Some of you have read my posts of Rules My Mother Never Told Me I’d Need to Make, compiled on an as needed basis. For example, several years ago our then much smaller son came inside crying, his back and sides considerably scraped up. He and the sister closest to him in age had been reading about pulleys and they attempted to test the mechanics of the pulley system out by tying a rope around the boy’s waist, tossing the other end over a limb of the tree and then having the sister haul her brother up into the tree by means of pulling on the loose end of the rope. They even tried it out first without any load on the rope. It worked spectacularly well, so they did it again with the boy as the load. It again worked spectacularly well.
Right up until the moment when, the Boy indignantly informed me, “She DROPPED me!” Think of Winnie the Pooh falling from his balloon down through the gorse bushes, only in the Boy’s case, fortunately, it was a fall through the far less prickly lilac bush that is probably fifty years old.
“I didn’t mean to,” the sister explained earnestly. “I only let got of the rope for a second so I could get a better grip, and he fell.” She’d been able to do that when there was no load on the rope, you see, in their practice run.
And one of those rules was born on the spot:
Do not let your sister talk you into holding one end of the rope while she loops the middle around a very high branch in a tree, uses it as a pulley, and then hoists you up by pulling the other end of the rope.
If you talk your brother into holding one end of the rope while you loop the middle around a very high branch in a tree, use it as a pulley, and then hoist him up, do not let go of the rope. Not even to get a better grip.
Yesterday I was sitting peacefully on my bed where I may or may not have been watching a K-drama on my laptop, when I heard a thunderous crash from the upstairs Common Room, then the thunderous rumble of my two teens chasing each other down the stairs. The FYG reached me first. She flung herself on my bed, clutched my arm while giggling and screaming at the same time. Her brother came in immediately behind her and grabbed her feet and tried hauling her off the bed.
There was a confused jumble of breathless explanations, or some approximation of them. I won’t even try to duplicate that here. From her I got, “It’s not my fault! It was an accident! Hey, Mom’s the base, so I’m safe. Mo=-om, SAVE ME!”
From him I got, “Get over here, you coward. Accept the consequences! Mo-ommmmm, She DROPPED me, and you are harbouring a fugitive from justice!”
As most of our readers know, the Boy has had a growth explosion, and he is now a little over 6’1″ and still growing (that’s about 73 1/2 inches, or 186.69 centimeters). This sister is the tallest of our girls, and she’s 5′ 5″, or about 65 inches. So naturally I wondered how she dropped him.
He’d decided it would be cute to jump into her arms. She was both unprepared and not really well equipped for the task. Although she can pick him and tote him piggy back (a very funny thing to see), holding over 73 inches of squirming long and lanky in her arms just wasn’t something she was able to do. He leapt into the air and allegedly into her arms, but what, or rather, who, goes up inevitably comes down, as he learned.
Or rather, one hopes he learned it.