The Pudding Problem
FRIDAY, 4:00 P.M., THE DEN
Designed to blend in with the natural surroundings of my bedroom. It may not look like much from the outside, but appearances can be deceptive. Inside it’s custom-engineered for maximum quietness, relaxation, and alone time.
Only authorized personnel are allowed within its hallowed walls—those issued with a personal ID card.
The Den is the perfect place to escape the many stresses and strains imposed on the modern nine-year-old. I’m not talking about the more extreme problems that occasionally crop up. Like the time aliens attacked our town and abducted practically everyone . . .
. . . until I discovered the invaders were allergic to cucumbers and single-handedly saved the day with a cardboard tube and a jar of out-of-date pickles.
Or the time a sinkhole opened up in the middle of an assembly, right under the first graders . . .
. . . and I had to be lowered down on a rope to rescue them all, because the principal was crying in the corner. (He’s not a fan of sinkholes.)
No, the kinds of stresses I’m talking about are your typical, everyday, run-of-the-mill-type concerns:
Big sisters who are sooo superior and annoyingly good at everything that it makes you look kind of like garbage in comparison.
Moms who think math homework is the sole purpose of being a child. . . .