I have created a monster

By Mir
May 26, 2009

Otto: So I was thinking, when we go camping this summer, we should go to Dearborn, Michigan.
Chickadee: [blank stare]
Otto: There’s some really cool stuff there. Like, Greenfield Village, which is set up like it was in olden times. And there’s a Ford factory tour, where you can see them putting trucks together!
Chickadee: [dripping with sarcasm] Oh. Boy. That sounds. So. Exciting.
Otto: No, really, it’s really interesting. I think you’ll like it.
Chickadee: [suddenly inspired] I have an idea! You and Monkey can go watch them put trucks together, and Mom and I can go get a pedicure!
Otto: [to me] Where did I go wrong with this one?
Chickadee: [with a grand sweep of her arm] PEDICURES ACROSS AMERICA! LET’S GO!!

I have glimpsed the teen years, and I am frightened.


  1. Megan

    Um. So the males will go look at trucks and the females will have their nails done?

    Oh dear, Mir, oh dear…

  2. Dawn

    Tell her there is stick candy in the general store at Greenfield Village.

    Okay, there was in 1962…

  3. mamalang

    I think you should tell Chickadee she is brilliant. But hey, that’s just me…lol.

  4. Annette

    What???? I don’t see the issue….

  5. Stacy

    Actually it is pretty interesting..at least it was when I was 8 and went on a school field trip there. Lol.

  6. Linda

    Going to have to agree with Chickadee on this one!! :)

  7. Tracy

    Greenfield Village sounds like a neat little place but the Ford factory—I would have to also agree with Chickie!

  8. Lauren

    I live about 25 minutes from Greenfield Village. I haven’t been there in ages, but its a great place. The Henry Ford museum and IMAX theater is next door, also very cool. Although I doubt that much actual camping goes on in Dearborn…

  9. Elizabeth

    The Henry Ford still has stick candy, along with an IMAX theatre, village and a host of other family friendly stuff. While in town you could also visit the Motown Museum and the Detroit Science Center. Check out Kensington Metro Park for a gorgeous place to camp including an 8 mile bicycle path…

  10. Dragon

    Your daughter is a frickin’ genius. And let me just point out right now that “Pedicures Across America” would be a brilliant title for a book. Or a rock band. Depends what direction she decides to take her teen years.

  11. Lisa

    Chickadee is brilliant! I’ve done an auto factory tour and while it was interesting, it was not nearly as fun as a pedicure. As for “Pedicures Across America” – grab your camera and make a photo essay. Otto might even be able to appreciate that idea ;-)

  12. Dawn

    Greenfield Village is pretty cool, although I’m not sure if it’s cool enough to be worth driving from Atlanta. Chickie might be on to something, though.

  13. Amelia

    If her teen years involve her wanting to get pedicures? With her mom? Then I’m a little jealous, actually.

  14. Melinda

    I just have to tell you that the original wienermobile is at the Henry Ford. I just visited last summer and it was great! (Pedicures are also nice too though….)

  15. BethR

    Greenfield Village? When there are so many cool things in your neck of the woods? Is he nuts??

    OK, it was sort of ok when I was 7, but given that I got lost because my cousins and I got into a fight and my grandparents had a conniption, I don’t have great memories of the place.

    I think y’all should get pedicures – Otto too!

  16. Melissa

    Sounds like a good idea to me! Why look at trucks when you can go get a foot massage?? Next step? Manicures! ;)

  17. Sheila

    I am trying to figure out exactly to whom you were referring in this post’s title: Chickadee with the pedicures, or Otto with the camping extravaganzas?

  18. Heathir

    It is exactly this that makes me so glad to have a daughter. Chickadee gives me hope (& scares the pants off me.)

  19. Angela

    Dude that is totally freaking awesome! At least she’s thinking positive and not saying she doesn’t want anything to do with a family trip. You’ve found the trick to keeping her interested for the next few [expensive] years.

  20. Ramblin'Red

    Bahahahah….at least [I’m assuming here] you just went for a “normal,” budget pedi, and didn’t treat her to something extravagant like a 3 hr hot stone pedi, right? Because I see no problem getting a budget pedi when the guys are doing the testosterone things.

  21. elswhere

    You know, I have never had a pedicure in my life, and yet PEDICURES ACROSS AMERICA sounds like a great idea. I second whoever said it would be a great book title. Like when you write your memoir about having a teen daughter, in a few years. Oh, I can just see the cover.

  22. The Other Leanne

    Dearborn? really? Because when you said camping, and bought a trailer, and got mi-fi in anticipation of long journeys across this great nation of ours, Dearborn, Michigan did not pop into my head as a top destination. Grand Canyon, the Badlands, even Las Vegas. It just didn’t scream “Rust Belt” to me.

  23. Cassie

    Are you kidding me?! I grew up near there and would NEVER recommend vacationing there. After Greenfield Village, you could go to the Detroit Zoo and then wait around until it’s time to leave. Sorry, Michigan… you suck!

  24. Jen B

    ooooooohhh! Come visit me!!! We stayed at a really great campground (Haas Lake) over the weekend, about 40 minutes from Dearborn. Greenfield Village IS really neat, and your boys would like the Rouge Factory Tour. You & Chickadee could find plenty of day spas around here to get a pedicure! I’d go with ya! ;)

  25. Jen B

    oh and hubby says he’d take Otto & Monkey on a special Ford tour! ;)

  26. The Mother

    Be afraid. Be very afraid. The teenage boy’s mind is NOT somewhere you want to go.

  27. Nicole

    Pedicures Across America sounds like some kind of genius fund- and awareness-raising campaign, whose mission is to raise enough money for every female nationwide to get the pedicure she deserves.

  28. Deva

    I just snorted in a most jarring manner! that’s brilliant!

  29. wafelenbak

    I loved Dearborn, MI when I went as a youngster…but…reading Otto’s description, I’m not sure why.
    Maybe because at that point in life, I hadn’t yet experienced a pedicure. ;)
    (also, why do many family vacations involve historic re-creations??)

  30. nik


  31. PandaWriter

    “(also, why do many family vacations involve historic re-creations??)”

    Because Parents enjoy proving to their youngsters how much harder children had it in olden times, subsequently pointing out how easy kids have it today by comparison.

    This hallowed family activity has probably been around since Homo Sapiens first wandered by the tar pits, stopping mid trek to point out how hard those Neanderthals had it back then.

  32. Michelle

    I remember going to Greenfield Village when I was about Chickadee’s age, I liked it but I wasn’t as smart as she is and I’m a tremendous geek now so that could be part of it. I had a pedicure last week as a treat for my 40th birthday, and I have to wonder if the world wouldn’t be a nicer place if everybody got pedicures more often, she could be on to something and I’d certainly nominate her for the Nobel Prize if world peace were restored ;). There’s just something about pretty toenails. . .

  33. Katie in MA

    I believe you could blame this one on Otto with a nice resounding chorus of, “You started it, dear.” No, not with the camping (although, come to think of it, he did start that too), but more with the whole, “Let’s put together trucks and build a village!” Which, actually, sounds fun to me, but for poor Chickie… Maybe tell her that if she makes it all the way to Dearborn without making your head explode, you’ll do the pedi while the guys do trucks. :)

  34. Amy-Go

    Wait…I’m SO for pedicures across America…AND I’ll be in Michigan for part of the summer…this could work! ;)

  35. Heather

    I live in Michigan and while there are many beautiful places to camp here – I don’t know that I would travel that far for them!!

  36. Half Assed Kitchen

    Greenfield Village is cool…but I don’t know about camping in/near Dearborn. Which basically equals Detroit.

    Northern Michigan is really pretty, though a lot farther.

    What about the Outer Banks, SC? (Okay, I’m living vicariously, because I’ve always wanted to go there.)

  37. Greg

    Otto is a genius. Detroit has become the new campground of America!

  38. Shanna

    If you are that close you should really come to Wisconsin. Southeastern Wisconsin, we have great State parks for camping and then I could come meet you! I know, you are like, who the heck are YOU, but please come? It is just around the end of the lake.

  39. Aimee

    Pedicures Across America sounds like the title of a drag queen comedy, a la “To Wong Foo…”

    Maybe Tony and I will write it.

  40. cheryl

    I have some VERY fond memories of Deerborn, some of the only pictures of I have of my childhood…granted, it was circa 1966…and it was GREAT…petting a deer, roaming through the village, even the Ford museum-but then, also memories of Niagra Falls, black hills of dakota, Mount Rushmore, even Carlsbad caverns…(back when families took car trips to everywhere, and they are the BEST times of my life, needless to say, those trips motivated me to do the same when my kids were small (they’re mid-late 20’s now) and I only hope it made impressions so they’ll do the same with their kids-have FUN

  41. Linda Sherwood

    I really enjoyed Greenfield Village and the Ford Factory tour. In addition to the weinermobile, you can also see a typical bedroom from a teenage girl in the 1980s! And the car JFK was in when he was assassinated.

    The village was very cool.

  42. Erin

    If you go to Dearborn, you should come to Rochester, NY. It’s not that much farther and we have the George Eastman House (camera museum – HEY! Otto likes cameras! :)) and um, a Jell-O museum and … stuff. And you could, like, meet me. Or something. I’m gluten free, so you could eat here!! :)

    I hope you have a great summer of trips, wherever you decide to go.

    PS: If you DO go to Michigan, you could also check out Battle Creek, home to Kellogg’s. They do some pretty cool tour things there.

  43. Miriam

    So.So.Funny. And also, is Chickie my 11 year old niece’s twin?

  44. Janet

    I live in Dearborn MI and are members of the Village/Museum. They renovated about 6 years ago – all wheelchair accessible now. Lots of stuff to see and do. We go all the time (me 40ish, hubby 40ish, daughter 11, son 9, and son 3.5). Detroit area could really use ANY tourism we can get. There is no camping in Dearborn, but there is in nearby Ann Arbor.

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