A Day in the Wild
Today’s adventure makes me feel like Merlin Olsen on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. The only difference is that I’m going into the wild instead of Jim Fowler.
I’m now embedded in the playroom trying to observe the creatures known as children. I’ve been here for over two hours hoping to get a glimpse of how they behave in their own environment and I wiped a dirty diaper all over me to hide my scent. Hopefully they wake up from their naps soon so I can get started, and finished, this diaper stinks like…
The youngest one, the boy, is the first to arrive. He doesn’t see me, but that’s nothing new if he doesn’t want anything. I couldn’t be happier when he immediately heads toward the bookshelf. There must be two hundred children’s books on this three-tiered monstrosity and by the look on his face he might read them all. He starts with The Little Golden Books, which he seems to like. I can tell because a lot of the corners are chewed. He proceeds to pull every one of them off of their shelf onto the floor. Maybe he’s getting a better vantage point. He then goes for the gusto, the top shelf with all the biggest books: Disney compilations; The Ginger Bread Man; Grimm’s Fairy Tales; Tolstoy’s War and Peace; and many more. The floor is no longer visible, but that doesn’t stop this little machine in short pants. The soft children’s books are next, you know, the one’s made for little kids and Paris Hilton so they don’t eat them. They mix themselves into the growing sea of books and the boy couldn’t look happier. This isn’t what I expected of the tyke.
Wait a minute, he’s picking one up, it’s Eric Carle’s Seahorse book. He’s taking his time flipping through the pages. I couldn’t be more proud of him. I peek through my daughter’s Dora the Explorer binoculars to get a closer look and my heart sinks… the book is upside down. I should have been prepared for some letdowns. I just have to keep my head in the game.
While watching the “smart” one read the books I didn’t notice the older child, the girl, enter the observatory. She was already playing with her Fisher Price Little People animals. They were all behind a fence looking afraid… I think that they’ve been through this before. I don’t know how she did this without me seeing her. I’m very observant, just ask my wife. Well, maybe not my wife. If Jim Fowler was here with me he would have saw her.
The boy, like his dad, notices his sister playing and wanders slowly toward her. She heads him off with a Wiggles guitar and keeps her animal prison camp intact. It’s fascinating what this species will do to protect their territory.
“Dinner time,” my wife yells from the kitchen.
Both kids look at me immediately hidden in the corner covered in blankets.
“C’mon, daddy, dinner time,” my daughter says.
“How did you know I was here?”
“I saw you.”
“Why didn’t you say anything to me?”
“Because you stink like poopie.”
I guess my observances don’t mean much since the subjects knew I was there. Marlin Perkins must be rolling in his grave right now.
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