I’ve written this brief How-To guide for my fellow fanatics, who have or plan to have kids, to raise their human children as hobbits.
Why, you ask? I loved The Hobbit before I even read it. It was like I was born under the enchantment of its magical spell. Reading it in my teens only confirmed for me that, deep in my heart, I too was indeed a hobbit. Some people could use some pointers. Hence…
Feetsies and Earsies
Kids start out short and dumpy, so you’ve already got a head start on raising your child as a hobbit. However, there are two differences in humans that will need to be addressed. Firstly, they’re not likely to start out with big hairy feet. Let’s face it, they may never get there. Fear not! Behold: hobbit slippers.
Next. Though their baby ears may look like wads of sat-on chewing gum, they probably won’t be pointed. So, when your kid is a little older, you can buy and attach glue-on ears. It’s best to do so under the cloak of night, when they’re sleeping. Much easier that way. Trust me.
Best to get the toy version of any edged weapon.
Costume shops can take care of any wardrobe needs these days, but really, you don’t need to pay the price of armor forged by dwarves and made of a precious elven metal with a name that sounds like a bird achieving climax (twuthrrreep). Kids grow out of stuff fast, even when they’re growing up as hobbits. Just tie a green or brown towel around ‘em like a cloak and be done with it. You needn’t worry about a bunch of prissy elves judging your child’s outfit, but steer clear of comic book shops; they’re loaded with nerds that’ll pelt your kid with 100-sided roleplaying dice for lack of authenticity.
Also, though pipe smoking among children is largely frowned upon these days, most party stores sell those cute little bubble pipes to fit the part. Plus, bubbles are kinda like magic, right?
Breakfasts All Day Long
This isn’t a How-To on proper kid nutrition. This is about shaping your kid into a mythological creature, people!
I ate “eggs and bac” for breakfast, lunch and dinner while I was savoring my leather-bound special editions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I think my mom would have been concerned, except for the fact that I was COOKING FOR MYSELF! Non-stop! Week after week! Sooooo… Yeah. She was gonna insist on cooking for me and be all worried about my arteries at age sixteen. Pffft!
You may need to use a little encouragement, though. If your kid doesn’t want third, fourth and fifth breakfast, you can do wonderful things with food camouflage. A food smiley face is always an easy gimmick. And when they’re babies, you can even try prepping them for sunny-side-ups with a glob of carrot in the middle of cauliflower puree. Breakfast of champions and ring-bearers!
During my time as a Middle-earthling, I learned to read and write in the ancient symbols of Dwarven runes… holy s##t! I’m just realizing what a phenomenal Gandalf the Geek I was! Okay. Maybe you should skip the runes if you want your kid to ever move out of the house. Or give you grandhobbits.
Bagginses keeps saying dis riddle. We thinks it does not means what Bagginses thinks it means.
Word puzzles are a must for bringing up any respectable halfling. Even Gollum, the shut-in of ages, knew that hobbitses are tricksy.
It seems like just a lame joke, but “Why did the chicken cross the road?” could actually be your little hobbit-achiever’s first step forward on the mysterious and squiggly path of riddles. Gradually increase difficulty as you challenge them. Put something in your pocket to tempt them on. You don’t need the Ring of Power, anything with a bit of brass or a squeaker will do.
You may even find you develop a taste for writing your own riddles, as I did. Here’s one of mine:
My mother always pauses,
but my father likes to stop.
I’m my mother on the bottom;
my father on the top.
What am I?
GIVE UP? SEE THE ANSWER
It’s best if you challenge your hobbit-to-be in the flicker of candlelight, but it’s not necessary. And you absolutely don’t have to write your own! Google ‘em. I just happen to have several books on riddles. And probably several issues, I’m discovering…
So! Even the smallest person can change the course of the future. So get started raising your child as a hobbit.
–Andy “Oakenbanana” Herald
NOTICE TO HARDCORE TOLKIENITES: Before any of you throw your heads back and bellow, “What right have YOU, mere mortal, to write of such things? And why didn’t you work in a reference to Galadriel!?!” Chill out! I have three reasons for you: my broad sword, my short sword and my stiletto dagger.
Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks… oh, just like us on Facebook, already!
Made with magic. And Photoshop.