Friday, April 5, 2013

The Best Laid Schemes o' Pandas and Giraffes...

Mary Jane and Betsy Jo with their animal backpacks
What, me a British lit teacher?  Never.

Anyway, I had this great idea yesterday to see if I could take a walk around the block with Mary Jane and Betsy Jo wearing their animal packs with the "leashes" that would be tucked on each arm of mine.  I knew it would be difficult: the girls do walk at different speeds, have varying walking interests, and don't necessary listen to commands.  Then again, that could also be my sophomores.

I wore Mary Jane's "leash" with my left hand and Betsy's was on my right.  The first 50 feet worked splendidly.   They both giggled and ran intermittently.  Mary Jane tried to escape the gravitational pull of Daddy but was unable to extend more than the 3-4 feet in front of me.  She'd slow down, wait for my long stride to catch up to her, and then take off again.  That worked well for a few houses.  But that was not the problem.

Alas, poor Betsy, she didn't feel like walking.  She was in her Ferdinand the Bull mode.  Betsy wasn't necessarily smelling the flowers -- well, it is spring so it would be as good of a time as any -- but she did want to see all the sites of Dewey.  Never mind that she had to keep pace with Daddy who trying to slow down Mary Jane.  Being tugged at both ends wasn't too helpful... it did make me think about the gravitational pull of the sun and moon upon the Earth.  Seriously!  It did.  That's what I get for spending too much time covering the Space Race and other extraterrestrial (ouch!) things for AD this fall.
Betsy before the fall
Finally, the flop occurred.  Betsy Jo could take no more and fell down with a thud.  Mary Jane kept trying to tug me forward which would then drag Betsy on the sidewalk.  Not a good idea... so I made my executive decision and turned for home.  Mary Jane was not too happy about it as she wanted to get some bamboo for Paul, her stuffed panda.  He's quite the needy panda.

Of course the drama didn't end yet with these excessively cute animal backpacks.  Mary Jane realized that if she stepped on the "tail" of the backpack, Betsy would... yes... THWACK.  Right on the paved driveway.  I should have seen that coming but then again, I think I was annoyed at my shoe lace becoming untied a few seconds previous.

This anecdote was not to criticize the producer of those animal backpacks.  They seem to serve quite a good purpose.  But one dad, two girls, two arms... as Jesus once said, ain't happenin'.  OK, maybe he didn't say that... but maybe he did.  Once.  In Aramaic.

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