Wisconsinites have their own accent that seems distinct from other parts of the midwest. The accent in our neighboring state of Minnesoooota is probably well known because of Garrison Keillor. There haven’t been a lot of major celebrities or pop culture icons coming out of Wisconsin to promote the accent, though that changed recently when we became superbowl champions and when Miss Wisconsin was crowned Miss America (though Chris has no idea if any of these people have accents or not). Also, our governor has made national headlines for acting tyrannical and mildly deranged, but even on his worst days he just doesn’t seem as whackadoo as Jesse Ventura, so again we defer to the Gopher State.

We were unaware of the accent until we moved here, partly because it doesn’t seem well known and partly because we had never been to Milwaukee before Chris interviewed at MCW. So far there is no sign of it in Everett’s speech. However, he has shown a great affinity for bags, which are a good example of a pronunciation that seems peculiar to Wisconsin: groceries and other items are carried in a “bayg”. To pronounce this properly you need to expand your mouth from side to side, almost in a smiling motion. In a previous blog post we wrote about how Everett likes to gather treasures. Lately he has been putting them into baygs that he carries around for different purposes.

The red insulated bag is one he fills with plastic food, puts over his shoulder the same way Chris carries his computer bag, and says “I’m going to work”. The blue bag with yellow and red stars is for snacks and money, including a special portfolio of flattened pennies he has acquired from zoos and museums. The tie dye bag is actually a pillowcase he made at daycare one day recently and we aren’t really sure what is inside it because he keeps it closed with rubber bands and almost never opens it. Judging from how it feels we think it contains soft items like pillows and clothing along with harder items like tools, pens and books. It doesn’t seem have any unusual smells to indicate that perishable food is inside, which is great because he currently keeps it in bed.

Two other bags that are in common use are both white, heavy canvas totes with Everett’s name embroidered into the side. One of them is for preschool. Each morning we pack it with clothing, ducky and “made blanket” (Everett’s name for the blanket that Melissa knitted for him before he was born). And each evening we unpack it to find pieces of artwork from school that day, one example of which is an Abe Lincoln tophat and beard:

The other bag contains swimsuits and towels for Everett and Chris to take to swim lessons on Wednesday evenings. We took swim lessons about a year ago and signed up for them again starting this January. It is noteworthy that on the first night of swim lessons a few weeks ago Melissa lovingly packed all of our swim gear ahead of time into a large shiny pink bag. She claims that it isn’t pink or shiny, but Chris still decided it would not be appropriate for the mens locker room at the YMCA, so we switched to the comparatively boring canvas bag instead.

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