Subject: Manse Diaries: Mulch is Mahvelous

Date: 24 Mar 1998 00:00:00 GMT

From: (MegaLiz)

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

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






Spunky is having a GREAT day. Any day that only ONE of the chilluns is

focussed on tormenting me is a GOOD ENOUGH day for me too. Bobo drew

blood from my forehead during our morning wrestling match and pulled a

respectable handful of my hair with FULL SQUEALING GUSTO. That would

generally persuade me that it is HER TURN today. Spunky really need a

break, anyway. She can't spend EVERY day being the One-Girl Hectic

Hurricane, the one who is continually experimenting with hammers and

parmesan cheese or the one who leaves full cups of water every few

feet, just in case she gets FIRSTY.


Spunky has been BEYOND cooperative and even gestured to me in what I

finally figured to be a salute, saying, "EYE, Clappin!" This

encouraged me to take her out for what she calls walking in circles.

Now, if she's having a rough day, I don't even consider taking her

around the block on foot, because I haven't enough energy to come up

with all the necessary contingencies. I have to be certain to be ready

to remember not to let the stroller caroom down a hill while I'm

prying her off of a truck bumper, for instance. But since this was her

day off-duty, we had a possibility for a friendly walk and we jumped

on it.


Now I am beginning to recognize even more subtle differences in my

hatchlings: Sparky is a tree hugger (I DO mean that literally) and

Spunky is a lumberjack (or at least she will be when she gets a

chainsaw). When her Sparkiness was a post-toddler-whatchamacallit, she

was interested in the little living things and wanted to know the REAL

NAMES of all the flowers, and WOE TO HER who made stuff up and later

forgot what she said. "You said that one was a HERBERT. You DID," she

would say, and I would try to look very ashamed.


I pointed out a mockingbird to Spunky today, but she was much more

interested in WHY there was a FENCE beside the road.


"Look at those daffodils," I said.


"HEY! Here's another TV THING!" she replied, squatting on a cable

junction. She asked me questions about concrete, too, and I had to

admit that I don't know WHY sometimes there is mica and sometimes

there is not.


When we were almost home, we found a parking lot with an enormous pile

of mulch. "Don't climb it..." I shouldn't have said anything of the

kind, of course, and really should know better.


"But I fink I LIKE to climb that dort," she said.


"Please don't. It's not OUR dirt," but the discussion was already a

wee faint thing in her past.


I pushed a stroller full of Bobo past the DORT, relying on Spunky's

need to be near, and not looking back. She was very quiet, and I KNEW.

Turning back, I fully expected to see her ten feet off the ground,

queen of all DORT, but she wasn't. She was leaning back into the pile,

making mulch angels.


"Wow," I said. "I hadn't thought of that."


She grinned widely, as her coat's hood filled with horsey-smelling

tree fluff. "I am NOT CLIMBING! NO INDEEEEDY!"


Then we went home and played with LOTS of paper towels and found out

what happens when a book get's RILLY SOOPER wet.



"I would say DUH! when you say that, except that you told me

that's rude. So can I just whisper "duh" instead? Really quietly?

Would that be okay?" -Sparky

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