As many of ya’ll know, I have a three year old son named Reed.  As many of you also know, I have no prior experience raising children.  So basically, I have no clue as to what I am doing.  I try to apply natural horsemanship principles and techniques whenever possible, but as with my dogs, I am just not as disciplined with him as I am with my horses.  I find myself doing crazy things that I used to see other crazy parents do before I had Reed. Then, I thought that they were crazy.  Now I understand.

For example:   Yesterday, I took Reed for his first swim lesson.  I had my i-phone charged and ready to get the entire experience immortalized and digitized.  I think- I know- that I was more excited than he was.

Because we live in the boonies, it took us 45 minutes to get to the Hilton Garden Hotel.  The swim school took over the pool that was slightly bigger than the Jacuzzi to teach little ones like my son.  It was probably a good use of the pool- when we entered, it was happy hour, and everyone was at the bar- the pool was abandoned.  The one poor man that was trying to relax in the Jacuzzi was quickly driven away by the shrieking children.

As we waited by the side of the pool at one of the table and chairs, another lady and her child settled in next to us- Reed’s swim partner.  I knew from the second I saw her she was going to be trouble.  I developed this instinct from years of teaching clinics- I can spot the ones that are going to be a problem a mile away.

Reed grabbed a pool noodle, put it down next to me, and then stood on it- balancing- and I helped him a bit so that he wouldn’t fall off.  I didn’t think anything of it- he plays on tractors, trailers, balances on barrels- he is a country kid.  He lives on the edge, and I actually think it is kind of cool.  The other mom gave me the “look”- the “look”  being- you are endangering your child’s life, and he should be taken away from you look.  She then, obviously trying to hold herself back, told me that he WAS going to slip and fall and crack his head opened.  She had seen another kid do it just last week- probably her kid’s old swim partner.

reeds first swim lesson

I didn’t even think and retorted, “He has incredible balance, and he is fine.”  Uh-ohhh- opened a can of worms now.  She then had to tell me about how incredible balance HER son has, and not only that, he is incredibly talented in general, and even SHE doesn’t let him balance on pool noodles despite his amazing balancing abilities.

I didn’t take him off the noodle.  I figure, if his feet are in one place and he is focused, it is better then him wildly running around the pool area.  That was definitely not allowed.  There were no signs about pool noodles.

Reed elegantly stepped off of the pool noodle when it was his turn to swim, and I gave the other mom and satisfying smirk.

I followed Reed to the steps of the pool and sat down along the edge.  Remember, I had to get the whole thing on video.

As the lesson started, it was fairly obviously who the natural in the water was.  Reed grabbed onto the pool noodle in the water and was kicking away.  His bubble blowing under water was superb.  He threw the blocks on his mark- not outside off the pool like the other kid.  The coach had to tell the other kid to not be crazy several times where Reed was focused, riveted.  I have it all on video.

The kids’ mother- who I might add was very much overweight- had not gotten up.  She was texting away, talking on the phone, probably reporting me for child abuse.

I encouraged Reed- clapped for him- did a little dance- told him what an AMAZING JOB he was doing.  I was posting pics on Facebook- sending pics to his dad.  When I look back, I realize I was one of those crazy parents that I see at my nephew’s little league games.  The few instances that he did not listen to his coach, I reinforced.  You talk about a helicopter mom- I was flying low and I am sure that the coach could feel the wind of my chopper.

At the end of the lesson, we debriefed with the coach.  The other mom quickly explained that she didn’t want to interfere with the coaching and that’s why she was not encouraging her son..jab jab….. guilty conscious, obviously.

Speaking of feeling guilty…fast forward one week, and I am in Texas visiting my cousin Allison.  When Allison and I spend time together, we always do a lot of cooking.  This visit, we decided to do some throw back recipes that our family recipes and things we enjoyed making together.

The following recipe is one that we loved to make on the weekends- when we were young, had time on our hands and were broke!  This is a really cheap recipe to make and delicious!  It was one of the first “international” recipes that I ever made!



Crust: I use the Pillsbury refrigerated roll out pie crust, but my cousin likes phyllo dough- so it’s a personal preference!


4-5 medium potatoes

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 fresh green chili, seeded and finely chopped

1 cup of defrosted frozen peas

1 tablespoon of ginger- I use the stuff in the tube that you can get it the spice section, it is easy and works the best!

3 tablespoons of Italian flat parsley

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of coriander

1 teaspoon of garam masala

1 teaspoon of ground cumin seeds

½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper

1 tablespoons of lemon juice

4-5 tablespoons of olive oil or oil of your choose to cook potatoes and veggies

Peanut oil or oil of your preference for frying


Boil the potatoes with the peels on.  Drain and put aside.  Peel and dice when they are cool.

Take dough out and let it warm up a bit.

Sautee the onion in the oil until translucent. Add the peas, ginger, green chili, parsley and a few tablespoons of water.  Cover and cook for a few minutes until the peas are completely cooked.  Add the potatoes, salt, coriander, garam masala, cumin, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice.  Keep heat on low and mix the spices gently with the potatoes. Taste and add salt if needed.  The flavors will marry the longer it is allowed the sit.  If you are short on time,  you could prepare the somosas the next day.  If you have time though…

Stuffing the samosas….

Lay out the dough and roll it til it is as thin as you can get it- if you are using phyllo dough, use a few sheets so it is a thin layer.

Cut the dough like you are cutting a big pizza- then roll the pieces like a ice cream cone.  Fill it with the dosa filling, and make sure the seams are sealed well.  When they are all done, fry up in some peanut oil our oil of your choice!  Fry until light brown!  At Indian restaurants, they serve these will all kinds of yummy sauces.   I usually make a greek yogurt dip with some fresh garlic, lemon and dill… yummers!!!!

Kelly Sigler
3 Star Parelli Professional, ISRB Certified Coach

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