My favorite child

Did you know that school is finished for the year here in just a few weeks? (And before the usual slew of “No fair! You get out so early!” comments that this usually brings, allow me to point out that the kids went back to school the first week of August. They’ve had a whole year.) Anyway, it’s true. School is nearly out for the summer.

Just a few more weeks to get through, which means that everyone’s Great Big Hairy Meltdown is right on schedule for… now.

This happens every year. I have no idea why it surprises me, every time. But the children are… oh, a little on edge, let’s say. Moreso than usual. And my tried-and-true rule about only one child having an issue at a time seems to go out the window, this time of year. Or, you know, THIS ENTIRE YEAR. (See also: hurry the hell up, 2013.)

Otto and I have taken to sneaking out the house early on Saturday mornings, just the two of us. This has become my favorite part of the week, better even than sleeping in, and you KNOW how I feel about sleeping. We go to the Farmer’s Market, or we go check out some yard sales, or we do both. We talk about important things or stupid things or funny things, but not sad things, and not at all about the kids. We pet other people’s dogs and chat with strangers and run into people we know and marvel at what appears to be the global shortage of used patio furniture. (I KNOW. But that was a table and chairs, and we still need some comfy lounge furniture. So that we can… lounge.)

Otto likes to tease me that I can find something to buy at any yard sale. It’s true. Because if that t-shirt is only a dollar or that cup will hold an entire can of soda AND another ten ounces of ice, that’s cool by me. But I’m trying hard to cut down on the amount of STUFF these days, so I’m getting better at merely sifting through other people’s castoffs and then saying thank you and moving on.

Today, though, we found a real gem of a sign for just a quarter, and while it made me laugh, I told Otto we really didn’t need it. And then Otto said, “Oh no, for twenty-five cents, YOU NEED IT.”

We brought it home and nailed it up where it seemed most logical.

Licorice seems unmoved by it, but I’m pretty sure the other kids are miffed, so I guess it was a quarter well spent.

[Also, I could totally turn Woulda Coulda Shoulda into one of those fashion-y designer blogs, by showing you all of the fantastic and stylish things I buy for my fabulous home. “WHIMSICAL SIGN, JUST TWENTY FIVE CENTS, BUT FULL OF STYLISHY STYLENESS.” Or not. Just a thought.]


  1. Otto

    I’m still a little confused … is the dog’s door her best friend? Or is the dog your best friend? Or is a metal bone both of your best friend?

    Wait …


  2. Mir

    Dear Otto,

    You are a brat. Good thing you’re cute.


  3. Bryan

    The post itself was only made more wonderful by the Otto/Mir interaction in the comments.

  4. Katherine

    When my cat actually deigns to use the cat door, I think the door is my best friend. Or at least the best thing since sliced bread (wait, I bake my own bread, so I have to slice it too). Whatever, I love the door when it gets used – especially when the cat goes in and out 27 times in an hour!

  5. Mandy

    I wish there were a “like” button for the comments.

  6. elz

    I was just thinking, “This blog has gotten so stylishy stylish, I just can’t stand it.” ;)

  7. Jessica (the celt)

    I thought paws were a woman’s best friend. You know, like the singer Eve’s tattoos (two paws on her chest.) Are you trying to tell us that you’re getting these tattooed somewhere? (The paws, I mean. Not the door. Who would get a doggie door tattooed on her body?!)

    (On a kinda unrelated note, a friend of mine got a tattoo on her foot for her daughter’s 18th birthday. Her daughter wanted one when the daughter was 14, so my friend promised her that she could get one when she turned 18. Well, that day recently came, and my friend suddenly decided to get one as well. I don’t know who was more surprised: her daughter or her husband. ;~) )

    More stylin’!

  8. Megan

    Hey. If you can miff your teenage etc kids then it’s PRICELESS, baby, priceless.

  9. Karen

    Sometimes, Otto… the questions are best left unanswered :-)

  10. addy


  11. Valerie

    It is an antagonistic world. I find the best way to prepare my children for the world is to show them this first hand. Love your bargain find!

    Alternate titles: Cheap ways to torture your stylish children, Stylish ways to torture your children, Cheap ways to antagonize your children with style, Stylish on a budget: dogs don’t talk, or maybe Antagonizing with style. Nah – “my favorite child” kinda says it best – nice and simple. GREAT way to spend Saturday mornings.

  12. Daisy

    I can identify with the Saturday morning escapes. Hubs and I go to the Farmers’ Market in the summertime (Wisconsin, winter doesn’t yield much to market) while the son is listening to Public Radio. We get home just as he’s getting up.

  13. SillyMe

    Clearly the doggie door is woman’s best friend. Not having to be a slave to that door 20 or more times a day is a Blessing!

  14. Mary

    Our town-wide yard sale was this past Saturday. That just might rank right up there as one of my favorite days of the year!!!!!

  15. MichaelB

    Maybe it’s a guy thing – I saw the picture and thought the same thing as Otto posted…

    Either that or it’s a smart-ass thing… I’m not sure which…

  16. Tracy

    No, MichaelB, it’s not a guy thing…unless, no-no, I’m a woman. :) Smart-ass thing is probably more like it.

  17. Angela

    Doggie doors are definitely needed, otherwise you are your own dog’s door-opening slave! But my little poodle, Ginger, is really my best buddy too, so I can relate. What’s funny is we have a house rabbit, Bingo, who is the same size as my 10 lb poodle, and he also uses the doggie door! He goes out to play in the yard and then comes back inside to cool off. Ginger and Bingo play together outside, it’s hilarious.

  18. Arnebya

    The 2 yr old and I have taken to sneaking out on Saturday mornings too (sometimes when we come back the other house inhabitants have still yet to rise). Something tells me it’s not the same as you and Otto having alone time (and yes, Bryan, the banter between Mir and Otto definitely made the funny even better).

  19. jodifur

    Michael got in major trouble last week. And I remembered that it was right about this time last year he got in major trouble. We have 6 weeks left. What is it about the end of the year that makes them bat shit crazy?

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest