“Daddy! You forgot to flush!”

My three children have a lot to learn about life, and it can be quite entertaining.

We were walking on the sandy lane behind our house, in the forest. Suddenly my seven-year-old daughter slipped. Her knees saved her from doing the splits, and her hands. Both were now covered in mud. That’s what she slipped in – a muddy patch created by a torrential rain two days earlier.

I had steered clear of the muddy patch, and she’d gone straight through – and straight down.

“Daddy, help!” she shouted.

I helped her up and handed her all I had to wipe off the mud, two plastic bags. They weren’t much help. But she wanted to press on with the walk under the warm morning sunshine. So did the other two kids, and four-ton the dog.

She kept me abreast of the transformation of the mud as it dried on her knees and hands.

“Now it’s cracking,” she said.

Then she explained, “If you peel it off, it’s grey underneath.”

We made it home and she ran to tell mummy about the incident and the transformation of the mud.

“See,” she said, showing off her hands and knees.

Then she told her what she’d learned.

“Don’t ever walk in the mud with flip flops,” she said.

I thought, I’m going to write that one down and include it with the wisdoms learned from my youth, such as:

  • Never swing from banisters above a staircase – or only do so carefully. If you fall, you could break your wrist. I did.
  • If you play in the rain at school, your parents will find out.
  • Take toilet paper on long walks in the country. No explanation needed.

Of course, I’m always learning, right along with the kids. My five-year-old son just reminded me so. Indeed, he’s learning his toilet manners very well.

“You have to flush the toilet, daddy!” he tells me.

“Oh, yeah. Of course.”

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