C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


When Your Toaster Starts Ringing You Know You Are In Trouble...


Carolyn Tann-Starr 2008


In case you haven't done the Wiki, now may be a very good time for me to introduce you to the various levels of Minions. Although there are more, I am going to quote my favorite three British points of order using the Queen's English. Are you ready? I Quote: Minion is a term for favorites or protégés, especially those of a monarch or prince at a royal court. Unlike a henchman or lackey, although of subordinate rank to his patron, a minion is likely to be of noble birth or to be raised to the nobility, and is more of a companion and confidant to him than a servant or bodyguard. Minion may refer to a fictional role: see henchman. Minion may refer to a constraint solver: see Minion (solver). End Quote. BTW, Minion may refer to a couple of other things so when I use the term as a term of endearment, it turns out it can quite nicely cover my little people when they are being both good and naughty (LOL).

I gotta tell ya' every so often my little minions live up to their collective nick name in every facet of every detail one may define a little minion to be. Most of the time they are really quite sweet in their self-directed ways, but every so often, once in a while, the gremlin in them comes out and we adults suffer a brain fart because my boys can render you quite speechless in the blink of an eye or in a heartbeat... Take Stephen's latest Sunday escapades... (I must pause at this point in my narrative to bring to your attention the significant fact that there is an "s" at the end of escapades.) He has managed to do quite a bit of mischief today, but we were saved from a few of the minion blur's terrible-two post toddler campaign by (a) the grace of God, (b) our collective stupidity and (c) serendipity.

My confession regarding of our collective stupidity is a significant statement, and I shall tell you why:

It is a well establish fact known to my relatives (on-line, and brick and mortar friends) that in the realm of Good and Naughty, Sir Stephen the Blur Minion is the Prince of Audacity. Afflicted with PDD-NOS, his terrible twos have been enhanced with the spice of (a) self-direction, (b) a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain and (c) the "they think I'm cute, let's see what I can get away with today," behavior virus. BTW, I know it's a potent virus because he gets away with quite a lot, especially if there is a woman involved. Being aware of all of the PDD-NOS clinical clues that were and continue to be a cause of concern for us, you would think that we, the adults of the home, would have learned by now that Stephen the Blur Minion is not to be trusted when it comes to appliances or any form of electronics.

May I take a moment to refresh your recollection of the recently failed scientific experiments of my 2.7 year old? If I were pretending to be one of my brilliant therapist friends I would pause to explain, "He appears to be compensating for his limited comprehension and vocabulary by attempting to expand his communicative gestures," which would be a true statement. However, he is quite a spontaneous little fellow who has a gift for leaving a lasting first impression on the equipment, electronics and appliances in my apartment. Something deep in my mommy souls thinks there is more to it than that...

After all, who could forget: (a) sinking both our cell phones in the toilet, (b) sinking four expensive scientific notation calculators in the toilet, (c) shredding money, inclusive of coins (which I must admit I was a bit impressed with because I didn't know my shredder could do that - LOL), (d) flushing my Nikon's SD card down the toilet (with a thousand photographs embedded on the drive, BTW - sigh), (e) the assortment of disappearing remote controls and (f) feeding peanut butter and jelly to the DVD player...

I could go through the entire alphabet listing minion blur events, but it appears that somehow we, the adults did manage to forget. It was such a lovely, quiet Sunday and he could be so cute and cuddly when he wants to that when he innocently pointed to my cell phone and chirped, "that one?" How could I resist? He's my baby. It was the smile that did me in, the twinkle in those gleaming, gorgeous, chocolate brown eyes. I'm his favorite girl. He's my guy pie. How could I, his Mom, resist the wiles of such a handsome little man asking so nicely in such a calm, charming, innocent little voice?

Stupid, stupid, stupid mommy! What was I thinking? (NOT!)

He calmly climbed off my lap, flipped it open and said, "hello," and I was thrilled. The spontaneous appropriate use of a cell phone. My little pookie was engaged in imaginary play, chatting on my red cell phone (vocalization without verbalization). Little did I realize he soon tired of the game and promptly speed dialed someone so he could babble with a live voice. Then, in true minion style, he refused to hang up, resulting in them not being able to use their home phone for 32 minutes. I am in Twitter. He's playing nicely. I am oblivious to the new development (LOL).

He then wanders into the kitchen, stands on his little red chair (which he takes everywhere so he can see what he's messing with on the shelves) and promptly drops my phone into the toaster because Daddy's phone is next to it on the re-charge. Oooo... new toy! Silver! Shiny! He tries to make off with the new phone but it is tethered to the outlet. Frustrated, he drops it into the other slot of the toaster. I am oblivious to this new development. He's playing nicely. It's quiet. I am in ActiveRain and Twitter (LOL).

Hmm... the toaster has a lever... so he pushes it down and walks away because the bell has rung. Mommy ordered pizza through her on-line account. Cheesy bread is a foodie paradise item for the boys. They will pick a spot, chill and not move when they see Domino's is in the house. Stephen climbs in the silver chair to try and unlock the front door. Hubby comes out of the shower and starts putting his uniform on. Hmm... we can't find his BJ card. Strange. It was in his wallet... Stephen has been in his jacket and gone pick pocketing again. Bummer. Hope he didn't chuck it out the window. He likes slipping things onto the ledge to feed the pigeons. Hmm... we can't find his cell phone. No problem, "I'll call yours from mine," I say, except we can't find my cell phone either. Damn... Mike is late for work and needs his cell phone. We try the fax. The handset is disconnected from the cradle. WTF? The cordless phone is not in the base either. We can't find the house phones. STEPHEN STOLE ALL THE FRIGGIN' PHONES!!!

OMG - My last resource is Skype! I call my phone and it immediately goes to voice mail because my boy never hung up from the speed dial. I call the house phone and get a busy signal. It's on open-mike and we can't figure out where his hiding place is. I call my husband's phone. It starts ringing and there is this strange grinding noise coming from my kitchen. I start yelling for my two year old to come out while I head in and discover Mike's phone vibrating and ringing in the toaster, which would have been toasting it except we unplugged it to use the Inferred Cooker and forgot to plug the toaster back in (Thank you, God!!!). New rule: When you have minions, unplug everything in the kitchen.

While we are running around like chickens with our head cut off (before I remember the Skype option), little dude is seated on the futon eating all the pizza watching us like we are his favorite cartoon on television. BTW, I'm still looking for the other phones... Seriously! It's been hours since I tweeted this. Little Dude sure knows how to hide things. So now you know what lunch time is like in my home on a lazy Sunday afternoon. (LMAO)

I gotta plan a holiday dinner. If you are thinking of ever inviting the little minions over, go check out this Autism resource for "Holiday Dinners GFCF Style" for some ideas if you feel PB&J is too thin for the menu (LOL). BTW, @autismfamily writes for BellaOnline.com. Go follow the tweets of my tweet peep Bonnie Sayers, the BellaOnline's Autism Spectrum Disorders Editor if you want to learn more about what Moms with special kids go through. We could use all the help we can get. :-)





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Comment balloon 50 commentsC Tann-Starr • November 23 2008 07:06PM


My friend...

You have your hands full I don't see how you ever get anything done at all!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) almost 12 years ago

OMGoodness!!! That is too funny! Well...not funny exactly. My daughter once traded her plastic keys for my real keys. It took me four days to find them. Glad it WAS NOT plugged in. GBU~

Posted by Elizabeth Nieves, Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team (The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group) almost 12 years ago

I'm still laughing -  what a great post.  You deserve a medal just for surviving!

Posted by Susan Emo, Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area (Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage) almost 12 years ago

My kids are crazy. Love 'em, but they are really, really unique little dudes (LOL).

Richard, there is a reason why I work in 20 minute intervals (LMAO).

Elizabeth N, I have been cracking up over my "toasted phone" all day.

Thank you, Susan E. :-D

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago


Where would he hide money besides the shredder?  My brother who recently passed away hid some cash somewhere.  It would be a miracle if we found it.....


Posted by Ann Hayden 636-399-7544, SelectAnn.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri) almost 12 years ago

Ann, very interesting. I am sorry for your loss... We'll play phone tag very soon. Hopefully I will find my home phone (LOL). I may have to Skype you because I have a feeling we are about to have a very interesting conversation on the psychology of secrets... :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago



Oh, the power of those little interesting people that live in our homes!  HA!


Posted by Sheila Moran, SanAntonioSheila.com, RE/MAX Access, 210-32 (RE/MAX Access (Garden Ridge, San Antonio, New Braunfels)) almost 12 years ago

Hi C,

 I just found this through Twitter.

 Can not figure out how you fit your blogging and real estate into your day.

 That amazing lil Minion could get away with just about anything. Cute goes a long way and  I already adore him. Love your tolerance, descriptions and sense of humor. Thanks for sharing and keeping us smiling!

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) almost 12 years ago

Sheila, they do make for an interesting day, don't they? (LOL)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Thank you, Margaret. My boys are my favorite subject. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

I crack up! This was just too funny and even though my kids are adults ..it brought back some memories of my son at that age hiding our keys and stuff. Too funny. Thanks for the peek into your wonderfully mysterious little guy there. He's surely a huggable little one...and I would be cracking up!

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) almost 12 years ago

Thank you, C-Sally-C. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Carolyn - I'm so glad no cell phones had to die in the making of this blog. :)  I remember when our son was young... he did the peanut butter and jelly trick, except this was way back when and it was a VCR that died.  The electronics may have changed, but the attacks on their circuitry remain. Wonderful post, C.  THIS is the reason you're supposed to have children when you're young.  I wouldn't have the energy to keep up with them now.

Posted by Jesse & Kathy Clifton, Retired (Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS®) almost 12 years ago

ROTFL @ Jesse. Too funny!

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Still can't figure out how you Moms can do all you do. I guess you know (re your message to Ann) that you can 'secrettweet!'

Posted by Susie Blackmon, Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing almost 12 years ago

Ah Susie B, it's like God flicks a switch and you stumble into mommy-mode. (LOL)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

At least he didn't toast it and try to eat it!!!!

Posted by Caren Wallace, Portland Caren Real Estate (Premier Property Group LLC) almost 12 years ago

Caren, that is a separate blog post. The toaster saga actually continues... (ROTFL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

C - you are a special person, no wonder God blessed you with the minion Blur and vice versa. My grandson may be the Blur's twin brother on the other side of the country and a couple of months older. He is scheduled for PDD evaluation in December.


Posted by Mike Saunders (Lanier Partners) almost 12 years ago

Oh, C., I can just see Stephen's beautiful little face, gleaming up at you, with the twinkle in his eye.  This was very touching and very funny!!  Being a mom is a challenge in itself, you sure have your hands full over there!  You are special, my friend.  And a great writer.

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) almost 12 years ago

OMG C My nephew is soooo entertaining.  Sorry it is at your expense but you really made me laugh hard this morning.  Have a great Monday, BTW do you want jelly with that???

Posted by Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi, Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY (Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty) almost 12 years ago

What a day you had!  But that was yesterday and today's today...keep us posted on his next adventure!

Laura G 

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 12 years ago

Haha! Seems like a crazy day!

Posted by Raylene Lewis (Century 21 Beal, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Darn it, C, I laughed so hard I almost spit out my new teeth. This is hilarious. OK, much funnier for those of us on the other side of the monitor than those dashing about your house and frantically searching for cellphones.

Elizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in Sacramento

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) almost 12 years ago

One day, my children figured out that the floor registers are easily removable.  For awhile it became routine to check every night to see what manner of things had been crammed into them.  Fortunately, the lost and damaged items were ususally their toys and not our electronics!  Good luck finding the phones.

Posted by Erik Hitzelberger, Louisville - Middletown Real Estate (RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes) almost 12 years ago

Well, you know what I think about all of this.  My kids did all kinds of thing at that age that gay me gray hair too early.  Now that they are older, the hair is still turning too soon.  I hope you keep a journal handy so they can be reminded some day.  They will probably just laugh their butts off as mine do...

Posted by Melody Botting, You Deserve The Best (Broker Associate PenFed Realty) almost 12 years ago

Big Mike, I will keep your family in my prayers. Wishing you all the very best with the testing. It's very important. <3 C.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Thank you, Susan, my love. Your minion nephews are quite a handful (LOL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Cute Carolyn, the picture tells it all.  Did you ever find all the other phones?

Posted by Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula, Realty Works Temecula (Realty Works Temecula) almost 12 years ago

Jane, I am almost embarrassed to report, "NO!" (LOL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Man Carolyn do you have your hands full girl friend!!  I used to be a child care provider so I get it  But special needs adds a whole new dimension.  My kids are both ADHD and my son is bi-polar.  15 and doing extremely, out of this world incredibly well.  Someday I will spill his story.

I love how much you love your kids.  Don't ever listen to those people who tell you that you talk to much about them on your blog.  They are just jealous because they have no clue how to love so deep!!

Posted by Tami Vroma, Realtor, Grand Rapids MI Real Estate (West Michigan Real Estate Specialist-Five Star Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Tami, thank you for your kind words. I am looking forward to when you do share your story. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago


I hope you found your phone...  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Posted by Ann Hayden 636-399-7544, SelectAnn.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri) almost 12 years ago

Ann, we have no idea where the house phone is. Seriously! I'm starting to get worried. We may have to bribe him... (LOL).

Wishing you and your family a very lovely Thanksgiving. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

C.-Oh my goodness, this is so funny. I am setting here laughing my butt off. I love the picture too. Too bad you didn't get it on video. I needed that laugh and it was a good one. I glad your phones were not toasted, but that would have been the icing on the cake for me. I would probably be picking myself up off the floor from laughing. You really need to feature this. I enjoy your blogs so much and especially when the kids get involved. LOL   Thank you for sharing this and brightening my day.

Posted by Laura Watts (Positive Properties, LLC) almost 12 years ago

Laura, I'm working on the follow-up: "Of Toilets and Toasters." (LOL) Stephen is a busy little fellow. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

C.-He is adorable. He looks so innocent eating his pizza... I will be looking for part 2.

Posted by Laura Watts (Positive Properties, LLC) almost 12 years ago

I hope you had a very wonderful Thanksgiving too!


Posted by Ann Hayden 636-399-7544, SelectAnn.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri) almost 12 years ago

Laura, I may have to expand into "Of Televisions, Toilets and Toasters." Step killed the LR television (LOL). Poor baby. He just needs a vacation from electronics. Seriously! ;-)

Thank you, Ann. It was Spanking-A!

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Hi Carolyn - this story was so funny to me, and I could picture all of it as you wrote it, I included it in the latest Week in Review!  I'm still chuckling over all this happening!


Posted by Ann Cummings, Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent (RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine) almost 12 years ago

Wow! That's awesome! Thank you, Ann C. Very much appreciated. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago


lol, can so relate and thank u, 'cause sometimes I think, Why am I the ONLY SILLY mommy out there.  I tend to repeat the act of insanity with my little Zander 'cause those big brown eyes have a trance on me.

Posted by Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant (Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision) almost 12 years ago

Hi C...I have a feeling you have many days like this.  Thank goodness you can still see the humor in it.  Actually, these are the things that you will look back on and smile in years to come.


Posted by Kate Elim, Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a (Dockside Realty) almost 12 years ago

Rebecca, I understand the mommy weakness that sets in when they turn those lovely little trusting eyes up at us. They give you "the look" and it is oh so over for us adults (LOL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Kathleen, more than I can possibly recount. I'd need a private server just for little minion tales (LOL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Now THAT was funny.  Thanks for the chuckle!

Posted by Kristin Hunteman, Escrow Closing Officer (True Title Company) almost 12 years ago

Kristin H, you are very welcome. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

C. I saw this going around again and since I enjoyed it so much the first time, I decided to come back for seconds. LOL  Did you ever find your other phones? Thanks again for sharing.

Posted by Laura Watts (Positive Properties, LLC) almost 12 years ago

Laura, I finally had to take Little Dude to Target and replace the cordless phone (LOL). We fear he may have slipped it in the trash without us noticing because we have torn the apt apart and can not find the handset. I am praying for my fax machine. I really want its receiver back. I like my fax machine. I would hate to have to duck tape it to make it work again (LOL). :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

When you are a Mom of small kids, with no babysitters, life becomes very different...

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties) almost 3 years ago

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