When preparing to blow a fluffy dandelion, don’t inhale with the dandelion close to your mouth.
Slapping the gym teacher is a mean thing to do.
Mysteries should be written backwards; it helps to know the end before you write the beginning.
Teenagers are very loud and very weird (but can be successfully ignored if one has a book to disappear into).
Dads are the scariest—and funnest—people with whom to play hide and seek in the dark.
Knowing to start from zero, not one, when counting laps gives you an entire lap in which to be embarrassed as you run alone and your classmates all sit down. (But then you get the satisfaction of them having to run one more lap while you are done.)
Babysitters just don’t do it like Mom does.
Standing up on your bike pedals to try to peer over a tall fence as you ride by results in scraped knees.
So does biking too fast down a hill with gravel at the bottom.
So does trying to ride back onto a raised sidewalk, after so courteously steering off to avoid pedestrians. Oh yes, and torn shorts may also be a by-product of such a stunt. (I cheated—this I learned as a teenager. But we teenagers do, on occasion, behave like children, so it still counts.)
Fire drills are scary.
Stepping on certain school hallway tiles and avoiding others does not prevent the next fire drill from occurring.
Books are picture windows into countless worlds.
Fruit juice, ketchup, water from the pickle jar, maple syrup, and other miscellaneous liquids combined do not a tasty beverage make.
Sixth graders are big kids.
The minute you enter first grade, kindergartners look tiny.
My house does not have any secret passages. (Trust me, I looked.)
The only mysteries to be had are ones like “The Mystery of the Missing Sock,” never “The Mystery of the Haunted Stairwell,” or “The Case of the Ancient Treasure Chest.”
Mysteries of missing socks are not worth being paid two dollars to solve. They’re not even worth solving at all.
Secret clubs formed with friends have a tendency to last no more than about two weeks.
Crying does not make the history test go away.
There is more than one flat-nosed bus in the world. (This deserves an explanation: My first day riding the bus to kindergarten, my dad told me to remember the number printed on the side so that I’d get on the right bus after school. In a panic, I told him I couldn’t remember that number all day. He said, “Okay, then just remember to get on the bus with a flat nose.” Little did we know the school had two flat-nosed buses. And of course I boarded the wrong one. Two buses were late delivering their children that day.)
Swapping names and snowsuits with your friend during recess does not keep people from recognizing who you really are.
Brothers don’t appreciate your hairdressing skills.
Standing in the playground and waiting for someone to talk to you is a lousy way to make friends.
Boys that chew pencils, or chase you around with boogers, or flick paint onto the back of your shirt . . . They’re just plain annoying.
That little ditch that runs between two houses on your street is not a secret path. It’s someone’s property.
Cycling barefoot in the rain is fun.
Turning ten is a little bit sad because you’re leaving single digits behind forever.
Every birthday party must have a theme, even if it’s as lame as “polka-dots and stripes.”
It is possible to have more than one best friend.
Best friends don’t have to live next door.
Flip-flops are terrible running shoes.
Riding the little red wagon down the gopher-hole-riddled hill—and letting your cousin steer—is maybe not the best idea.