It’s interesting; the things kids do to make a point. The younger the child, the more outrageous the act, and if the child be a boy, oh, brother, all bets are off! Have you ever seen a toddler clear a table of items, dropping them one by one to the floor? He or she just has to do that, in order to prove to themselves that everything will, in fact, fall.
Well, some years back, two of my brothers did just that. However, they were not toddlers!
This was before I was born, I think, or maybe I was an infant. At any rate, I can only relate the details as they were told to me. One night, my mother and father went out for the evening. They were visiting friends or family, or whatever, and they left the boys in the care of a sitter. Two of my brothers, I shall withhold their names to protect myself from acts of retribution, went up to their room to play. They were old enough to be loathed at the prospect of being watched over, and young enough to think girls were aliens and unworthy of attention. At some point, they grew bored with the game they were playing, and one of them got the bright idea of tossing something, I think it was a baseball), out the window.
They found watching the ball hurtle to the ground most amusing.
That was all the incentive they needed! After that, baseball gloves, skates, shoes, clothes, games, toys, and virtually everything else in the room followed; at least everything that would fit through the window. Meanwhile, down in the living room, the sitter was otherwise occupied. No, she didn’t have a date over, my parents were totally against such things and this was back when such an act could get you in big trouble; she was either watching TV or watching me, possible both. The dining room was next to the living room and directly under my brothers’ room, and the far dining room window afforded a great view of the “rain of objects.” It took a while, but she finally caught sight of some of the items.
Heading upstairs, she checked things out, and learned of my brothers’ activity. She was dumbstruck; she had no idea how to handle the situation. I guess they didn’t cover that scenario at Babysitter School. So, she left the boys to their own devices, and returned to caring for me. Later, when my parents returned home, she related the events of the evening to them. To say my mother was also dumbstruck would be an understatement! She raced upstairs, threw open the door, and found the two of them asleep on bare mattresses on the floor. Yeah, they’d even thrown their pillows and sheets out the window.
My parents asked the girl why she didn’t stop them. She explained about being unprepared for such an act, and unsure as to what to do. Well, my mother wasn’t unsure, and she didn’t waste time standing around, she acted! The punishment she meted out was swift and severe. The next day, the boys were required to restore their room to its former state.
Their little flirtation with science experiments at home was ended.
Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.
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