Confessions of Cultural Heretics

"When the whole world is running headlong towards the precipice, one who walks in the opposite direction is looked on as being crazy." T.S. Elliot

Rug Rats

Kids seem to have a universal set of bad habits. The past few weeks I have battled with our toddler to keep both of his socks on. I am constantly finding random socks strewn about the house. While the chilly floors don’t seem to bother him, I’d rather not have him develop a cold because of his bad habits. So I did what my father did to me and my siblings…I told him about the rug rats.

What are rug rats you ask?

They are small rodents that live under the carpets and nibble toes off of children’s bare feet. Only socks or shoes can protect you from the hungry pests.

So I told Joseph, and I can’t say I was surprised, but it worked. His eyes grew big and he ran to grab his sock and jumped on the couch to escape the invisible rodents while he covered his bare foot.

Then he began to “see” them under the carpet and started shouting at them “rugrats! I have my socks on! Do you want some milk?”

At which, I had to explain their diet consisted of bare toes alone, and that since all of our toes were covered they would be moving on to look at another house for some tasty bare toes.

Funny, Brian and I had just had a conversation this weekend about how every culture seemed to have a monster of sorts that parents would use to scare their children into being good. I have to say I have mixed feelings about this tactic, but I can’t deny its immediate effectiveness. And so the rug rats will live on in the imaginations of my children.



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