Ricky Harpole column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Resume now includes full inventory of experience with children

Once, on a job interview I was asked if I had any previous experience with children. I replied that, “but for having been one for a brief period, none.”

That was long ago (I shudder to think how long). I have only lately begun to realize how little I actually knew about those precocious mini-humans back then nor how much there was to learn.

Things like the really small ones are wonderfully leaky. The ordinary small ones have remarkable propensities for repeating things they hear and an enviable sense of timing.

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They are also capable of making bigger and messier messes. The teenager of the species is capable of all the above plus interesting variations involving automobiles  and movie house embarrassments.

If asked the same question today I would have a different answer indeed. I sat myself down yesterday and compiled a list of my experiences and accomplishments and came up with these gold-plated jewels.

I have personally changed and disposed of 7,281 Pampers and pull-ups. I have mixed and bottled 1,100 gallons of Infamil and apple juice; I have sprinted 200 miles chasing two-year-olds alone. I have mopped up enough spills to make swabbing the flight deck of a carrier look like a walk in the park.

I have settled more scraps and brawls than any two bouncers on the East side of Chicago.

I used up a new bar of soap washing naughty little mouths out in just three days once after a political election went the wrong way which increased their vocabularies in an amazing fashion.

I have read an entire library full of fairy tales and bedtime stories and made up so many ghost stories I can’t sleep at night myself. I have treated so many skinned knees and elbows that I easily have the accomplishments of an EMT if not a surgeon.

I have fixed more bicycle tires than the Goodyear man and Batesville Tire and Muffler put together. I have stumbled over more toys and got more laughs than Bonzo the Clown.

I have watched Old Yeller 500 times and The Wizard of Oz 50 times this year alone. If all the bike chains I’ve handled were laid end to end they would stretch from Crenshaw to Como. I’ve used and burned 40 bushels and a peck of Q-tips and Handiwipes and so many Kleenex tissues I would have to have a haybaler to count them.

Yes sir, I think I’d be qualified for the job if were open today because, God help me, we got another one comin’ in about 4 1/2 months. I gotta go now I think I just heard another blowout.

Pa Pawin On,

Ricky Harpole