Rug Rats 101

The author says adults can learn a lesson or two from the little ones. Just be sure to proceed with caution.


Published:

I watched a toddler ponder the recliner before her. Obviously still new to the walking game, she noticed that the chair was far enough from the wall that she could walk around it. Circumnavigation runs deep in the human psyche.

She proceeded to make her way—teetering but methodical—until she circled the chair. She admired her accomplishment for a moment, then took off for a brightly colored toy in the middle of the playroom. She could cross “walk around the big blue chair” off her Baby Bucket List.

I am very fond of my five grand nephews and nieces who live in a shoe (they are kind of like a live fairy tale for me) in Connecticut. I’ve watched them all grow since infancy. (There are 7-year-old triplets sandwiched between a 10- and 4-year old.) The energy is indescribable and relentless. Visits are like stepping inside a nuclear chain reaction. When we leave after a long weekend, the ringing in our ears doesn’t stop until long after we cross the George Washington Bridge, at which point I’ve sworn again to wear a protective cup during the next visit.

But watching these five on the rare occasions when I’m not the punch-toy of the day, I’ve learned something about young brains: What we call play is not play to children. It’s work, little kid work that has purpose, structure and goals and that provides a sense of achievement.

You can see it in the intensity of their eyes, that focus on getting whatever it is that needs to be done, done right (though you’re clueless about the goal). A child brooks no interruption. He stays focused until the object is gained. Then, of course, he must show it to you as a formal record of achievement. Most significant, children, brimming with enthusiasm and confidence, approach all such work voluntarily. Somewhere along the line we working adults have lost the childhood secret to loving your work.

Of course, there is a kid version of play to go along with all the serious work. In the case of the Five Stooges, that generally consists of hurling themselves into various areas of my anatomy. (Hence the vow to come equipped with a cup next visit.)

I’ve noticed something else about the kid brain: the tendency to fixate on the most insignificant minutiae—say a box of packing popcorn—followed by sudden outbursts of sheer joy or rage. Add the unsteadiness of learning to walk and the uncontrolled laughter over nothing in particular, and you get a perfect example of a brain that is drunk. This is why you don’t give alcohol to young children. They’ve already had enough, and they’ve produced it naturally, without the risk of hangover. (Incidentally, it’s also why you don’t let babies and young children drive or operate a motor vehicle.)

Babies are drunk on life, and somewhere along the line we adults have lost our way in that regard as well.

We parents think it’s our duty to teach our children well. It’s actually the other way around. From infancy through childhood, kids can teach us a great deal about keeping the bucket list simple, turning work into play, and getting plastered on life without Captain Morgan and Coke.

And then for fun, we can learn to run headlong into each other for no reason at all. Try it at work and see for yourself.

Reid Champagne’s wife says this column “really explains a lot.”

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February 2018

A winter warm up of colorful, vibrant paintings. Marlene Dubin - bold mixed media abstracts; Elaine Lisle - regional landscapes in oil; Mary Ann Weselyk – whimsical animals and still life...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

This community-curated exhibition brings together three painters—Alan Soffer, Brian Dickerson, and Moe Brooker—who are attuned to harmonies and contrasts in abstract forms. Each artist...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Come join us in celebrating the mission work of the American Heart Association while raising funds to end cardiovascular disease. There will be a live and silent auction, served dinner with wine,...

Cost: $175.00

Where:
Chase Center on the Riverfront
Justinson Street
Wilmington , DE
View map »


Telephone: 302-286-5704
Contact Name: Denise Griffin
Website »

More information

By Simon Stephens (playwright of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time") Directed by Matt Pfeiffer REGIONAL PREMIERE! Amidst the bustle of a crowded London train...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Kennett Chocolate Lovers Festival Sunday, February 11, 2018   General Admission 1 – 3PM; VIP Connoisseur tickets 12 – 1PM Kennett High School, 100 E. South St., Kennett Square, PA  ...

Cost: $10/pp or $30/Family 4-pack

Where:
100 E. South Street
Kennett Square, PA  19348


Sponsor: United Way of Southern Chester County
Telephone: 610-444-4357
Contact Name: Carrie Freeman
Website »

More information

Each month, adults and children can create art together and experiment with new materials, techniques, and themes in the Bank of America Education Wing Studios—no reservations required! This...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

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Saturday, February 10th, 2018 at 4:00 PM at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill Sunday, February 11th, 2018 at 3:00 PM at The Academy of Vocal Arts The latest in our biography series,...

Cost: Tickets purchased in advance cost $25, $30 at the door. Student tickets are $10.

Where:
Academy of Vocal Arts
1920 Spruce St.
Philadelphia, PA  19103
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Fest
Telephone: 215-438-1702
Contact Name: Lyric Fest
Website »

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"What the water said…Flowers, Places, & Faces," an exhibition of watercolor paintings by Hugh Phibbs, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from February 2-23, 2018. A free...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
Carvel State Office Building, 2nd Floor
820 N. French St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

A winter warm up of colorful, vibrant paintings. Marlene Dubin - bold mixed media abstracts; Elaine Lisle - regional landscapes in oil; Mary Ann Weselyk – whimsical animals and still life...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Come join us in celebrating the mission work of the American Heart Association while raising funds to end cardiovascular disease. There will be a live and silent auction, served dinner with wine,...

Cost: $175.00

Where:
Chase Center on the Riverfront
Justinson Street
Wilmington , DE
View map »


Telephone: 302-286-5704
Contact Name: Denise Griffin
Website »

More information

By Simon Stephens (playwright of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time") Directed by Matt Pfeiffer REGIONAL PREMIERE! Amidst the bustle of a crowded London train...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Melanie Helton is professor of voice (soprano) and director of the MSU Opera Theatre at the Michigan State University College of Music. She has been hailed by The New York Times for her “dark...

Cost: are $15 adults; $10 UD faculty/staff/alumni & seniors; $5 students

Where:
Gore Recital Hall
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Department of Music
Telephone: 302-831-2578
Contact Name: Megan Everhart
Website »

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"What the water said…Flowers, Places, & Faces," an exhibition of watercolor paintings by Hugh Phibbs, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from February 2-23, 2018. A free...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
Carvel State Office Building, 2nd Floor
820 N. French St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

A winter warm up of colorful, vibrant paintings. Marlene Dubin - bold mixed media abstracts; Elaine Lisle - regional landscapes in oil; Mary Ann Weselyk – whimsical animals and still life...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will host a four-session diabetes educational program, The Diabetes Connection, on February 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Pre-registration is required. As...

Cost: Call for cost.

Where:
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
801 Middleford Road
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Telephone: 302-629-6611 x2288
Contact Name: Nanticoke's Diabetes Education Department
Website »

More information

By Simon Stephens (playwright of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time") Directed by Matt Pfeiffer REGIONAL PREMIERE! Amidst the bustle of a crowded London train...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

"What the water said…Flowers, Places, & Faces," an exhibition of watercolor paintings by Hugh Phibbs, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from February 2-23, 2018. A free...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
Carvel State Office Building, 2nd Floor
820 N. French St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

A winter warm up of colorful, vibrant paintings. Marlene Dubin - bold mixed media abstracts; Elaine Lisle - regional landscapes in oil; Mary Ann Weselyk – whimsical animals and still life...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

This community-curated exhibition brings together three painters—Alan Soffer, Brian Dickerson, and Moe Brooker—who are attuned to harmonies and contrasts in abstract forms. Each artist...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

FREE COMMUNITY EVENT: MID-WEEK WORD REFRESHER Come join us at the Mid-Week Word Refresher every Wednesday at Faith Victory Christian Center from 11:00am - 12:00pm. Refreshments will be...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Faith Victory Christian Center
301 Commonwealth Avenue
Claymont, DE  19703
View map »


Sponsor: Faith Victory Christian Center
Telephone: 302.354.6726
Contact Name: Alvin Walker
Website »

More information

By Simon Stephens (playwright of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time") Directed by Matt Pfeiffer REGIONAL PREMIERE! Amidst the bustle of a crowded London train...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

It's almost that time of year! The Tilton Mansion will once again be open to Non-Members for Valentine's Day. Experience The Whist with your sweetheart and dine à la carte on Oysters...

Cost: al a carte

Where:
University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Clearing the mind and learning to think not thinking is Zen awareness. Taking the appropriate action in this moment is Zen. Once you know this in your body, walking, standing, sitting down,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark
420 Willa Road
Newark, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: UUFN
Telephone: 302.368.2984
Contact Name: Richard Field
Website »

More information

Program: Mozart: Divertimento in F Major, K. 138 Janacek: String Quartet No. 1 (“Kreutzer Sonata”) Beethoven: String Quartet, Op. 59, No. 1   The Calidore String Quartet’s “deep...

Cost: $15 adults; $10 UD faculty/staff/alumni & seniors; $5 students

Where:
Gore Recital Hall
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Department of Music
Telephone: 130-283-12578
Contact Name: Megan Everhart
Website »

More information

The Caesar Rodney Rotary Club has established a new foundation focused on providing grants to Wilmington-area charities. To celebrate, the organization is hosting the Hearts of Hope...

Where:
Wilmington Country Club
4825 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »

More information

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"What the water said…Flowers, Places, & Faces," an exhibition of watercolor paintings by Hugh Phibbs, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from February 2-23, 2018. A free...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
Carvel State Office Building, 2nd Floor
820 N. French St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

A winter warm up of colorful, vibrant paintings. Marlene Dubin - bold mixed media abstracts; Elaine Lisle - regional landscapes in oil; Mary Ann Weselyk – whimsical animals and still life...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Nanticoke Health Services, in conjunction with CHEER and Care DE and the Manor House, will hold a Parkinson’s education and support group on Thursday, February 15 from 9:30 am to 11:00 am at the...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Manor House
1001 Middleford Road
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Telephone: 302-629-6611 x3838
Contact Name: Tara Trout

More information

This community-curated exhibition brings together three painters—Alan Soffer, Brian Dickerson, and Moe Brooker—who are attuned to harmonies and contrasts in abstract forms. Each artist...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

By Simon Stephens (playwright of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time") Directed by Matt Pfeiffer REGIONAL PREMIERE! Amidst the bustle of a crowded London train...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Nanticoke Rehabilitation Services hosts lymphedema support groups on the third Thursday of each month from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm at the Seaford Library and Cultural Center located at 600 N. Market...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Seaford Library & Cultural Cernter
600 N. Market Street Extended
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Telephone: 302-629-6224
Contact Name: Rob Donati
Website »

More information

Adam Rome, from the University at Buffalo, will lead this free seminar. The seminar is open to the public and is based on a paper that is circulated in advance. Those planning to attend are...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hagley Library
298 Buck Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Carol Lockman
Website »

More information

Explore connections between people and plants in these four inspiring presentations. Special thanks to Whole Foods Market for sponsoring this year’s refreshments. Individual lecture pricing:...

Cost: $20 members; $30 non-members

Where:
Delaware Center for Horticulture
1810 N. Dupont Street
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Center for Horticulture
Telephone: (302) 658-6262
Contact Name: Mackenzie Knight-Fochs
Website »

More information

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Show Less...

"What the water said…Flowers, Places, & Faces," an exhibition of watercolor paintings by Hugh Phibbs, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from February 2-23, 2018. A free...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
Carvel State Office Building, 2nd Floor
820 N. French St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

A winter warm up of colorful, vibrant paintings. Marlene Dubin - bold mixed media abstracts; Elaine Lisle - regional landscapes in oil; Mary Ann Weselyk – whimsical animals and still life...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

This community-curated exhibition brings together three painters—Alan Soffer, Brian Dickerson, and Moe Brooker—who are attuned to harmonies and contrasts in abstract forms. Each artist...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to art and the Museum through a story reading followed by an interactive tour of relevant works of art and a studio art project. This program encourages...

Cost: Free to Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

The Philly Home + Garden Show will return to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks February 16-18. The show will feature highly-interactive exhibits including a full scale model smart home,...

Cost: 10

Where:
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
100 Station Ave
Oaks, PA  19456
View map »


Sponsor: MarketPlace Events
Contact Name:

More information

By Simon Stephens (playwright of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time") Directed by Matt Pfeiffer REGIONAL PREMIERE! Amidst the bustle of a crowded London train...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Join Rachel Binkley of Rocker Soaps for a fun and information filled class. We will make soap, learn how to make a soap recipe, mix essential oils, and get tips and techniques to make it easier for...

Cost: 40

Where:
The 3rd Place
1139 W 7th St
Wilmington, DE  19805
View map »


Sponsor: Rocker Soaps
Telephone: 130-254-40391
Contact Name: Rachel
Website »

More information

Join Rachel Binkley of Rocker Soaps for a fun and information filled class. We will make soap, learn how to make a soap recipe, blend essential oils, and get tips and techniques to make it easier...

Cost: 40.00

Where:
The 3rd Place
1139 W 7th St
Wilmington, DE  19805
View map »


Sponsor: Rocker Soaps
Telephone: 302-544-0391
Contact Name: Rachel
Website »

More information

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society in partnership with The Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice are proud to present the inaugural Rehoboth Beach African-American Film Festival. The mission...

Cost: $10

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE
View map »


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

More information

Meeting every Friday, Bayhealth Kent General Hospital, 640 s. State Street, Dover, 7:30 pm., Private Dining Room #3 in the basement. For those who have, or think they may have a gambling problem....

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Bayhealth Kent General Hospital
640 S. State Street
Private Dining Room #3
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Telephone: 800-855-2CALLGA
Website »

More information

"Choir Boy" presents a complex look at race and sexuality. Shows are at 8pm on February 16 and 17; there is a 2pm matinee on Sunday February 18. Buy tickets online at www.WilmingtonDramaLeague.org.

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-1172
Website »

More information

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Show Less...

A winter warm up of colorful, vibrant paintings. Marlene Dubin - bold mixed media abstracts; Elaine Lisle - regional landscapes in oil; Mary Ann Weselyk – whimsical animals and still life...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

This community-curated exhibition brings together three painters—Alan Soffer, Brian Dickerson, and Moe Brooker—who are attuned to harmonies and contrasts in abstract forms. Each artist...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Nanticoke Weight Loss will host free weight loss seminars on Saturday, February 10 and Saturday, February 17 at 10:30 am at the Nanticoke Training Center located within the Miller Building at 121...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Nanticoke Training Center
121 S. Front Street
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Telephone: 302-536-5395
Contact Name: Nanticoke Weight Loss
Website »

More information

The Philly Home + Garden Show will return to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks February 16-18. The show will feature highly-interactive exhibits including a full scale model smart home,...

Cost: 10

Where:
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
100 Station Ave
Oaks, PA  19456
View map »


Sponsor: MarketPlace Events
Contact Name:

More information

A community event taking place every 3rd Saturday til May at Wilmington's hidden gem: The 3rd Place - your neighborhood living room in Cool Spring. Mexican-American cuisine served by Veronica's...

Cost: free admission

Where:
The 3rd Place
1139 W. 7th Street
Wilmington, DE  19805
View map »


Sponsor: The 3rd Place
Website »

More information

By Simon Stephens (playwright of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time") Directed by Matt Pfeiffer REGIONAL PREMIERE! Amidst the bustle of a crowded London train...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Every boat that floats relies on a few simple concepts that visitors will need to use for this science challenge. Visitors will learn about density and buoyancy by building a boat that will carry...

Cost: Free with admission; Adults: $14, Children 6-14: $5, Children 5 and under: Free

Where:
Hagley Museum and Library
200 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-2400
Website »

More information

In honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, join us at the Do The Right Thing 4Life Banquet (DTRT4L). Each year this event honors Beaut;y Salon and Barbershop owners, and others who've...

Cost: $25

Where:
Waterfall Banquet and Conference Center
3416 Philadelphia Pike
Claymont, DE  19703
View map »

More information

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society in partnership with The Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice are proud to present the inaugural Rehoboth Beach African-American Film Festival. The mission...

Cost: $10

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE
View map »


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

More information

Put on your masks, toss on beads and get ready to   investigate a murder at the Museum. After dinner nibbles will be served; drinks available for purchase.   

Cost: $40/DMNH Members, $45/Non-Member

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Website »

More information

"Choir Boy" presents a complex look at race and sexuality. Shows are at 8pm on February 16 and 17; there is a 2pm matinee on Sunday February 18. Buy tickets online at www.WilmingtonDramaLeague.org.

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-1172
Website »

More information

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