...that you can feel sore muscles the next day, you know it was a Good Time.
The week before last, I had a huge BBQ at my house for all my relatives, to tell them thank you so much for helping with the move last January (it was too cold to BBQ then!). I served hot dogs and hamburgers and macaroni salad and chips and drinks to 40-some-odd people of all shapes and ages - I had wanted to do steaks, but the budget just wouldn't allow it.
Anyway, I had been cracking the whip over the kids for a few days beforehand, trying to get things clean and ready. I even took the Friday before off from work, so that I could be home to supervise (I think lots of TV gets watched and lots of internet gets surfed, but not much actual chores get done, when I am not there....).
A month or so ago, I bought a storage rack that I intend to put down in my storage room, when I finally get it all cleaned out and organized. However, up until the day before the big BBQ, the unassembled storage rack was just hanging out in my laundry room, impeding the doorway. I figured I needed to take it downstairs to it's new home in the basement, and I was mentally groaning at the thought of carrying that awkward, heavy box down the stairs.
Then, inspiration struck.
"Oh, Mychael!" I called in my best, cheery voice.
"What?" She was immediately suspicious - I don't understand why.
"Do you want to ride the box down the basement stairs, like a sled?" I asked her.
With a look of uncertainty on her face, she declined.
"Oh, c'mon!" I pleaded. "It will be fun!"
More sure of herself now, she firmly said no.
"Why?" I asked. I may have even whined it - I don't remember.
"Because!! I'm scared I'll get hurt!" she said.
Bretten, of course, overheard this (there is not a thing that goes on in that house that that kid is not aware of!) and immediately volunteered. "I'll do it! I'll do it!"
Then the doubts (or perhaps sanity?) crept in: "What if I crash?" she asked.
"Well," I said, thinking quickly. "We'll put a bunch of pillows down at the foot of the stairs so you can land in them!"
The twins and I quickly gathered piillows from all the bedrooms, plus the couches and chairs in the family room, and piled them deep at the bottom of the stairs to the basement. Then, we maneuvered the sled/box into position at the top of the stairs. I ran to get my camera, and Mychael and I sat down in the basement hallway just beyond the crash pad. We shouted encouragement.
"Go! Go! C'mon!! Do it!" we yelled.
Bretten would scoot up to the edge, almost to the point of no return. Then she'd chicken out. "Wait, wait, wait. I can't do this. I'm scared!"
And Mychael, no doubt educated by years of serious cartoon-watching, intoned: "Mission status: Abort! Abort!"
And the giggles, which had merely been the occasional snort up until now, erupted full blast.
After going back and forth for a bit, with Mychael and I encouraging Bretten to just go, and Bretten teasing us by coming soooo close but ultimately declining to launch, Bretten finally talked Mychael into going down with her.
"Wait a minute!" Mychael said. "What if we bump heads?"
Having too much fun to give up now, I said, "Well, wear a helmet!"
So the adventure was put on pause while Mychael ran out to the garage to get her bike helmet.
With suitable (that's questionable!) safety gear now, the girls sat on the box at the top of the stairs, while I sat at the bottom, camera at the ready. While Bretten was saying, "OK, on the count of three: ready? One..." Mychael gave a mission status update:
"Mission status: countdown sequence initiated!"
And finally, the event that started out as a joke and which, quite frankly, I thought might never actually happen, happened.
Bretten said three, they pushed off, and down the stairs they came, box and all.
Mychael bailed half-way and hung on the railing before sprawling out on the stairs. The box made it another quarter of the way before running into the wall and coming to rest, while Bretten made a dive for the pillow-filled landing pit.
Mission status? Epic fail!
Of course we were all laughing so hard, we could barely breathe. If I had had a drink, it for sure would've been coming out my nose.
As we were all holding our sides from laughing so hard, Cydanie came to the top of the stairs to see what was going on. "What's all that racket about?" she demanded. We were laughing too hard to tell her, but I think the photos explain it all:
Sorry if they're a little blurry. I was laughing so hard when I took them, that my stomach hurt the next day....
Martin Luther King Day
5 weeks ago