Before I share this story with you, you need to visualize the main character. Imagine Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes, and imagine Opie Taylor, from the Andy Griffith Show. Mix ’em together. That’s Critter.
Critter came home from school yesterday PUMPED because he had impressed his schoolmates (read: girls) with his ability to do front flips, handsprings,one-handed and no-handed cartwheels at recess. He showed me several as soon as he got home from school, glowing from all the praise he’d received. He was SO HAPPY!
I promised them I’d do a back flip for them tomorrow, Mom.
That’s great, love!
I just have to figure out how to do it tonight, though.
Er, yes, good plan.
Can you help me ?
Honey, I don’t know how to do a back flip.
Haven’t you ever done it? Even way back when, when you were little?
If I did, love, my shrunken, aged brain does not recall it.
MOM! I told them I would do a backflip for them tomorrow! Will you at least watch me while I practice?
So Varmint and My Captain and I sat on the front steps of the house sipping lemonade, watching Critter hurl himself around the yard. Sometimes forwards, sometimes backwards, sometimes sideways, a constant blur of motion. But whenever he tried the elusive back flip, he landed on his behind, and I winced.
I suggested he try ending a round-off type cart-wheel and then bending immediately backwards into a bridge. It seemed like it might be a step in the right direction.
So he tried it several times, but kept falling down at the Bridge.
(I hate ‘Untils’)
He tried it again and landed catty-whompus on his forearm.
He winced in pain.
I winced in pain.
My Captain was off the steps in a flash.
The long and the short of it is that he cracked the bone in his forearm, and will be wearing a cast for several weeks.
He kept saying, “This is YOUR fault, Mom. This was YOUR idea. YOU did this to me.” And he believed it.
I told him it was bad luck and that there was no honor in blaming others for your own bad luck. Eventually, like after HOURS of pounding that concept into his peeved head, he begrudgingly accepted the idea that an accident is no one’s fault.
And I went to bed feeling very bad for my Critter. But at least I could tell myself that he wouldn’t hate me for the next cast-wearing six weeks or blame me for his misfortune.
This morning, I picked him up from school to take him to an appointment, and the first thing another parent said, laughingly, when they saw me was,
“I hear it was your fault.”
If anybody needs me, I’ll be hiding out from Children’s Services……