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June 14, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

A year ago yesterday we met this guy for the first time:

Robert Solomon Wilson in a carseat

A year ago today I sat around the hotel room staring at him.

Attention Event Planners

June 14, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

How is it possible, in this day and age, for event planners to forget to make accommodations for individuals with restrictive dietary needs or preferences? I attended a workshop yesterday and the planners provided lunch. Great! But lunch consisted of:

  • Hamburgers
  • Brats
  • Potato salad
  • Cole slaw
  • Chips
  • Cookies

That’s a very reasonable lunch for most people. Problem was, there were zero options for folks who don’t eat beef and pork. That may not be a problem at a luncheon for, say, the Nebraska Cattleman’s Association, but this was a pretty mixed group that was likely to have a higher-than-normal population of vegetarians.

I don’t think it’s (usually) a planner’s responsibility to prepare for every possible style of picky eater, and I do think the picky among us bear a certain amount of responsibility for either asking the planner ahead of time for an alternate meal or bringing their own meal. Still, it takes very little effort for an event planner to make minimal preparations for the picky (toss a few Boca burgers into the mix, for example). Or if that isn’t possible, advertise the style of meal ahead of time (“Lunch entrees will feature beef”) so that the picky know to prepare themselves.

The Missus’ former employer used the latter tactic and it worked fine. The Missus was one of only one or two individuals who did not eat beef or pork. Since pretty much every meal featured beef and pork (usually donated by a local meat company), The Missus knew to be prepared with an alternative. No problem.

So folks out there planning events: don’t forget to account for picky eaters. The number and style of accommodations you make (if any) will of course depend on your audience and the type of event. But spend at least 2 minutes thinking about the issue.

This is Going to Get Messy…

June 12, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I just got off the phone with The Missus. Robbie fed himself this morning. He grabbed the jar of food from her, stuck the spoon in, and went to town. Most of it even went in his mouth. Bravo, Robbie! I tried to get him to self-feed quite a while ago, but at the time he showed no interest. I knew it was about time to try again because he has really been mimicking the eating process with his own (empty) spoon.

Time to invest in paper towel companies.

Wrapped Up in Cable

June 11, 2007 at 5:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I’m such a sucker for door-to-door salesmen.

This weekend a very nice Time Warner salesman earned himself a commission when The Missus and I opted to take him up on his offer to upgrade our cable service from minimal (channels 2-22) to basic (2-80). We have special pricing for 6 months, at which point the price jumps about $25. I don’t see us hanging on to cable at its full price, but who knows. It has been four years since we last had full basic cable. I only really miss a few channels (ESPN and Comedy Central, to name two). I wonder how quickly I will find that even with 80 channels there’s still nothing on?

Like I said, the salesman was very nice. He was an older gentleman who really knew how to secure a sale. He picked up on little details and would use them to steer the conversation. In fact, he reminded me a little of a psychic in that regard, trying to figure out which details to work with and which were dead ends. I let him follow one dead end for a while just to see where he went with it. When he found out that Robert’s middle name is Solomon, he guessed that we might be religious folk, so he tried a few tales with religious themes. (“This one time I called on a minister’s house…”) We aren’t religious, but he was a good story teller and he wasn’t proselytizing, so I let him talk. He certainly isn’t the only person who has made the “Solomon = religious” link. (In fact, Robert’s middle name was the name given to him by his birthmother. Solomon was her brother.)

The new service should be turned on by Thursday. A lot has changed in the world of basic cable. What should I watch? Stewart and Colbert are on my list, and Mr. T tells me I should check out Anthony Bourdain’s show on The Travel Channel. Any other show tips?

Sorry Kid, You’re Not Invited

June 6, 2007 at 12:35pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Tonight will mark a significant departure from nearly a year of tradition for the Wilsons. For several years now The Missus and I have used Wednesday nights as our Date Night. Since Robbie showed up a year ago, he has always been invited to Date Night. But not tonight. Robbie is a toddler now, and we have discovered that toddlers and Date Night aren’t very compatible. That leaves The Missus and I free to go just about anywhere for dinner. That’s the good news.

The (sort of) bad news is we may not be able to leave Robbie with a sitter every week (for reasons I won’t get into), so Date Night might have to change from a night of going out to a night of staying in. That isn’t the end of the world, of course. And we can always experiment with picnics. But if that’s what happens, it will be different.

So just in case tonight is our last weekly night out on the town for a while, I figure we should mark the occasion somehow. My first inclination is to hit 9 South Chargrill since we have already tried to go there twice and failed both times. But maybe we should go some place to mark the (potential) tradition transition. Or perhaps we should use one of the gift certificates we have sitting around.


I do know it has been too long since we have been to Ivanna Cone. If we end up anywhere near Downtown, we are soooo there.

Where Did My Baby Go?

June 4, 2007 at 5:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

It wasn’t until very recently that I fully understood just how profound the impact of walking can be on the life of a child. Once a child walks he magically transforms from a baby to a toddler. It’s a marvelously rapid transformation. So fast you don’t even see it happen. You just wake up one day and *poof* your baby is gone. In his place is this entirely new being, an intelligent, selfish, calculating toddler whose insatiable appetite for knowledge and penchant for reckless experimentation reminds one of Johnny 5. Robert is definitely a toddler. Sometimes I can’t get over how old he seems. A silly thing to think about a kid who has only just begun his second year, but it’s true.

I love watching as he tries to figure out language. He knows that certain sounds mean certain things, and he has a few of those sounds figured out. Today he apparently learned “bott” after The Missus asked if he wanted a drink from her bottle of water. He proudly repeated “bott bott bott bott” all the way home. My favorite of Robert’s words is Daisy. He says the dog’s name with such enthusiasm, “Daisy!”, as though he is seeing her for the first time in years. Robert really gets a kick out of her. Yesterday he even played peek-a-boo with her. I don’t know how much Daisy got out of the game, but Robert thought it was a hoot.

Robert’s world expands every day. He walks wherever he wants to go, and he no longer waits to make sure mom or dad is tagging along. Around almost every corner lies a new mini-world to explore, and within each world are all sorts of fascinating objects begging to be touched, pulled, pushed, slobbered on, or squealed at. Robbie’s new walking skills even earned him his first badge of honor yesterday: a nice scab on his chin. The first of many, I’m sure.

One downside to all of this is that Robbie no longer wants to be bothered with things like meals or naps. He used to eat like a pig, but now he has a cow if he has to sit in his high chair very long. And naps? Bah. Naps are for babies. Let’s play and explore! Incidentally, mom isn’t sold on the no-nap theory. And the change at meal-time, though completely normal for toddlers, is still annoying, especially at restaurants.

I know these next months are going to be a whirlwind of activity and change. I hope I’m ready! And I hope you all are ready for even more “Robert did the neatest thing this morning!” stories. For example, Robert did the cutest thing this morning when he gave me a big, wet, sloppy, open-mouthed kiss on the cheek. It was the first time he ever kissed me. (Well, the first unambiguous time, anyway.) What a way to be sent off to work.

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