Life Lessons From Tiny Taylor

WARNING: Adorable baby/toddler pictures to follow.

If you didn’t see my first post on fashion tips from Tiny Taylor, quit everything you are doing and go there now. The whole post is just an excuse for me to share a bunch of super-cute photos from my childhood. So is this post.

Tiny Taylor may have been confused about a lot of things in life, but there were a couple of things she got right.

1. Always act like a lady.

Toddler Taylor Dressed Up

You must always sit prim and proper. Also, if your outfit matches your couch, that’s a bonus.

Toddler Taylor Dressed Up For Easter

A true lady always wears a hat.

2. Know how to defend yourself.

Taylor At Karate Class

This was one of the rare times where I wasn’t staring at myself in the dojo mirrors.

3. You are never too curvy to rock a bikini.

Toddler Taylor And Her Sister At the Pool

Look out, swimwear models.

4. Never be afraid to be glamorous, even when others might deem it inappropriate. (Like at the pool.)

Toddler Taylor Wearing a Sailor Outfit

“Sailor chic” is a thing.

Taylor and Dad At the Pool

I was literally too cool for school. I wish I were this glam now.

5. Life is never too hectic for naptime, wherever it might occur.

Baby Taylor Napping

Like on the floor.

Toddler Taylor Napping in a Suitcase

Or in a suitcase.

6. Don’t be afraid to wear provocative sayings on your clothing. Express yo’self.

Baby Taylor Wearing A "Spit Happens" Bib

Keeping it sassy since the early 90’s.

7. It’s important to love one’s country.

Toddler Taylor Holding An American Flag


8. When in doubt, eat the cake.

Baby Taylor Eating Cake

I loved cake from a young age.

Toddler Taylor On Her Birthday With Cake

Do you know how many cake pictures I found of myself? It’s almost upsetting.

Baby Taylor With Her Face Covered In Cake

I even wore cake as an accessory.

Todder Taylor Eating Her Sister's Birthday Cake

And here is me (in the red) eating my baby sister’s birthday cake with my face #noshame

9. Never hesitate to get excited about the small things in life, like bath time, bike helmets, time with friends, and pretty flowers.

Toddler Taylor At Bathtime

Omg it’s bathtime! This is awesome!

Toddler Taylor Excitedly Wearing a Bike Helmet


Taylor and Her Friend


Toddler Taylor Excited About a Flower


10. Swag. Always.

Baby Taylor's Swag Face

What are your favorite photos of yourself during your childhood? Go to my Facebook page and share them on P&L’s wall, if you’re brave enough!

Xoxo, Taylor

“Pencilgate”: My Funny Valentine

It was second grade. This was back in the days where my hair was down to my waist, my bangs were much too short, and my fashion statement of choice was a good pair of multicolored stretch pants. School was a source of enjoyment for me. I loved the orderliness of classes and the opportunities to learn.

I was a staunch rule-follower, with unflinching intolerance for rule-breakers. As such, I was often sat near the “naughty” kids, the kids who talked too much and sat still too little. This is why I spent part of second grade year sitting by Matt.

Matt was the worst, in my opinion. He was loud, fidgety, and despite sitting next to Taylor the Enforcer, never seemed to behave. He was always being called out by Teacher for some sort of wrongdoing. As the long days of second grade dragged by, I listened to his chatter and witnessed his evident naughtiness. He talked while I was trying to do my times tables and focusing during spelling? Forget about it. I couldn’t imagine how things could get any worse. Until Pencilgate.

Over one weekend, I’d had a playdate with my BFF. At the end of our playdate, she gave me a super-cool camouflage pencil. I couldn’t wait to take it to school and show it off. Not everyone’s BFF gives them awesome pencils, after all. I brought it to school on Monday and put it in the little pencil well in my desk, giving it a special spot apart from the other pencils. I was going to be so envied when I used it. So envied.

Unfortunately, that day never came. When I went to open my desk between classes later that day to get my language notebook, Matt spied the pencil.

“Ooh, what’s that?” he asked mischievously.

I stared daggers at him. I was not in the mood.

“It’s my awesome pencil my best friend gave me. Leave me alone.”

“That’s a pretty cool pencil. Can I see?”


I watched in horror as if it were slow motion, as he reached across and snatched my pencil from my desk.

“Give it baaaaaaack! Give it baaaaaack!” I was indignant. I couldn’t believe this kid! How could he?
This was the pencil from my BEST FRIEND FOREVER. This was no joking matter.

He held my beloved pencil far above my head as I reached for it, trying to get back what was rightfully mine. My struggle was interrupted by Teacher, who was ready to start class. We sat down and Matt slipped the pencil into his desk. Defeat.

With steadfast faith in the law, or the classroom rules, as it were, I decided the mature thing to do would be to go to Teacher at recess and explain the situation. She knew Matt was naughty. She would remedy the situation.

To my surprise, I was not only stolen from, but insulted. When I went to talk to Teacher, I was not met with the due process of rules I was expecting. I told my story, and when I’d finished, Teacher looked at me with disdain.

“You can look in his desk!” I said. The proof would be in the pudding.

After recess, Teacher went to Matt and asked him about the pencil in question.
“It’s mine!” he claimed. “I don’t know why she’s saying I stole it!”
“But Teacher!” I exclaimed. “Matt stole my favorite pencil! I saw him!
Teacher looked at me with disdain I wouldn’t soon forget.

“Taylor, it’s not okay to try to steal things from people. This is clearly Matt’s pencil. I’m disappointed in you that you’d try to take it from him. We don’t lie in this classroom.”

I was speechless and appalled. ME? A liar? Where was the justice? How would I ever get my pencil back?

It appeared that I wouldn’t, so I decided on revenge instead. Valentine’s Day was coming up, and I’d bought these valentines that had female smiley faced characters dressed up in stylish outfits with captions like “You’re cute, Valentine.”

Most were pretty gender-neutral, save the stylish and girly characters on the front, except for one, which had a smiley face character in leopard print and a boa with the caption, “You’ve got style, Valentine.” How girly! It would be super embarrassing, I thought, if a guy got one of these. Like, horrifying. Any boy in the second grade wouldn’t be caught dead holding a valentine like that. I knew who the perfect recipient of such a valentine would be.

Valentine’s Day came, and I passed out my valentines to the class, names carefully written on each. Best friends got the cutest ones (obviously) and the rest were carefully assigned based on some sort of selection process I’d decided upon. I cackled to myself in my second-grade malevolence as I handed Matt his super-embarrassing valentine. You’ve got style, I thought. HA. You’ve got some nerve is what you’ve got. But that’s no matter. I’ll show YOU not to steal my pencil again.


I’m pretty sure that Matt was not upset in the least bit by my Valentine, but at the time, I felt deeply satisfied. I’d exacted my revenge on that dirty, rotten pencil stealer. And it was a Valentine’s Day that’s stuck with me until this day. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I can remember how scandalized I was by being called a liar or by having my favorite pencil stolen. Or maybe it’s because it’s a great demonstration of my complete inability to be truly mean. The lesson here is that it’s not wise to double-cross me, because I’ll give you the most complimentary Valentine ever.

Inspired by the WordPress Daily Post prompt My Funny Valentine.

Some other great writings on the topic:

  2. A Journey of Ten Years | A mom’s blog
  3. Daily Prompt: Unconventional Love – Strangely True | SERENDIPITY
  5. My Funny Valentine | Vampire Maman
  6. Hallmark holiday | Mindful Digressions
  7. False Expectations | snapshotsofawanderingheart
  8. Playlist | Perceptive Pot Clueless Kettle
  9. Fragrant valentine | The Seminary of Praying Mantis
  10. Valentine’s Day Can’t Insult My Intelligence if There’s Snow | Bumblepuppies
  11. Love Surrounds You | ReFreshing Life
  12. Lessons from the Ghosts of Valentines Past | The Femindiary
  13. Day 25: Why I Married a Man who got me a Hairdryer for Valentine’s Day | The Ravenously Disappearing Woman
  14. Validation Day – Valentine’s Day from an Honest Woman’s Perspective | Shoot the messenger
  15. Weekly Writing Challenge| Single Awareness Day | Amy (and The Teddy With Sunglasses)
  16. my first valentine | Musings of a Random Mind
  17. Afraid of Valentine’s Day? | Myammy! Moving in together at 50…
  18. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine. It’s Not Always FUNny. | Tales from the Motherland
  19. I’ve been alone for a long time | “The Ish,” presented by the Bohemian Rock Star
  20. Ah Bloody Valentines! | The life of T
  21. Brief facts on Valentines day/Weekly Writing challenge | standinginthestorm
  22. Weekly Writing Challenge – Valentine – The Hopeless Unromantic |
  23. I Should Have At Least Called | Sam’s Online Journal
  24. Ode to My Valentine | DCTdesigns Creative Canvas
  25. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine? | imagination
  26. Not Your Average Valentine | The Short Pages
  27. My Funny Valentine: Monday Monster Mashup meets the Weekly Writing Challenge! | jak & Cimmy’s Journal Jar
  28. (Un)Funny Valentine – Daily Post “My Funny Valentine?” Challenge 2/10/2014 | blogged artistry
  29. To My Valentine… | Babbleogue
  30. Love of Many Shoes | Mary J Melange
  31. Valentine, Part Two/DP Challenge | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  32. It’s Valentine’s Day! | TNT
  33. St. Hallmark Day Doth Approach | The Eclectic Poet
  34. Valentine’s Day…some wifely advice
  35. The Boy I Married | East Meets Breast
  36. The Valentine’s Letter I wished I’d sent…. | Brownies, Pixies & Horny Toads
  37. [WWC] Valentine’s day | Reatividades
  38. My Funny Valentine? | “Crone-ing”
  39. My Forever Crush | My Weigh To Lose
  40. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine? – Love, Love, Love | SA:ME (사메)
  42. Last Minute Expressions of Love | Moments for the journey
  43. The Good Wife | Cabin Pressure May Change
  44. Weekly Writing Challenge-Love As An Earthling- A Comedy | The Lyons Den
  45. We Will Review The Cows! | Not the Family Business!
  46. Preparing for My First Real Valentine’s Day | Lilly Lane
  47. Get your lovin’ on | why i left my job
  49. » Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine? | Chiquitita