Here is what I am supposed to be doing: sleeping.
Here is what I am doing: standing on my bed on top of a tower that's made out of my folded-up pink dotty bedspread plus 4 pillows which is what I always do when I need to see my whole self in my rather teensy mirror and check if I look divine which, luckily, most of the time I do. Actually, that was what I was doing 2 minutes ago. But right when I was making positive sure that I was looking gorgeous in my tomorrow outfit, my tower collapsed every which way and I went flying and klonked my elbow and 1 cowgirl boot zwooped off my foot and crashed into my alarm clock and knocked it off my night table. That made a bouncing, clunking sound that made my mom holler up the stairs, "Lucy Rose Reilly! I REALLY hope your lights are OUT and your eyes are CLOSED."
I did not answer but I did think. What I thought was that since she was just HOPING and not actually EXPECTING, I could stay up for a few or maybe 13 more minutes, if I was quiet in the extreme. Usually I'm not one for stretching rules but I seriously needed 1 minute to put on my Washington Nationals sleeping shirt, which I just did, plus 12 more because I have to write all my thoughts in this deluxe book that my grandfather, who's named Pop, gave me on account of I'm starting 4th grade tomorrow. That's also why I want to look divine because I am planning to make an impression on my new teacher who I don't know 1 thing about except for her name and it's Mrs. Timony.
Pop gives me a fresh book whenever I have an occasion. It's always red on the outside with lines on the inside. Pop says that when you are an original thinker, and I am original in the extreme, you should write about your life and I do because I have the kind of life that is mostly hilarious. This new red book has sequins on it. Melonhead, who is my friend that's a boy but NOT a boyfriend, called it "girly."
I said, "Of course it is. Sequins are the exact thing that they put on movie star dresses so they can sparkle when they walk."
Melonhead rolled his eyeballs at that.
Here's what I am wearing on the first day of 4th:
1. My red cowgirl boots that my dad gave me that were made in the country of Brazil but he bought in the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, because that's where he lives.
2. A skirt that my Michigan grandma named Glamma sent me by Parcel Post. My mom says it's not the most appropriate for school on account of it's shiny pink and has a petticoat that makes it stick out, which is exactly the reason I love to wear it. Also because when I do twirls in that skirt, I feel confidence.
3. My orange T-shirt that's the same exact color as my hair.
4. My yellow bandana, of course.
If I had pierced ears like my absolutely greatest friend, Jonique McBee, I would look ultra-divine. Ultra means super and I learned it from my toothpaste tube and it's my Word of the Day. I'm collecting a vocabulary. Also palindromes, which are words that are the same backward as forward. Pop is one.
Now I am going to try to go to sleep but I will not be surprised if I stay awake until 3:27 AM in the morning because thinking about 4th grade is making my nerves feel like they are jangling. My outfit is lying on my floor next to my bed looking like a flat person with no head. I did that for organization.
This day started at the crack of 7:32 AM in the morning. Luckily, I am a speed dresser because at 7:38 AM there was knocking on the door and I had to slide down the banister for added quickness and when I opened it, there were Pop and Madam, who is my palindrome grandmother, and their maniac poodle named Gumbo, which is actually the name of a soup.
"We're here for the 1st Annual Back-to-School All-You-Can-Eat Family-Breakfast Extravaganza!" Pop said. He is one who loves an extravaganza. I am another one.
The other thing we go for is demonstrations. By the time my mom got downstairs Pop was doing egg juggling and singing a song to Madam called "Don't Go Bacon My Heart, You're Eggs-actly the Girl for Me." That song is homemade by him and it had us laughing our lips off but it made Gumbo leap around in a poodle panic and that made Pop drop an egg on his foot and it broke. The egg, not the foot. That egg caused Gumbo to think in his brain, which Pop says is not the biggest, "Free food!" So he started licking Pop's toes and leg and wouldn't stop until there was only shell left and Pop's leg was slimy with dog spit.
"Luckily raw eggs make dogs have shiny hair," Pop said.
"Maybe dog spit will make you have shiny leg hair," I said.
"That has been my lifelong dream," Pop said.
He might have been kidding.
Inside, Pop cooked pirate eggs while Madam cut up pineapple boats and my mom poured milk and I set the table. But then there was more knocking and more barking and my mom said, "It sounds like we'll need 2 more plates."
"Yippee-yi-yo, cowgirl!" I said. "I bet it's Jonique and Melonhead!"
"Adam," my grandmother said. She calls him Adam on account of that's his name.
Then my mom said, "That nickname has got to be bad for his self-esteem."
Those 2 ladies are in love with self-esteem.
"If Melonhead gets any more esteem he'll be the Number 1 know-it-all in America," I said.
Even though he's our friend, sometimes Melonhead acts like he's the only one in charge. Right away, one second after he came inside, he started rushing me like mad, saying, "Let's go-go-go, Lucy Rose!"
I think anybody would agree that is a bothersome attitude.
"We have time galore," I said.From the Hardcover edition.
Excerpted from Lucy Rose: Busy Like You Can't Believe by Katy Kelly; illustrated by Adam Rex. Copyright © 2006 by Katy Kelly. Excerpted by permission of Yearling, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.