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Hello, and welcome to the third stop on the increasingly annoying "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard" virtual book tour! My name's Greg Knauss, and I think I speak for everyone when I say, "Isn't this awfully yellow for simple jaundice? I mean, I think we're in carotenemia territory here. You really should see a doctor."

"Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard" -- fresh from the oven at So New Media -- is an epic work, a towering achievement, a masterpiece, the kind of literary miracle that only comes along once in a lifetime, once in a century. Or, alternately, it's a bunch of stories about kids that originally appeared on An Entirely Other Day. I'm not sure because I haven't actually read it yet.

For today's reading, I'd like to excerpt one of the four previously unpublished essays that make "Rainy Day Fun and Games" a must-have for Knauss completists, along with a lock of my hair and a DNA sample harvested from the back seat of my car. And don't think I don't know you have that, you freak.

One thing you notice as a parent -- doubly so if you're a total bastard -- is that perhaps the best part of having kids is playing with them. Not playing together with them, but with them, like you play with Legos or terrified neighborhood cats. You can do amazing things with a child, most of which will earn you friends at a party. They're not so much children as toys.

Before I was a father, I was utterly terrified of infants. It was my suspicion that they broke easily, and then I would have to them buy them. I refused countless offers from friends to old their children, because I knew that once I got a baby in my arms, it would be impossible not to motion for someone to go deep and chuck the little bugger out to them.

But since my boys were born, I've learned that kids don't break easily and you can pretty much toss them around willy-nilly. If anybody other than Children's Protective Services is reading, rough-housing is one of the sublime, bruising pleasures of having children.

But, unexpectedly, playing with your kids -- running around, falling over, bumping into things -- is only a small part of the joy of playing with your kids. The real fun comes when you start to toy with their minds.

Yes, no childhood is complete without just a dash of "The Manchurian Candidate." You never know when you're going to need someone assassinated, and you might as well start preparing now.

Are there any questions, beyond "How could you, you monster?"

Eric Backlund asks: I am a father of four children, ages six, four, two and one. My wife and I recently found out we are expecting number five, due in September. Should I order and read your book? Or, have I already lived it?

You've already lived it, Eric, three or four times over. You'd be better off using the money to, oh, flee the country. Besides -- extrapolating from what my house is like -- the book would simply disappear instantly upon arriving, sucked up into the chaos. You'd only get to read it three years from now, when you find it stuck to the side of your youngest's head with a fruit roll-up.

If you -- yes, you there, the one with your finger up your nose -- have a question, please send it to greg@eod.com, and I'll answer it tomorrow, when this traveling circus rolls into Bloody Hell. Thanks for stopping by!