"Grown-ups" arrogate entirely too much to themselves. I know this is so. I discovered it for a fact when I was not more than "knee-high to a grasshopper" myself. I knew, for example, that a certain amount of dirt on my face and hands in no way interfered with my enjoyment of my supper. The fact that my finger nails were not all they should have been had no bearing whatsoever upon the efficiency of those same fingers. Washing not only took time from other important pursuits, but also was mildly unpleasant. Nevertheless, my mother was not even open to reasonable argument on the matter. Arbitrarily, with the despotism of an early Roman Emperor, she rendered a dictum to the effect that I must wash, and soapy and submissive I had to be before I could come to the table. Again, any reasonable child can tell you that pleasure is the main object of eating; therefore, in all logic, one should eat if one feels like it at ten o'clock in the morning, or at three o'clock in the afternoon, a jar of Guava jelly, a pound of chocolates, a paper of ginger cookies, or whatever may appeal to one's aesthetic taste. This method of procedure, naturally, might necessitate recourse to the brown-wood family medicine closet. Certain discomfort might ensue. But was not the pleasure worth it? Again my mother arbitrarily took the matter into her own hands, disagreeing with me on fundamentals. She maintained that eating was not for pleasure simply, but for nourishment. Sundry unfortunate remarks were made containing references to gluttony. The pantry was locked, and regular meals at regular periods were prescribed. Indeed, poems with dreadful morals for those who ate between meals were recited to me, endeavor being made thereby to substitute terror for inclination.
|Publisher:||Library of Alexandria|
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