Jan 17 2016


Now, I’m definitely not in the army, nor have I ever been (three semesters of ROTC doesn’t count). I don’t wear fatigues to work, either, just slacks and Hawaiian shirts. The other day I was wearing this one:

There are a lot of children where I work. That’s not a pejorative–I work at a children’s hospital, so seeing children literally everywhere I go is pretty normal. The other morning I was walking through the hall and a little guy, probably about six, sees me and excitedly (and quite mistakenly) yells:



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Feb 26 2014

Follow up: Donegal Danny

Some time ago I opined that the folk song Donegal Danny contained an erroneous lyric, e.g., “the cries of drowning men.” At the time I snarkily mentioned that the only sound thatI thought drowning men would make was, “glub.”

Well, it turns out that I am right. There is an excellent article at Slate called ‘Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning.’ In addition to verifying my rightness, it contains several valuable tips on how to spot and help a drowning victim. I am listing two Danny-related ones: 

  1. “Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled before speech occurs.
  2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
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May 20 2013

What do we do when a horse bucks us off?

My friend The Dread Pirate Rob has a passel of small children. One day the three year old fell down and hurt himself. Rob comforted him and also used the opportunity as a teaching moment, encouraging him to pick himself back up instead of just crying and waiting for help.

“What do we do when a horse bucks us off?”

His son answered quickly and decidedly.

“Shoot it!”

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Jul 22 2012


My friend Mel, mother of the world’s most adorable baby, has a new baby. She coined this term based on a recent diaper change (I don’t know which baby’s it was). Thankfully, I do not have photos to confirm whether this qualifies for poop-mageddon status.

Much as being a patient in a hospital debrides you of a great deal of your modesty, being a parent destroys much if not all of your squeamishness. Most parents I know have comedy/horror stories related to various solids and/or liquids being projected upon them by small children.

I think the worst was my friend Jess who licked what she thought was bean dip off her arm….

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Sep 17 2009

Leash laws

One day I took the guys in my Sunday School class hiking at Burr Oak Woods and then we went to the Bass Pro Shop. We had a great day together, I got some cool pictures, and the guys all got a nap in the car on the way home (I guess they can’t keep up with us seasoned veterans).

While we were getting off of the elevator on the top floor at Bass Pro, a couple with a kid around 5 or 6 was filing in. The mother had the son on a leash. True, it is pretty uncommon, but apparently one of the guys had never seen anything like it:


I really didn’t see that coming, but I didn’t see any need to correct him; he didn’t say anything obviously rude, like pointing out someone’s weight or relative attractiveness, and putting your kid on a leash is a choice. Plus, I was busy suppressing my own laughter.

One of my friends (the mother of one of my students, actually) said that she always thought putting children on leashes was horrible–but there was this one time….

She was at the mall shopping for Christmas presents. Children #1 and #2, who were about 6 and 7, were walking while she carried child #3 and various purchased items. She said that children #1 and #2 suddenly went into a huddle, then took off in different directions:

“When I finally found them, I spent my last $10 for two leashes.”

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Aug 12 2009

My oldest.

I love my children very much but I love them even more when they unintentionally make me laugh.

I had just returned home from picking my oldest up from pre-school. The whole way home she had been intently looking at herself in the side mirror.

“Honey what are you doing.”

“Mom my teacher told me that I have a good personality.”

“That’s good to hear.” I said as I started to leave my car, then I hear this little voice say, “Mom? What does a personality look like? I can’t see mine at all.”

I still tell her every once in awhile that her personality is looking great.

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