The little prince and the magic naptime book

There once was a little prince who went to royal preschool. After every royal lunch at royal preschool, all the princes and princesses were supposed to take a royal nap. However, the little prince had not been able to nap a wink since he had turned 2, and now he was already 4. Seeing the poor little prince lay awake naptime after naptime, the teachers allowed him to bring a book to read while the other princes and princesses were napping. The prince would place the book in his cubby and retrieve it right at naptime. But sometimes the sneaky princess Camilla would snatch his naptime book and read it herself, making the little prince very sad. One day, the little prince brought a new book, with a shiny gold cover, one he had found hidden away in the back of his parents’ bookshelf. Sure enough, at naptime Camilla snatched the book and took it to her bed to read under the sheets. When the little prince got the book back, he thought he could feel its pages ruffle. The little prince joked:

‘You seem to be as upset that Princess Camilla snatched you as I am.’

To his surprise, the book seemed to tilt back and forth in agreement. The next day the prince brought the same book to preschool, and again princess Camilla took the book. She opened it under her sheets, but immediately started shrieking.

‘There are snakes and dragons in that book, and they are moving! Get it away from me!’.

The prince took the book and opened it to see what princess Camilla was talking about. There he saw a smiling dragon wink at him. From that day on, the prince brought the same book every day, but every time he opened the magical book, a different and wonderful story would unfold. And princess Camilla never tried to take his naptime book ever again.


 

The wizard who hated light

There once was a dark wizard who liked only the dark. He despised the light. He spent his whole life plotting how to get rid of the sun. One day, he used a powerful spell to summon the biggest, darkest clouds to cover his castle and the entire village below. The whole village grew very dark. However, the children of the village knew of a counter-spell. The counter-spell was a simple joyful song and dance, and as the children of the village raised their voices and danced, the clouds dispersed, and the sun shone once again.

Many happy, sunny days ensued, but the wizard was not idle in his dark castle. He was busy thinking up a plan that could not fail. He cast a spell on the earth to slow it down, to slow it down so much that the village and castle would always be on the opposite end of the earth from the sun, and it would be eternal night. The children came together and tried their song and dance, but it was no use. They dispelled the clouds, but beyond lay only the stars and the moon, no sun. They would have to make the earth spin faster again, but how?

Then a little boy had an idea. He called Santa Claus on the North Pole:
‘Santa?’.
‘Yes?’.
‘Santa, I need to ask you for something’.
‘Have you been good, my boy?’
‘Well… No, not exactly.’
‘Hmmm?’
‘But I’m not asking for me. I’m asking for all the kids living on my side of the planet’.
‘OK, go ahead then, what would you like?’
‘Santa, your reindeer fly at night, right?’
‘Yes, Rudolf leads the way’
‘Could I.. borrow them?’
Then the boy told Santa his plan. Santa and his reindeer flew straight down to the village. The boy tied Santa’s sled to a big tree, and told the reindeer ‘Giddyap’. As the reindeer pulled, the earth started spinning again. Slowly at first, but then faster and faster, until it was spinning just as it had before. As the earth spun back into sunrise, the wizard was caught in its rays, and crouched in pain:
‘No! No!’ he shouted, ‘The light, I can’t stand it’.
The children of the village saw their chance, they seized the wizard and threw him in the deepest and darkest dungeon. He never saw the light of day again — and actually, this suited him just fine.


Superhero preschool: Triangle Boy and Impervious Man
In the city of Zappow, where a lot of superheroes liked to live, there was a preschool for their superhero kids. In this special preschool, they could hone their skills in a safe and nurturing environment. Ice Girl had ice powers, just like Elsa in ‘Frozen’. Storm Boy could whip up a tornado. Lightning Girl could zap just about anything. And then there was Triangle Boy. He could… make things into triangles. Nobody was impressed by his powers, especially not the other kids at preschool. Then one day a a new villain, Impervious Man, arrived in town. The grown-up superheroes tried to stop him, but failed. Now Impervious Man was at the preschool gates. The kids knew they had to stop him themselves. Storm Boy summoned a tornado. It swirled around Impervious Man but did not sway him one bit. Ice Girl shot ice at Impervious Man. Impervious Man had skin so slick, the ice simply slid off of him. Finally, Lightning Girl zapped bolts of lightning at Impervious Man, but he merely laughed, as if they had tickled him. After his friends had run away, Triangle Boy faced Impervious Man alone. He didn’t quite know where to look, so he stared at Impervious’ shoes… and, being very anxious, accidentally turned them into triangles.

‘Ow! Ow! Ow! My Toes!’, Impervious Man cried and fell over.

Triangle Boy quickly summoned all his power and turned Impervious Man into a triangle. The police truck came and hauled Impervious Man to a high security villain holding cell. Back at preschool, all the other kids crowded around Triangle Boy:

‘How did you turn his shoes into triangles?’
‘Did you have to practice a lot? ‘
‘What else can you do?’
‘Can you show us?’

No one ever thought his powers were lame again.


The little boy and the boing-boing bike
There once was a little boy who loved to skip and hop. He would not walk, he would leap and bound, so high, that the top of his head would nearly touch the tree branches above the sidewalk. This came in handy when, for example, there was a kitten who got stuck in a tree. Its owners could call the fire department, OR, they could call the boy, who with one big jump, would snatch the kitten from the branch and deliver it safely into the thankful owners’ hands. However, as skilled as the boy was in jumping, he was terrible at biking. He couldn’t help wanting to skip and hop, often launching himself off of his bike, and SPLAT, face-first onto the pavement. After a few such mishaps, his parents permitted him to ride only a lowly tricycle. All his friends had long given up their training wheels on their big-boy- and big-girl bikes. They couldn’t help but tease the little boy on his tricycle and this made him sad. So one day, he decided to make a bike that he could pedal AND bounce around with. Instead of regular bicycle wheels, he installed the springiest, bounciest exercise balls on his bike. He took the bike for a spin. When he pedaled, the bike wasn’t the speediest, but when he added a bounce, SPROINK, BOINK, BOING, his bike made great big leaps, bouncing over other kids on their bikes. Whaaa? – the other kids exclaimed. Pretty soon everyone wanted a boing-boing bike. The little boy forgave his friends for teasing him, and made boing-boing bikes for all of them — for a fee :) .


The runaway shorts
There once was a little boy who had a pair of shorts. Or rather, he had this pair of shorts most of the time. The shorts, they liked to sneak off whenever they got a chance, for example, when the little boy took them off to go splash in the sprinklers at a friend’s house. Unhappy about having to go home in just his underwear, the little boy came up with a solution. When the shorts sneaked back into his room in the middle of the night, he quickly put a collar (belt) on them, attached a leash, and held on tightly to the leash. Now, whenever he went to school, he’d loop the leash around his wrist. At home, he would tie the leash to his dresser.
No longer having to worry about losing his shorts, the little boy was happy. But the shorts grew droopier and droopier with sadness, until one day, the boy could not even walk any more, the shorts had sagged all the way to the ground. The boy decided it was time to have a serious conversation with his shorts. He said:

‘Shorts, I can see you are sad, but I cannot let you off the leash, because it is quite embarrassing to have to walk around in public in my underwear.’

The shorts thought for a moment and then replied:

‘I know my disappearances had caused you grief. But I cannot change my nature, I feel that I will die in captivity.’

Suddenly, the boy had an idea. He proposed:

‘Let’s make a deal. Every night you are free to go wherever you like, but you have to be back in the dresser every morning and you can’t leave me in the middle of the day when I need you.’

The shorts replied:
‘Throw in some Ocean Breeze detergent into my regular wash, and you’ve got yourself a deal. I hear the lady shorts are crazy about that scent.’

‘I’ll talk to my parents and see if that can be arranged.’

And the boy and the shorts lived happily, smelling of ocean breezes, until the boy outgrew them. Before putting the shorts in the giveaway bag the now not-so-little-boy sewed in a special tag: Let run free at night. Prefers Ocean Breeze detergent.


The explorers who go toot
There once were two young explorers who had not a lot of money but really liked adventure. Because they spent the little money they had paying their way around the world, they could afford to buy nothing but canned beans to eat. Which meant that they went toot. A LOT.

On one of their adventures they stumbled upon a pyramid in the middle of the desert. They stepped inside and as their eyes adjusted to the darkness, they noticed a sphinx guarding a passageway. They were sure that great treasure lay beyond, but as they eyed the passageway, the sphinx spoke in a deep, ancient voice:

‘No one can pass who does not know the secret password’.

The explorers looked at one another. They consulted their notebooks. They tried all the secret passwords they had written down:

‘Gimmeyogold?’ stuttered the first explorer.

‘NO’ said the sphinx.

‘Steppasayd?’, tried the other.

‘NO’.

‘Entramos nos’?

‘NO’.

As time went on, and password after password failed to satisfy the sphinx, the two explorers found they could hardly contain their toots any more. TOOT went the first explorer. TOOT-TOOT, went the second. Suddenly, the sphinx rose on its front paws and said:

‘You are correct. King Toot’s secret password was toot-toot-toot! You may now enter his secret treasure chambers.’

Loaded with treasure beyond their wildest dreams, the two explorers resolved to never give up what had gotten them rich in the first place: eating beans. Hence they always remained the explorers who went toot, only going on much better funded expeditions.


Extra: Superhero preschool: Vivian
A few months after Triangle Boy defeated Impervious Man, a new girl started attending superhero preschool in the town of Zappow. Her name was Vivian.
‘Vivian? What kind of an ordinary name is that?’, asked Ice Girl.
‘What powers do you have?’ questioned Storm Boy.
But Vivian would not say. Sometimes Vivian would try to join the games the other kids played – like hide-and-seek. However, she was too good at finding where others were hiding.
‘Do you have x-ray vision?’ Lighting Girl asked. ‘Kids with x-ray vision are not allowed to play hide-and-seek!’
But Vivian was also really good at beating everyone at checkers and chess. It did not help her popularity. So she played on her own for the most part.

One day, a new threat came to Zappow. It was a giant octopus. With its huge tentacles it grabbed hold of skyscraper after skyscraper, lifting them up and slamming them back to the ground. The grown-up superheroes could do nothing to stop the giant octopus. The preschool kids tried their best too, but the octopus was so huge, that it only slightly recoiled at the ice/lightning and other powers the kids threw at it. Triangle boy tried his best, summoned all his power, and turned the octopus into a triangle. But the octopus’ body was so pliable, that it just squished back into its normal shape.

Everyone decided to run, except Vivian, who hid behind a wall, as if she was listening to something. She called after the other preschool kids:
‘Wait! I think I know why the octopus is destroying everything!’
‘Do you remember the new and unusual octopus we saw during our field trip to the aquarium yesterday?’
‘Yes? Why are you talking about field trips now?!’
‘I think it’s this monster’s baby. She’s looking for it and smashing everything in her way! Let’s bring the baby octopus back to her’.

So Storm Boy whipped up a fierce wind to bring them all to the aquarium in a jiffy. Ice Girl broke open the tank the baby octopus was in, while Vivian took the octopus into a bucket. Storm Boy took them back to where the monster octopus was turning over building and uprooting trees. Lightning girl threw a bolt nearby to get the monster’s attention. As the octopus turned to face the kids, Vivian held up the bucket with the baby octopus. The monster immediately grabbed the bucket, cradling its baby and disappeared as quickly as it had come.
‘How did you know what the monster wanted?’ Ice Girl turned to Vivian.
‘She’s a mind-reader, of course!’ Triangle Boy exclaimed, finally realizing Vivian’s secret.
And so, the preschool kids now understood why Vivian had not wanted to reveal her power. And they started to accept her more, gradually.
‘Well, that’s a cool power’, admitted Storm Boy, ‘But I’m still not playing chess with her’, he concluded.


Extra: The little boy and the boing-boing bike and the explorers who go toot on a cruise ship
There once was a cruise ship. It was the BIGGEST, HUGEST, most ENORMOUS cruise ship, at least the captain claimed so. On its maiden voyage, it was to set out to the arctic, for a tour of icy wonders. As the passengers were boarding, a little boy came pushing along a strange bike — instead of regular wheels, it had exercise balls. The captain said:
‘Halt! No vehicles allowed aboard the cruise ship.’
‘But is this not the biggest, most vast cruise ship ever built?’ – asked the boy.
‘Yes, so what of it?’ – replied the captain.
‘Well, how could the most awesome cruise ship ever not accommodate a little boy’s bike?’
‘Oh, all right, bring it aboard’ – the captain gave in.

It was already on the first day at sea that the little boy took out his boing-boing bike for a spin on the ship’s vast decks. Sproiiiing-boing-boing-wheeee….. SPLOOOSH. The ship’s rails, which were perfectly adequate for keeping passengers and strollers in, were easily hopped over by the boing-boing bike. The alarm horn sounded, and life rings were thrown from the deck down into the ocean. In the meantime, the little boy had discovered that his boing-boing bike… floated! Its big exercise ball wheels gave it enough buoyancy, and by pedaling, the little boy was able to cruise along the water’s surface. In his excitement, the little boy started shouting:
‘Hey, look what my bike can…’.
But the angry captain cast a net over the little boy and his bike and unceremoniously reeled them in. He sent the dripping boy back to his cabin and confiscated the boing-boing bike.
A few nights later, off the coast of Newfoundland, when no one expected it (least of all the captain who had fallen asleep at the helm), the cruise ship struck an iceberg. It started to slowly sink. Everyone piled into the life rafts, it seemed that everyone was safe, except… for one little girl who had somehow fallen into the ocean and was quite a distance away from the life rafts. The little boy saw his confiscated boing-boing bike floating nearby. He jumped on it with one of his big leaps and quickly pedaled over to the girl, pulled her onto his boing-boing bike, and brought her back to safety.

Just as the captain was commending the little boy on his bravery, a crewman exclaimed:
‘Captain, sir, there are still 2 passengers missing!’.
The cruise ship was now almost completely under water, and the brave captain donned his scuba diving gear to search for the missing passengers. But how could he find them? The ship *was* vast, after all. The two missing passengers, we know them well, were the explorers who go toot, on a mission to find the legendary diamond-haired polar bear. They had eaten too many canned beans for dinner and were fast asleep when the ship started to sink. Now they found themselves under water and in big trouble. They nodded to each other, and with their last strength, let out two giant toots. The toot bubbles rose faithfully exactly above their location. The captain noticed the bubbles immediately, and dove down, rescuing the two explorers. He was wearing his scuba gear and so did not smell or suspect anything (fortunately).
‘How smart of you to save your breath and signal to me with air bubbles!’ he told the 2 rescued explorers.
‘Eeerrrm, yes.’ stuttered the explorers who go toot, happy that they were alive to continue their adventures… on another trip.

Sep 202014
 

Week 1: [Still in an excited state, best for adventure/exploration travel] Where shall we go today? Bike tour? Explore the old ruins? What if I just go to the beach? Look at me I’m on the beach. I’m relaxing. I’m reading a book. Should I post about reading a book on the beach? If I go online, will I need to deal with work? Maybe I’ll do just a bit of work? Or maybe I’ll distract myself with some fun activity [repeat].

Week 2: [Work worries have receded, with secondary worries flooding in] What have I done with my life? Am I the person I want to be? What is that spot on my shoulder. Should I have it checked out? I resolve to be better. Resolve to do X,Y,Z when I get back, have had years to do X,Y,Z.

Week 3: [Secondary worries have receded, complete relaxation has set in] What should I have for breakfast? Which beach do I go to? Which book do I read? If I go kayaking will I still have time to finish reading my book? I’ll just bring it in the kayak. Yeah.

Last week: [Desperate attempt to really enjoy the remaining days] Today is the nth day until the vacation is over, gotta enjoy it. But it will be over soon. But I gotta enjoy it. Remember this. It will be over soon.

Sadly, any vacation < 4 weeks does not contain a proper week 3.

 

Despite a cursory understanding of bluescreen technology, I still worry…

 

Disclaimer: I don’t know yet how my kid will eventually turn out (this has worked up through age 4). Follow tips at your own risk. Results may vary.

1. Forget button-down shirts and corduroy pants. Your (male) kid needs nothing more than sweatpants and T-shirts. Chances are they are not fashion-conscious, and the main thing is that they are comfortable while doing their main thing, which is running around. Without zippers and buttons in the way, they can dress themselves earlier (it will still take unfathomable amounts of time though). The other great thing about sweats and t-shirts is that they are comfortable enough to sleep in, which brings us to:

2. You don’t need to change your kid into pajamas. If you do change your kid into pajamas, they’ll just get yogurt or jam or whatever on them the following morning, at which point you’ll need to throw both the pajamas and whatever clothes they were wearing the day before into the wash. Instead, have them sleep in their sweats/shorts and t-shirt. This also expedites the getting-ready-for-bed process. “But my kid takes a bath every night! So we put on pajamas anyway” you say. Indeed, that brings us to:

3. Your kid does not need to bathe every day. You might take a shower every day, and no doubt people close to you appreciate that. But grown ups are stinky. We are. Young kids are not. There are really just the input/output areas to take care of. Wet wipes are a wonderful invention; keep a box by the potty. Also, when your child has ear-to-ear peanut butter because of their creative way of eating toast, a wet wipe is a good solution.

4. You can cut your kid’s hair yourself. Some parents enjoy herding their kid into the car to run little errands. If that’s not you, there is one thing you can do right at home. No matter how bad your hair-cutting skills, chances are your kid will still look better than other kids with months’-worth of grown out hair. Order a hair clipper. It might come with a DVD. This DVD will have the following instructions. Step 1: seat child in front of laptop playing a movie Step 2: cut child’s hair because child will be very still.  ”Really?” you ask. Yes, and the reason is that you can:

5. Have super-simple screen-time rules. Do you look forward to arguing with your kid about whether they can watch a movie or play with their tablet? No? Simply implement (very, very early on) a strict rule: they can watch a movie, but after dinner. Make a few, consistent exceptions in order to achieve other goals. If any desired behavior (sitting for a haircut, potty training) permits screen time, this behavior will be more readily adopted.

6. You can avoid watching kid cartoons– even avoid watching the same things over and over again. Admit it: Thomas the Train has some deep psychological issues, and Curious George needs constant adult supervision. If you emphasize watching things together, but then steer toward things you can tolerate, chances are you’ll end up having  a good time. ‘How It’s Made’ is pretty much perfect — interesting for kids and adults alike, but only ~20 minutes long. One family has even made it to Season 15.

7. Listen to Pandora exclusively. Why Pandora? You can’t pick what song is going to be played next! You can easily explain this to the kid. This takes some commitment (i.e. no playing your own playlists in the house). The ‘children’s folk music’ station is fun (once you customize it), but you’re likely to find that your child enjoys classical, classic rock, heavy metal, blues, etc. And voilà, you are not having to listen to the same kids song over and over again.

8. Tell Stories. You can tell stories in the car (in case you forgot to bring a book or a toy, which in the case of the lazy parent is likely), when your child is not cooperating (“Did I tell you story about the little boy who wanted to keep drawing and didn’t come to dinner? No? Well [abridged version] he got so hungry that without even realizing it he ate crayon after crayon until he had none left!”), or when they are really upset (your child will stop their protest because curiosity will overtake them). For lazy-parent extra bonus points, take turns with your kid telling the story, why should you do all the work?

9. Give up on trying to get your kid to eat what they don’t want to eat. Books/pediatricians’ leaflets will tell you that it can take 14-17 times for a food to be served to a child before the child starts to eat it. That statistic is probably made up and is repeated because it sounds good.  More realistically, your child might be a teenager before they eat new foods. In the meantime, do something for your sanity. Look up the nutritional info on things your child *does* eat. Did you know that chocolate is a good source of iron? Tofu alone takes care of all the amino acids and many  minerals. Marinara sauce (hello pizza and pasta!)  and miso have Vitamin K (take that green veggies!).

11. Institute chocolate time, separate from meal time. Dinner should be something your kid contemplates on its own merits, not as an obstacle to getting dessert. At chocolate time, they can pick among whatever kinds of desserts are in the house (usually chocolate).

12. Your kid isn’t behind; other kids’ parents are too forward. Do your friends’ 3 year olds count to 1000, speak 3 languages, and read Shakespeare? If your friends are too in your face about this, you could stress yourself and your kid out by working toward the same level of achievement. Instead, spend less time with these friends and more time lazing around and doing fun things with your kid.

Good luck!

The mattress

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Dec 102013
 

Parenting is fraught with uncertainty about the goodness of one’s choices, but this one so far has panned out:

It’s a mattress, a full-sized one. I first spotted one of these in a toddler bedroom of a friend. When we left all our stuff behind to rent a furnished house, we didn’t bring our son’s crib (that converted to a toddler bed, etc.) Instead, we went to IKEA and got a mattress and put it directly on the floor. We were a bit concerned about our 22-month old sleeping on a big bed, but although it was big, it wasn’t very high. So at worst, this could happen:

And if it ever did, our toddler never said. 2+ years later, bedtime stories are still comfy for all involved:

And not a play date goes by without some jumping on the bed:

The only one out of a spot is the monster under the bed:

Phone home

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Oct 292013
 

As years go by it seems more and more magical that I can phone “home”.

 

The only thing standing between me and my enjoyment of all-you-can-eat-every-day-deliciousness are people with a food conscience.

 

I would still be happily mirroring unawares if I had never read an article such as this one. Now I’m often self-conscious about it.

 

 

Sometimes while listening to talks (usually attended by computer scientists and physicists), my mind starts to wander, and… [snip, snip, snip]:

Of course I totally respect individuals’ hairstyle preferences and trust that they are better than mine and don’t mean to imply anyone should do anything with their hair (except that if your fro measures more than 2′ in diameter you probably shouldn’t sit in the front row unless it’s amphitheater seating).
But the reason I bring this up is that recently at the most excellent German-American Frontiers of Engineering meeting:

There was simply nothing to be done.

 

The story about the boy who did not want an owie

There once was a boy who tripped and fell. Just as he was about to get an owie on his knee he said

- I don’t want an owie on my knee.

- What? – said the owie – if you put your hand out, I can go on your hand instead.

- But how will I ride my bike if I can’t hold the handlebar? –  said the boy.

- Then I’ll land on your behind – said the owie.

- But I need it to sit on! – said the boy.

- Hmmm, how about your nose? Tip forward and I’ll land on your nose.

- My nose is too small, you won’t fit.

- Then how about your shoe?

- OK – said the boy.

The owie jumped on the boy’s shoe and the boy didn’t feel a thing. The owie stayed on the shoe, and eventually was given away with the shoes once the boy’s feet outgrew them.


The story about the girl who loved chocolate milk

There once was a girl who loved to drink chocolate milk.  She asked for it at breakfast, snack time, lunch, dinner, and of course at chocolate time.  She drank so much chocolate milk, that pretty soon you could hear a ‘slosh-slosh’ from her tummy whenever she moved. The neighborhood kids made fun of her for it, and she was sad.

Then one day as she was slosh-sloshing down the street to the laughter of the other kids, a music talent scout noticed her.

That, my dear girl – said the talent scout -  is music to my ears! With a little practice you could be a great performer.

The girl became a renowned musician with a unique (slosh-sloshing) sound and traveled across the country to give concerts. And instead of a tour bus, she rode on a milk truck, a chocolate milk truck.


The story about the boy who wanted to go poop but the poop would not come out

There once was a boy who wanted to go poop. He sat and sat on the potty but the poop would not come out.  Finally he pleaded with the poop:

- Poop, won’t you come out?

- No way – answered the poop – it’s nice and warm and cozy in here.

The boy thought for a moment, then he said:

- Listen. Whenever I go poop, I get 5 M&Ms. If you come out, I’ll give you two M&Ms.

PLOP! went the poop and then demanded:

- Now I want my two M&Ms.

The boy quickly flushed the poop down the toilet, washed his hands, and ate all 5 M&Ms by himself.


The story about the boy who did not want an owie and went flying instead

There once was a boy who visited his great grandfather’s grave at Punchbowl cemetery in Hawaii. As he was leaving he tripped and found himself flying through the air. He knew that if he landed he would get a big owie on his knee. So he decided to keep flying. He flew higher and higher, and pretty soon he could see the entire Punchbowl crater below him, and then he flew even higher, and he saw the ocean and the mountains.  He then turned and flew toward Waikiki’s highrises. There he saw a little old lady on one of the lanais (balconies). It was his grandma. He flew right into her arms and she set him down carefully. The boy never got the owie.


The story about the girl who loved lollipops

There once was a girl who loved lollipops. As soon as she entered the Great America amusement park, she made a beeline for the sweets shop and bought the biggest lollipop they had. Her friends ran to the different amusement rides and asked her to go with them, but she was too busy licking the lollipop: slurp, slllurp. Then they asked her to come to the water park.

- No thanks – said the little girl – my lollipop would dissolve in the water. [Slurp. Slurp].

After the water park, the kids ran to the playground and started playing in the sand pit.

- Will you play with us in the sand? – asked her friends.

- No thanks – said the little girl – I don’t want sand to get on my lollipop [Slurp. Slurp].

Eventually it was time to go home, and as the little girl and her friends piled into the car, her friends felt sorry that she didn’t get to go on any of the rides, or play in the water or in the sand. The girl didn’t mind, she just licked her lollipop: slurp, slurp. The car had driven hardly a mile when it hit a huge traffic jam. The light was out at the intersection and there was no policeman to direct traffic. The girl hopped out of the car, held out her big red lollipop and used it like a stop sign to direct traffic, first letting one direction go through, then the other. Pretty soon the whole traffic jam was cleared up. The girl took a bow with her big lollipop as her friends clapped. Then they all drove home together.


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