My dad is the most specialist dad in the world. That's 'cuz he has lots of tools and drives big tractors and trucks and he knows about a lot of stuff I wanna know about too.
My mom says he is specialer 'cuz he loves us and cares for us and stuff. I mostly believe her but I 'spect she married him for his tools, 'cuz girls gotta love guys with cool tools, I think.
Daddy and mom asked me one day if I wanted to go to Texas on a work trip with Daddy. I did a crazy "YES!" and a loud "YEEEHAAAA". Mom and dad said "Hush, Pip is sleeping." But I wanted them to know I was really, really saying yes about going. I galloped 'cross the floor and ran got my cowboy boots that are too-small but too-favorite to give to Pip.
I put on those boots mighty fast and started doing a cowboy shuffle on account of my boots not going all the way on my feet. I had to show those folks I know just how to act in Texas.
Mom and Dad looked at eachother kinda 'xasperated and told me to take my Aunt Ticks outside. I shouted, "Only I don't have a Aunt Ticks, I have Auntie Heidi. I don't even like those blood-sucking tick-guys, I like candy Auntie Heidi gives us."
Dad made a growly noise and mumbled something about being excited to have me along in his truck for umpteen hours.
I said, "I'm 'cited too, Dad!" all happy-like, "This means we are partners, I think. We are a working team now, Dad! You are on a team with Mommy and you mumble at her all crabby-like sometimes too, so we're gonna work together forever, right Dad? Right? Just like you and Mommy?"
He pushed me in my too-small but too-favorite boots out the door.
I didn't even have time to ask that guy about an umpteen. My teacher taught us about thirteen, fourteen and eighteen but she never 'tole us about any umpteen thing.
My Dad know more stuff than even teacher, I think.
I guess I'm the luckiest boy ever. Know why?
'cuz my best friend Joshua and his dad got to come on our trip too.
Uncle Jacob is a cool guy even though he's not really my uncle. Daddy and Uncle Jacob went to college together and Dad says they are like brothers now. They know a lot about the same stuff, those guys, so that's why they are brothers, I think.
Maybe I'll go to college to get some more brothers.
Joshua is Uncle Jacob's son so maybe he should be my cousin. I don't call him Cousin Josh, I just call him Joshua. When he makes silly faces I call him Noodlehead and he laughs. He's my bestest-cousinist-friend ever.
We drove dad's work pickup all the way down a long road. I thought maybe we were in Texas but Dad said it was Kansas. He kept saying Kansas FOREVER and then he started saying Oklahoma. Oklahoma was another FOREVER. Dad said maybe my FOREVERS needed to get a little bit longer and so did my spells between bathroom stops.
"Hey, People, It's kinda hard to stay away from the bathroom when all there is to do in here is tickle Joshua, tell funny stories and drink all this great water!"
Dad really didn't like it when I yelled in the truck. he said I should hunt for my quiet voice. But that quiet voice was so silent and sneaky, it kept getting away from me and hiding in the corner by my feet, and I can't reach that place with my seat-belt on, you know.
Dad said no seat-belts off and no throwing things at my quiet voice, just find something else 'ductive to do. I tried, but something not-to-do was kick Dad's seat and something not-to-do was lick the window in funny face-shapes and something not-to-do was play keep away with Joshua's shoe.
"Someone need to do a 'vestigation, I think, 'cuz there are way more not-to-do things than there are things to-do. That's the problem, see?"
Mom said I should eat icky-slicky snacks like banana chips on the trip and dad was a good listener to that lady. I wish he maybe didn't hear her so good.
When dad maybe forgot a little about the rulie-fooly snack part, he bought some sugar wafers. I grabbed them with very happy hands and munched and crunched 'em with my happy mouth. I ate them all up speedy-quick before Dad remembered those foolie-rules.
But something wasn't right with those wafers. Guess my tummy didn't take 'em as happy as my hands and my mouth.
We stopped to check the load and Joshua and I ran around and around the truck to blow our steam. Uncle Jacob stopped us and started to tell us some long words like safety and 'sponsibility.
I tried to hear those words but my tummy kept shouting over top of him.
I lost my poor cookies right at Uncle Jacob's feet.
Only they were wafers, not cookies.
Daddy says everything in Texas is supposed to be BIG. Now I know why we came here, 'cuz I'm pretty sure I grew bigger just breathing the BIG air. BIG truck, BIG boy, BIG waffles, BIG noises... all that BIG makes me BIG happy.
But mom said she'd be BIG sad if we didn't come back to Nebraska and Dad had his listening ears on again.
Those listening ears should go hide under the seat with my quiet voice, I think.
I wasn't sure I wanted be a work-teamer with my dad after a while. I thought I was going to be able to help drive but he kept saying no. So I just took pictures until the card was full so Mom could see our 'venture.
'Stead he took a long time putting the equipment on the semi-trailer, looking at tractors and doing his truck schoolwork. It was boring and I wanted not more of this trip, probably.
But I changed my mind again when he said I could ride in the semi with him on the way home. Joshua got kinda lonely in the pickup with his dad. I told him I was sorry but I had to help my dad.
Cuz we're partners forever now, I think.
--Thomas T. Trouble
P.S. I may have 'xaggerated a tiny bit when I told these stories to my Mom but I did toss my wafer-cookies, for genuine reals and yes, how did you know I've been listening to a lot of Junie B. Jones lately?