Continuing with “Reader Appreciation Week” (which should have been called “Reader Appreciation Month”).


“New Heinz EZ Squirt (now featured in New Blastin’ Green) with precision stream allows kids better control, more creativity in mealtime decisions!!”

Keri snorted as she read the advertisement aloud. “Are you kidding me? Do you know what my blessed angels would do if I put a bottle of ketchup in their hands?” She glanced over to the sandbox at her two boys. “Steven, don’t you dare take that shirt off, I mean it! How many times do I have to tell you?”

She flipped the page of the magazine. “Like life isn’t enough of a zoo already. I can see myself trying to get green ketchup out of my Laura Ashley curtains. God bless the dry cleaners, that’s all I can say.”

I opened my mouth to reply, but Keri’s screeched out across the playground, “Hunter! Stop dumping sand on that little girl’s head right this instant! Don’t make me come over there!”

“Honestly, sometimes I wonder if they ever ask parents about crap like this before they sell it.” She stuck the magazine in her purse and pulled out a pack of gum, popping a piece in her mouth. “Seriously, ” she smacked, “are they out to make my life more of pain in the– STEVEN!” She bolted off the bench, swearing under her breath, and took off after the errant and now shirtless Steven.

I looked down at my little one, only a few months old, peacefully sleeping in his stroller.

“Don’t even think about growing up,” I whispered.