When I was a kid my mom had a series of books starring Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle was the widow of a pirate who lived in an upside down house; her husband had built it that way because he’d always wondered what an upside down house looked like. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle had no children, but she had lots of pets and was friends with all the children in the neighborhood.
When one of their mothers was having a problem with their child or children, she would often ask Mrs. Piggle Wiggle for help. She cured The Interruptors, The Whisperers, and The Never-Want-to-Go-to-Bedders. And she always used a clever way that the mother could never have thought of on her own.
The Won’t-Pick-Up-Toys Cure was simply allowing the child to make a mess in his room. He had so many toys that eventually his mother had to give him a drink from the garden hose that she raised up to the window of his room on a rake. He quickly cleaned up his toys when he saw his friends coming to play.
The Tattlers took pills that would make a puff of smoke come out of their mouths whenever they tried to tattle on one another. The tattles would hang on the ceiling until they apologized to one another, and eventually the guilty sight of a tattle would make them think twice before opening their mouths to fuss at their mother.
The Bad-Table-Manners Cure was one of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s pets, Lester the pig. Lester came to stay with the family, and his exemplary table manners showed their child that if a pig could eat without making a mess, then a boy certainly could, too.
Sometimes I wish that there was a Mrs. Piggle Wiggle cure for dawdling at the table. My daughter will take an hour to eat something that should only take her five minutes to consume. If Mrs. Piggle Wiggle were around, she could tell me the best way to get my daughter to eat her food and have a litle time to play before she has to go to bed. If Mrs. Piggle Wiggle were around, my daughter would understand why I want her to eat dinner in a timely fashion, and she’d be happy to eat her dinner before 8 PM.
As it is, no matter how much I explain, cajole, or raise my voice, she just kicks her dangling feet and takes her sweet time. And she doesn’t appreciate my chart.
Ah, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, if only you were here.