Eddie was a serious boy. He also did not like change. In fact, his mother had nicknamed him Steady Eddie because he was so reliable. He ate the same oatmeal with applesauce for breakfast each day. He liked to keep his room neat and clean. He did things in the same order when he got ready for bed. His mother told him that he acted like he was 100 years old instead of 10!
Ms. Sparkle, Eddie's teacher, had a lively personality that posed a challenge for serious Eddie. Her splashy, bead-heavy wardrobe came straight out of the 1970s, which made her students giggle. She was full of creative ideas, which she inflicted gleefully on her young charges. This was her first year of teaching school, and she joked that her students were her guinea pigs. Eddie did not like being an experiment for this vivacious young teacher. She was too unpredictable.
Today was one of Eddie's strangest days with Ms. Sparkle. The class was celebrating Swap Ideas Day. Ms. Sparkle wanted each kid to write down something he or she did for fun on a rainy day. He stared at his red sneakers and tried to think of something, anything at all, to write down. Poor Eddie could not think of one single idea. He felt unsettled as though he was almost sick to his stomach but not quite.
Eddie thought that Beth, who sat in the next row, might be writing down a good idea. Maybe her idea could inspire Eddie to think of something. He wiggled to the side of his seat and glanced over at her paper. She had crazy, curly cursive, and she wrote with pink ink. "It is fun to paint your fingernails" is what she wrote on the paper. Eddie felt himself turning pink. He couldn't use any ideas about fingernails. In fact, anything written in pink ink probably would not work too well for Steady Eddie.
The minutes ticked by as slowly as the melting of a vast, icy glacier. Eddie did doodles around the edge of his paper so it looked as though he was doing something. The doodles came out well, but he still had no ideas.