It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Method! Order!

Pitter patter go the raindrops on my windowpane.

BAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAM go the little feet in my home. (Little feet do not “pitter patter”. Whoever coined that phrase knew nothing — NOTHING — about children.)

“HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!” go the happy children.

My home gets very loud during days of rain. But, like the dog, if they don’t get their exercise, discipline tanks. Well-exercised puppies and toddlers are happy critters, cheerful and cooperative and surprisingly quiet. Puppies and toddlers with all that energy muted and denied chew books and bark in the house. Some of them have been known to pee on the floor. (And no, not the puppy.)

Though I discourage barking, laughter is a good sound.

“HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!”

Actually, it’s sort of weird laughter. A sort of machine-gun firing of hilarity. Mechanical, almost. And incessant. There is no ebb and flow of liquid giggling, no bursts of chortles with pauses between. Just a continuous, rapid-fire, “HA! HA! HA!”

“HA! HA! HA!” as they BAMBAMBAM.

All but Timmy, that is, who is concentrating his energy on the running. Which he does like the wind. Lordy, that boy is fast. You’d think with that kind of speed he wouldn’t be landing on his heels quite so hard, but you’d be wrong. He has the BAMBAMBAM down pat. Just no “HA! HA! HA!” to go with it. They’ve done two lengths of the house when Emily notices his defection from the ranks of hilarity.

“Timmy, why are you not laughing when you run?” Her tone of voice is gently enquiring, but the expectation is clear. It is not sufficient that Timmy is part of the game. It is not enough that he is smiling. Laughter! We must have laughter! Suitably chastised, his next lap is dutifully — and volubly — jovial.
“HA! HA! HA! HA!”

Because we are having much! more! fun! when we make the Happy Noises.

Some while later, they collapse into a panting heap. I suggest the time is ripe for some quiet play. Puzzles, perhaps, or crayons?

Emily nods sagely. “Yes. It is time to colour now, so we can rest from all that running around laughing.”

I foresee a bright future as an Events Coordinator for the girl.

October 1, 2008 - Posted by | Emily, individuality, peer pressure, quirks and quirkiness, socializing | , , ,


  1. Every house should have a circle through the rooms that can be run as laps. My son labeled them “Happy Laps” when he was a tot, and I believe that during the Olympics there was a record made of 200 laps(yes, you read right) through my den-kitchen-livingroom. I wonder if they could have achieved more than 200 if they’d only had laughter to go with it.

    Comment by Jill in Atlanta | October 1, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the reminder that laughter is the best medicine!
    We often do yoga around here on raining days!

    Comment by Anita Kaiser | October 1, 2008 | Reply

  3. Wow! You’re not wrong there. My one year old pup is driving me nuts. She clearly needs some more exercise, but it’s raining and raining! Oh I dread winter. How many more things will she chew up, steal and generally make disappear into the garden never to be found. She had my camera the other day which she climbed up and stole off the dresser!!!


    Comment by scribbles08 | October 4, 2008 | Reply

  4. When Daughter was a toddler we nicknamed her “Julie” after the “Love Boat” cruise director because she was always doing that sort of thing.

    She was an events coordinator extraordinaire…from playtime to naptime to mealtime and everything in between…she was on top of it all.

    If I wasn’t sure what I was doing, I could count on her to remind me.


    Comment by Zayna | October 4, 2008 | Reply

  5. […] amazingly, genius-level (for a not-quite three-year-old) empathetic. Good thing she has that cruise director streak to keep her from being a total […]

    Pingback by Empathy 1, self-sacrifice 0 « It’s Not All Mary Poppins | November 3, 2008 | Reply

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