One of my all-time favorite memories


It is 2003. I am at a Seattle coffee shop with the two boys I used to nanny for, then 3 and 5; I am ordering them hot chocolates. We find a Magic 8 ball by the cash register.

Annie: Oh, you guys! Check this out – you shake it and ask it a question, and it tells you the answer.

Big Brother [enthusiastically]: Cool! Will I be a spy someday? … YES!

Little Brother [shake shake shake, then holding the ball close to his face, softly whispers]: I love you.

Big Brother: Hey, that’s not a question. Here, let me try – am I going to die soon? Not likely. AWESOME!

Little Brother [shake shake shake, thinking hard, then]: I wish I had a squirrel club.

Big Brother [now angry]: NO. That is NOT a question. A question has to have an answer.

Little Brother [thinking hard, finally the light going on, then tentatively asking]: Um… is mouses bad?

– – – – – – – –

When I took them home that day, I thought it would be cool to continue with the same future-predicting theme. So I took two blocks from their wooden block set, and used a Sharpie to write different answers on each side – sort of a dice they could roll for answers. Little Brother immediately took his and ran to his room.

And when I cracked the door to check on him, he was standing against the wall, and with one giant, dramatic roll of the dice across the floor, he yelled, “DO YOU LIKE EAGLES?”

– – – – – – – –

Happy weekend. I wish I had a squirrel club, too.



  1. Lyla on October 24, 2008 at 9:50 AM

    What funny little kids. You should save up your stories about them and and share it with them when they are older.

  2. Allie, Dearest on October 24, 2008 at 10:06 AM

    “Do you like eagles”
    “I love you”


    Who is this darling of a boy??! One day, years from now, a woman will be very lucky to have such a dear.

  3. Isaiah Kallman on October 24, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    Dear Annie, Queen of Doom,
    Your story made me honk like a dying bird a little. You even got some belly laughter out of my roommate, Charlie Murphey.

  4. bec on October 24, 2008 at 10:33 AM

    haha i never knew the end of that story. but i have told the first part to a lot of people and they always love it.

  5. giving up slowly on October 24, 2008 at 12:10 PM

    Thanks for the laugh! I really needed that :) Oh… kids!

  6. Jodie on October 25, 2008 at 9:28 AM

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahah! Kids are AWESOME! The little one is the BEST! I love him. :)

    …and I’m still laughing…

  7. Joel on October 25, 2008 at 11:13 AM

    That’s the stuff that makes a good writer. Bravo.

  8. Rosemary on October 25, 2008 at 3:42 PM

    I love it! I read this out loud to my husband, and he said his first experience with a Magic 8 Ball was very disappointing. He asked it how to build a jet. It didn’t give the right answer. – Rosemary (Emily Aichele’s friend!)

  9. Nicole on October 27, 2008 at 7:04 AM

    Hello Annie,

    I thought of you today- hope that you’re doing well. Delighted to read this post…

    You can make that squirrel club happen, you know.

    -Nicole (a.k.a. girl who took the cardboard cutout jokes too far with Katie)

  10. Sarah on October 29, 2008 at 11:38 PM

    I’m still laughing. I want to at least join a squirrel club. Thank you – what a great way to top off my evening :).

    My word verification says prockfun.

  11. andy on November 18, 2008 at 1:55 AM

    goodnight, this is funny!

  12. MB on February 9, 2009 at 10:24 AM

    When do we meet?! Lol!

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