Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Shopping with Mike

This past weekend – JCPenny’s was having a white sale.  And we have been needing some new pillows for our bed.  And there you have it – supply meets demand…

We all three loaded up and headed to the mall.  Shopping with Mike has never been much trouble.  He usually enjoys it as long as you don’t loiter in one area too long.  And after loitering in the pillow section for longer than what we should have, Mike reminded us that it was time to move on.  “The Dad” took him out of his stroller and they went for a walk while “The Mom”stayed to search for that perfect pillow.

Mike wound his way through the bedding department.  After a few minutes, “The Dad” realized that Mike was stopping and looking at each of the display beds that were set up.  He would walk up to them, look at the design on the comforter, the pillows on the bed, and then shake his head and quietly say “no”.

After stopping by a dozen or so beds, he found the perfect one.  A simple, green colored comforter with green and brown pillows on it.  He turned around and looked up at “The Dad” with an excited look in his eye and began patting the top of the bed.  Even “The Dad” could figure out what that meant – so he picked Mike up and sat him on the foot of the bed.  Mike immediately made his way up into the middle of the pillows, rolled over on to his back, looked over at “The Dad” and said, “Night night”.  Then closed his eyes and did his best fake snore.

After a good chuckle (19 months!  Where do they get this stuff!) “The Dad” looked at Mike and asked, “Hey buddy – is this the one you like?”

With all of the seriousness of a jury handing down a verdict – Mike looked up and answered “Yep”…


“This is the bed that I liked the best!”

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Color Train

I’m sure that many of you have never heard of the book “The Color Train.  A First Book of Colors”.  As a matter of fact – you can’t even find out anything about it from Google.  And if it’s not in Google, then it doesn’t exist!

Except this book does exist.  I have a copy of it sitting right here next to me!  I’m guessing it’s about 37 years old (there is no copyright date in it).  It was printed by “Western Printing Company” before they became “Little Golden Books”.  It’s one of “the Dad’s” books from when he was Mike’s age.  So you know it has to be older than dirt…

And right now – it’s Mike’s favorite story!  He absolutely loves it and we read it to him nearly every night – at least once (if not two or three times).  And as soon as he sees it, he gets excited and starts bouncing up and down and clapping his hands and saying “Color Train!  Color Train!”.  You can’t help but to smile along with him…

This past weekend, we took a very rare trip to the mall.  We came in through a JCPenny’s entrance – wound our way through the store towards the mall.  As we were exiting Penny’s and entering the mall – there it was.


And it was chugging around the mall!  And kids were riding in it!  It had the red car!  And the yellow car!  And the blue car!  And the engine!  Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!!!!!!

Mikes eyes were absolutely as big as pie pans.  He couldn’t believe it!  The color train was REAL!  For Mike, it was every bit as amazing as finding out that Santa Claus was real.  Of course, we had to follow it around the mall to find out where it stopped.  And as we walked up to it – Mike kept saying “Color train!  Color train!” as if he couldn’t understand why I wasn’t as excited as he was!  and then it happened.  He touched it!  It really was real!  Again – Mike was stunned with disbelief.  His eyes really WEREN’T deceiving him!  The color train REALLY WAS REAL!

It was absolutely the best trip to the mall I’ve ever had.  And I know it was Mike’s favorite too!

The Blue Car

“Holy cow!  I’m sitting in ‘The Blue Car’!  You never told me The Color Train was REAL!!!”


The Yellow Car

Mike sat and patiently explained about all of the cars.  “This is ‘The Yellow Car’.  Up there is ‘The Black Car’.  Behind us is ‘The Blue Car’ and ‘The Red Car’.  ‘The Engine’ is up front!”

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Trip to Lowes

Lowes Home Improvement Warehouse.  The quintessential “Man’s Store”.  Not saying that there aren’t plenty of women that shop at Lowes – there certainly are.  But it just doesn’t seem like the women in the store have that same gleam in their eye.  That little sparkle that all of the men have as they wander aimlessly down the aisles.  Like a kid in a candy store.  That “Wow – look at THIS!  And THAT!  Would you look at THAT!!!”

You might think that this is a “learned” behavior.  I do it because I saw my dad do it and he saw his dad do it.  And so on and so on.  Throughout the history of hardware stores.

But I’m here to tell you that this behavior is at least partially genetic.  And here is why I think so…

A couple of weekends ago we took Mike to Lowes.  It wasn’t his first trip – but at 18 months, it was the first time he’s been since he’s been “aware” of his environment.  We walked in the front door to be greeted by several shiny lawn tractors. 

“Tractor!  Tractor!” he announced and took off running.  Not once did he ever turn around to see that “twinkle” in his dad’s eye.  At that point – he didn’t even care if his dad had eyes!  He was 100% on his own…

“That’s right Mike!  And how does a tractor sound?”


We spent the next 45 minutes investigating every last feature of every last lawn tractor.  Tested every seat.  Kicked every tire.  Inspected each mowing deck.  Yanked on every steering wheel.  Mike pointed out every color – “green” and “yellow” (obviously for the John Deer’s), “red” (those were the Toro’s)…

And on it went until it was finally time to walk the next 20 yards in to the store (are those grills I see up ahead?).  Before we left, I asked Mike which one was is favorite.  Without hesitation, he immediately walked up to the Husqvarna and excitedly announced “Orange!”.

That’s my boy!  You can take him out of East Tennessee – but he’ll always be a Vol…

Mike on the John Deer

“You guys never told me that Lowes would be SO MUCH FUN!”