I promised to write Calvin's Falling Down the Stairs stories yesterday. But between working extra in order to get off early today for Middle Child's 12th birthday party, cleaning because my parents came today (ok, all I really did was mop and pick up, you can't really call that cleaning), finishing several loads of laundry, and being whisked away for a surprise 16th Anniversary evening of Dinner and a Play, I didn't even have time to check me emails. And since I'm not allowed to blog at work I just couldn't fit it into my schedule. So today I am bringing those stories front and center for everyone's laughing pleasure.
When Calvin was younger he would get in trouble with me. Who knows what the cause was; he was young, he was my first and I felt the need to quash every undesirable bad behavior, we are both oldest children and butt heads, he was a young boy and did things he knew was not right (nothing serious), he liked to annoy his brothers, and he liked to fight me on almost every front. Nevertheless we would butt heads on occasion. Usually we butted heads for a bit and then he saw the light and did what he was supposed to do.
But on occasion he would not see the light and would work himself into a frenzy. A full-fledged psychotic breakdown. Well I guess it wouldn't be a complete breakdown because we never had to commit the poor kid, but he would get pretty worked up. When he got this way he needed a "Time Out" from life. Not a "Sit-In-the-Corner-Time-Out" but a "Go-To-Your-Room-and-Chill-Time-Out." For some reason he felt being sent to his room to relax was the equivalent of being sent to a Siberian Work Prison. As soon as his room was mentioned he instantly became the most repentant person on the face of this earth. He would plead and beg and implore to not go to his room. He would have tears streaming from his crazed eyes from the Angry Confrontation while he informed me that he was no longer upset.
I knew better. I knew he needed a 15 minute break to catch his breath and calm down and he would come back up with that goofy grin on his face and the world would be all sunshine again. He just needed a short break. For some reason he couldn't see that. He thought he would be just fine. He would still be so worked up that within a couple pleadings he would be crying again. And occasionally I would lose my cool and shout "Get to your room now!"
Finally he would surrender and head down to his room. But remember, he is worked up into quite the frenzy. He would head down the stairs. Normal, modern-day, widish, straight, 12, stairs. It would never fail. He would Fall Down the Stairs. Not the way a normal kid would fall down the stairs. He would start by walking sideways, still begging to not have to go, then he would trip and start falling. He would fall head over heels, he would slip and slide, he would contort and twist his way down the stairs. And most likely he would wrap one of his feet up into the railing and try to tell me his leg was broken. He would cry and lament and weep that he was Hurt.
The first few times this happened I would race to his side and pick him up. I would feel sorry for him and let him back up into the Real World. But then I became wise to his antics. I realized it was another ploy to get out of being sent to his room. I soon became numb to his cries. I would completely ignore him except for on occasion for when it went on too long and I had to remind him to "Get to Your Room!"
One time Olaf was home to witness his tirade. As he was lying on the stairs claiming to be hurt Olaf almost fell for the scheme. As Olaf told me, "He might really be hurt!" I sternly told him to not go anywhere near the stairs if he wanted to stay in this house. After he realized it was part of Calvin's game he understood, but I will never forget his first time.
The best part was after Calvin got to his room, Baby would head to the top of the stairs with broom in hand. He would shake the broom and yell down the stairs in Baby Talk. This always broke the tension upstairs and made us laugh. After Calvin did his penance and was in a happy mood again he was allowed back into the Real World and everything was sunshiny once again.