The day I met Miss America…true story.


That would be today. Teresa Scanlan, last year’s Miss America is in our county for the week, making different appearances to promote Constitution Week. She came to speak at our work in-service last night and I really wanted not to like her. She was beautiful, 19, and the guys couldn’t stop staring. And then she started talking. And then I couldn’t stop staring.

What a good girl. I say that, because, let me remind you – SHE IS NINETEEN. Years old. Yeah. She made me feel like I’ve accomplished nothing in my 28 years. (wink)

Anyway, I found out they were going to be hosting a princess party/ice cream social for the kids in town and I asked Simon if he wanted to go. Last night, he said nothing.

So, I asked him again today after work. Full disclosure (if you haven’t yet figured it out), I wanted to try on that crown and the rumor was that she would be letting people do that. YES.

TODAY when I asked Simon if he wanted to go meet Miss America, he asked, “Will there be other boys there?”

I debated on telling him a white lie, but decided against it. “No, you and Leo will probably be the only boys there.”

“So, it will only be girls and Miss America?”

“Yeah, probably.”

“Lots of girls wearing princess costumes?”

“Yeah, probably.”

“Ok. Yeah, I want to go.”


So, we went. We stood in a short line (because we skipped the ice cream), with one of Simon’s friends, and got to meet her. Simon was smitten. He told her he liked her dress. He told her he had a brother. He told her that he was excited to meet a real live princess. (He is a flirt. I have no idea where he got that from.)


Simon in love

And then I tried to encourage Leo to get into the picture, and this was what happened:

Leo could care less

However, if you notice the height of her eyebrows in the picture above? Yeah, Simon had just told her, out of the clear blue that he has “a Wii.” She then made that face. Which prompted me to tell her that he meant the video game system. Oy. It could have been awkward if it wasn’t so funny. She told him that she was so happy to meet him and good luck in Kindergarten. And Leo just walked away.

And then it was my turn. She was very gracious. And I was a giant nerd, as evidenced by my face when I GOT TO PUT ON THE CROWN.


Here she is…oh. Not me? You’re not singing to me? Oh.

She was really a lovely girl. And when she runs for President in 2028, because that is her goal, I may consider voting for her. Potentially. Because I really have no idea what she stands for. But, boy, can she charm the pants off you with her poise. (No one’s pants came off – OUT OF THE GUTTER.)

But only if she wins will I stand in another line to get the picture autographed. Instead, I just took the blank one. Actually, I took two. One for Leo and one for Simon. Although we know “Leo’s” is not actually for him. Whatever.

Not autographed.


Stuart Smalley reincarnated

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I love SNL.  I miss SNL.  I can’t stay up late up enough to watch it anymore, because I am old and tired.  However, GOD BLESS YOU TUBE and HULU, because I can still keep up.

I knew when we named Simon that we would get a lot of SNL comments.  And I REALLY wish he liked to draw, because then he could introduce himself like this, but nope.  He is not a fan.  What he IS a fan of, however, is his Nintendo Wii.

Mike and I were anti-video games for a long time.  I get that they can be educational and are good for hand-eye coordination, but really…watching my kid sit and stare at a TV screen for that long just kills me.  But we broke down and bought him a Wii for his most recent birthday.  And I must say, it’s the funniest thing to watch, especially when he doesn’t realize we’re paying attention.

He has two favorite games.  LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean and LEGO Star Wars.  (I know that must be such a big surprise to many of you.)  These games are slightly above his ability, but that’s partially what makes it fun.  He gets so angry when we can’t finish a level and I like to watch him process through the tantrum.  Because of this, once he beats a level, he will save the game, but then keep going back in and doing the same level over and over.  And over.

On occasion, when the tantrum has won, we make him turn off the game, so he NOW tries really hard to control his frustration.  This goes WAY back with Simon…when he was little, we used to talk about the “grouchy monster” with him.  Every time he had a tantrum, it was usually because he was hungry or tired, and we used to tell him that there was a grouchy monster inside of him that got bigger when he was tired or hungry.  So when Simon would eat or nap, the grouchy monster would shrink and Simon would win.  His ability to overcome his tantrums, I believe, is a direct effect of trying to “beat” the grouchy monster all those times.

But back to the Wii.  There is a certain level in “Pirates” that I’ve watched him successfully complete about 12 times.  And I think now he goes back to it out of spite against the game, because that darned level stumped us all for WEEKS.  Yes, I include myself in that “all” because at one point, I was so tired of listening to Simon complain, that I just grabbed the controller/nun-chuck thingy and tried to do it myself.  Still no.  FINALLY, hallelujah, we figured it out.  And since then, he just plays that level and laughs at the TV.

Last night, Simon was playing that level while Mike and Leo were out watering the garden. I was sitting behind Simon on the couch, reading.  He didn’t realize I was actually paying attention to him, even when I started laughing hysterically, (but silently.)

There is this part in the game, where Will Turner has to grab a torch and jump across a lagoon without falling in the water.  If he falls in, it puts out the flame, and then he has to start over.  Simon could NOT do it yesterday.  He kept falling in the water.  Mind you, he’s done this about 20 times.  But it still gives him trouble.  So yesterday, after the first three attempts, he starting groaning and grunting a little.  By the sixth time, he was sighing loudly, but getting really frustrated.  Angry, in fact.  By the tenth try, he started muttering to himself under his breath, but loudly enough for me to hear,

“Simon, you’ve done this before.  You can beat it.  I know you can.  All you have to do is jump over these green things.  C’mon.  You can do it, Simon.”

Next attempt.  In the water.  Fail.

“Simon, come ON.  It’s ok. Just jump over the water.  You’ve done it before. ”

Again, FAIL.  Deep breaths.

“Ok.  Really, you can just turn off the game and it won’t matter.  You can just turn it off whenever you want.  It’s no big deal. Turn it off.”

Still no.  Visibly trying to hold it together for the sake of not being forced to turn off the game.

“Ok.  Yup.  You are going to turn it off right now.  And go get dad. And he can do it. Dad will do it. And no one gets mad.”

Meanwhile, I am [silently] crying with laughter behind him.  I only had two thoughts (not in this order): 1. Simon clearly gets his self-talk – doesn’t that sound better than saying “talking to himself” – from me, which is awesome.  And 2. Stuart Smalley

I can’t wait to show him that video.