Thursday, June 14, 2001
How to Go on a Puddle Hunt
After having been cooped up in your house for two entire days, when even Veggie Tales could not entertain you, when even the cat could not move you to play chase, when your entire being was so saturated with ennui and apathy that your mother was moved to call you a "crabpot," emerge into a sparkling morning and seek puddles. Puddles can be found on the sidewalk, in the tennis court, and especially beside the sidewalk in the muddy bits.
When you find a puddle, run through it. Then turn around and run back. Then turn around and run back. Repeat this with such machinelike accuracy and stamina that your mother begins to think you have fallen into a coma or been abducted by ancient Egyptians. When you have fun through the puddle 479,834 times, the puddle is ready for examination. Crouch in the puddle, lowering your diaper so dangerously close to it that your mother gasps repeatedly, but never dip it in -- you will be snatched out of the puddle. Poke at things in the puddle, things your mother cannot see. Put both hands down in the puddle, lift your head up and yell DUCKA DUCKA to the street lamps. In short, become one with the puddle. Then, suddenly, decide to move on, and scamper down the sidewalk like you never cared at all. It's best to make a clean break from puddles you have loved. The surgeon's knife, what what?
Mama will try to hold your hand if it is not otherwise occupied, so it's important to immediately find a stick and a rock that you have to carry along with you on the puddle hunt. Since you will undoubtedly be making more discoveries, you will have to make some value judgments on the relative worth of your sticks and rocks. Feel free to hunker down right there, in front of the new possession, and weight things out. Should you lose the stick? or the rock? Is it better to have two sticks? or two rocks? To aid you, I've suggested the following combinations: Stick and rock. Rock and ball. Stick and leaf. Leaf and dead bug. If you have to get rid of your dead bug to make room for a good stick, but don't want it to go to waste, try to feed it to your Mama.
When you feel you have gone the maximum distance from your house that Mama will allow, communicate to her that you cannot possibly walk another step. When she has lugged you (along with 90 pounds of puddle water which you've carefully stored in your clothes and diaper) back to within sight of your house, ask to be put down and then run enthusiastically in the opposite direction. This will really fake her out! It's called "Torturing Your Mother Who Loves You And Only Wants The Best For You" -- a game that only gets more interesting as time goes by.
When you finally get back to your living room, covered in puddle drek and wetter than a raindrop, nurse for 100 years and then -- bathtime! Could there be a better way to spend the morning?
If you mail me a response and I want to reply to it publicly, parts of your email may be quoted. Feel free to be abrasive, direct, shocking, and of course adoring. Contact me at email@example.com.