Subject: Manse Diaries: Unanswered Questions for the Millionth Spunky

Date: 18 Sep 1997 00:00:00 GMT

From: (MegaLiz)

Organization: MotPU: Where Binary Moodswings are ALWAYS on the Menu

Newsgroups: alt.foot.fat-free, alt.slack

References: 1 , 2 , 3

 (abvhiael stuart) wrote:


: Dear Munificent Magnificent Millionth Spunky,


Yeah, I know. I'm working on her. She's getting more pugnacious and

I'm thoroughly disorganized.


The wonderous quality of Spunky is that she IS spunky. She fears

nothing and nobody. I just have to try to remember that all the things

about her that drive me NUTS are the things that are going to serve

her well later.


On a recent afternoon, she spied one of the big boys messing with her

Big Wheel. Lemme tell you, it was like trying to keep a shark on a

leash. She was practically chewing on the doorknob when I finally

turned her loose into the yard to get her li'l trike back. She stomped

over toward her toy, her curls just boinging with fury, the kid took

off and she hefted the trike and CARRIED it, harumphing all the way,

back to its usual out-of-sight nest by the door. She was still

glowering as she came back inside. "Dat worried me," she said. I

agreed with her that it was a BAD IDEA to play with stuff without



The next day the same asshole kid started pestering her, "Why do you

bang on the window when you're NAKED?" She ignored him completely. I'm

sure that to her way of thinking it was like asking why round things

are round: she bangs on the window to be friendly whether she has

clothes on or not. Duh. I was watching all this from a pretty good

distance and feeling the usual rage at all the future stupid people

who will try to make her feel shameful or fearful for no good reason.

I saw a parade of assholes who will try to tame her. I am just the

FIRST of these.


Not long after Asshole Boy lost interest in the interrogation, he

collected five of his big boy friends for a game that surely involved

balls. As they passed Spunky's red wagon on the sidewalk, Asshole Boy

reached over and grabbed the handle and whipped it around in an

unconscious gotta-gotta-touch-it-'cause-it's-there spasm. He nearly

mowed down three other big kids in the process. Their howls drew the

attention of our gal like blood in the water and ZZZZOOOOOOOOOMMMM!

there she was. "Gimme dat! Dat's MY TOY! You dint ATHK ME! Doan TOUCH

it. IT IZ MINE!" The boys just faded from my view as if they'd been

chemically erased. They had no comment. I smiled at her even though

she couldn't see me. Sometimes I think she's going to be okay.


Today was the BEST. Today we went to the playground, which for Spunky

may as well be heaven no matter how battered the equipment is. For me

it is not nearly so nice. I don't like to watch her and I don't mean

because it's dull - it can be - but I often don't enjoy it because of

her fearlessness. I reflexively wince and suck my teeth every time I

catch sight of her trying a new stunt. Only this summer did she begin

to believe in gravity. (I've BEEN believing in it since I was born.

Nobody could ever convince me to do that damned backflip. Nuh-uh. Not

me). Spunky even scares other mothers when she mounts the monkey bars.

I've had a few even suggest that I should, "Look at her GO!" But I

don't watch, I just glance at regular intervals.


Today she fell. It's the first time since she became well-practiced at

walking that she's taken a fall that deserved a good long cry. She was

swooping from a sitting position atop the bars - I can't describe it

succinctly, but it was a gymnastic power maneuver THING that no normal

three-year-old would try. She'd done it dozens of times before but

today she misjudged the size of her head. She was furious and

scream-cried over to me to display a set of bloody moon shapes inside

her lip. I suggested that we should go home and suck ice. Spunky said

that she wasn't ready yet and ran back to the monkey bars, still

crying, and did the THING again without getting hurt. "We can go now,"

she said.


She earned a BIG popsicle.



"Don't expect any more free squirrel brains from me, neither."