Nate often begins his conversations this way. And even more often, it's something that's clearly NOT a "by the way" item. As in, "By the way, Mama, my diorama of an eastern estuary system needs to be turned in tomorrow." Oh, you mean the shoebox that has virtually nothing in it that's occupied one end of the dining room table for two weeks? This, as I was tucking him in bed at 9 p.m.
But sometimes his "By the way" comments are truly priceless. Last night, driving home children's choir practice:
"By the way, when the bus driver was early this morning? And didn't wait for us? Dad said a really, really bad word." Then he added,nodding emphatically, "But don't worry, I covered my ears. Because, whew! It was really bad."
This was followed quickly by,
"Oh, and by the way? Ms. Brainerd says I can say the 'A' word as long as I'm talking about a donkey."
OK. Good to know.