Some people have baby showers, and some people have book parties, but for The Double-Daring Book for Girls, a special kind of book shower has been organized, during which bloggers will write about activities they tried from The Double-Daring Book for Girls and challenge you (yes, you!) to best their results.
Well, we spent a lot of time trying to decide what to do. We’ve been reading The Double-Daring Book closely since it arrived in our house, because even though no young girls live here, the book offers a lot of material and activities that interest all of us. We have been studying up on notable women (particularly the astronomers (p7), mathematicians, and scientists (p109)), amazing our friends with the math tricks (p198) and memorizing the list of Words to Impress (they do; p199). We have considered dyeing our hair with Kool-Aid (p48; a pink-haired cousin is inspirational in this regard, though she didn’t use fruit juice mix), read the section on swimming (p250) , and practiced the steps of the Cotton-Eyed Joe (p192).
It was hard to choose a challenge, however. At first, Ben wanted to challenge someone to become President of the United States (p153), but then remembered that he actually likes our current president and didn’t want to risk any change in the White House. He wanted to make a lava lamp (p57) — and we will — but that doesn’t seem like a competitive activity. We could summon you all to a Private Eye Challenge (p177) and see if you can figure out our secrets, but that is actually kind of creepy.
Then we found it. Page 120. Pogo Sticks. If you recall, Santa brought Ben a pogo stick two years ago, and to say we have not really mastered it yet is an understatement. So we turned to page 120 and read:
An old story has it that a man traveled to Burma (which is now called Myanmar), where he met a farmer’s daughter named Pogo. Pogo’s family was poor, and she had no shoes. She liked to visit the local Buddhist temple each day, but the road was muddy. So her father built her a bouncing stick, and called it a “Pogo” after his shoeless daughter. Considering the fact that pogo sticks work terribly on mud and much better on hard asphalt and concrete, the story seems unlikely. What is true is that, in 1919, George Hansburg patented the pogo stick in the United States. In the 1920s, pogo sticks became a huge craze, with chorus-line girls in New York performing pogo stick shows on stage.
I would love to see a chorus line of pogo stickers someday. But in the meantime, we read the careful directions and set out in the rain. Ben managed three hops, Eli two, and both are eager to keep trying until they can pogo up and down the block. Can you beat that?!