a body of water while doing nothing. And really, I don’t blame him.) However, I have what can best be described as a “fish phobia.” It’s completely irrational, but fish scare the crap out of me. Long story. It involves a recurring dream of falling into one of the giant fish tanks at the zoo.

Anyway, moving on.

So Riley fished for the first time and caught himself an ugly, grody, nasty fish. I made sure not to shriek and run away while he reeled it in, which was my knee-jerk reaction. However, this kid may be a chip off the old block.

Notice the horrified recoil away from the fish.

After this was taken, he came over to me and quietly said, “Fish are not my favorite.” Mine either, bud. Mine either.

Last week while driving to Kindermusik class, we passed a Taco Bell. No biggie, right? I mean, this is America after all. What is notable is that my 3-year old, who has never been inside a Taco Bell, or eaten at a Taco Bell, or ever discussed a Taco Bell, saw the sign out front and excitedly exclaimed, “TACO BELL!!”

Horrified, I asked him how he knew what Taco Bell is.

He replied, “That’s where you buy food.”

“No,” I corrected him. “That’s where you buy something that resembles food.”

Finally, the other night while I was brushing his teeth, Riley decided it was the prime time to sing a little Old MacDonald. And I couldn’t disagree. So while I brushed his teeth, he gazed at his reflection in the bathroom mirror and sang the song. I wasn’t really paying attention to what he was singing and he obviously noticed. He began to “bring it on home” as real singers do. He sang:

“E – I – E – I – SPAGHETTI!!!!!”

What? Now that’s a showman.

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