"Lucky Cade," said Mom as she dashed into his room. "You've been accepted in the Ready to Start Pre-Kindergarten program sponsored by Aera Energy.

Cade raised his eyebrows. "You mean I got to go to school before I go to school?" he said, cutting a mean cartwheel on top of his bed.

Bryce, his ten-year-old sister, said, "Lucky you. Sounds like you're going to Kindergarten Boot Camp." She leaned over and ruffled his spiked hair. His three-year-old brother, Zane, just grinned.

"There was a waiting list and only room for 120 children," Mom explained. You'll go from 8 until 11:30 for five weeks."

"Yuck," Cade said, tossing his ball to Bryce, while Zane scrambled to catch it. "I won't know anyone."

"Parker, your friend from pre-school will be there and some others you know. You'll make new friends, too."

Cade looked skeptical as he rummaged through his closet searching for his black top that went with his black pants.

"Cade," Mom sounded dismayed. "Your black top is dirty. Here, wear your gray top--gray and black look nice together."

"No way," his bright blue eyes sparkled as he stomped his foot. "I'll wear my browns instead."

Cade plunged through the closet again. Pulling out his brown pants. But when he located his brown top, it wasn't a perfect match.

"What to do?" he wondered. Then a brilliant idea popped into his head. Making sure Mom was in the kitchen, he crept into the shower where she kept the brown stuff she squeezed onto her hair after a shampoo. The color on the bottle looked just like the color of his brown pants.

"Way cool," he said, spreading his top out on the bathroom floor. He was ready to squirt the hair color onto it, when Mom burst in and frantically yelled, "NO!"

"Oh, Cade, whatever will I do with you?" she said, grabbing the bottle. "This is for hair and would ruin your shirt. Here is your red top and the matching pants." She shook her head as she grabbed the bottle.

When Cade bounced in from his first day at the Pre-K program, he stomped into the kitchen and climbed onto his favorite stool. "Mom," he shouted, "Baylee is really cute, and she is scared of crawly things that live in the ocean." Cade bent his fingers to look like clams. "I like to scare her, cause when I do, my new friend, Ryan, smiles BIG."

Mom laughed, "Oh Cade, you are too much, but I'm sure you're learning a lot."

"But, I already know how to write my name. My last name is really long. I wish I were Mr. Wang's son, cause Wang is a short name."

"Oh, my goodness," Mom uttered.

"And, I know all 29 letters of the alphabet."

"Cade! There are only 26 letters."

He grinned. "I know, but I added three extra zzz's like in cartoons, when someone's snoozing—you know, 'zzz.'" He scooted across the floor to give Max, his dog, a tummy rub.

"Gotta find my Crocs now."

Mom shook her head. "You said Mrs. Lessley told the class they couldn't WEAR Crocs to school."

Cade snickered. "But, she didn't say we couldn't BRING them, and I need that big shoe box from the garage."

Mom's eyes widened. "Whatever for?"

Cade got his impish look. "Now for the Dial soap," he muttered as he passed through the bathroom cupboard.

The door to his room was closed. Mom heard strange sounds coming from there. At last, Cade came out carrying the shoe box with the lid on it. One end of the box was missing.

"What now?" Mom's eyes widened.

"I'm going to tell Baylee I have a baby crocodile in there and have her close her eyes and put her hand in the box to touch it. There are wiggly, gummy worms inside the Croc that feel gushy, and so, I'm truthful. I added a bar of Dial, so there really is a Croc-a-Dial in the box!"

"Oh, Cade," Mom said, "you'll have me circling the drain." She stumbled towards the shelf where she kept the aspirin.

Cade grinned his "IMP" grin as he began to think up his next joke.

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