It's your typical afternoon in the Scott household. I'm taking a stab at preparing something edible in the kitchen, Elsa is writhing around on the floor, somewhere between semi-irritable and completely miserable, and Rollie is busily arranging our throw pillows so that they rest between the couch and the coffee table, forming a tunnel he can crawl through.
Soon I tire of Elsa's pathetic whines for food, sleep and attention, and so I sit her in her little activity tri-pod and ask Rollie to entertain her. Then I retreat to the kitchen, my back now to my children. I hear Elsa whine a few more times, but then her mood suddenly brightens, and she begins to chuckle.
"Thank you, Rollie," I call. "You're a good big brother."
His reply is a loud, "UGH!" and I hear the pitter-patter of feet on wood. Except we don't have a wooden floor.
I'm almost afraid to look.
When I do, I see Rollie, clad in just a diaper, standing atop our coffee table, Elsa looking on in total delight. Then he leaps over the tunnel he built and lands on his back, feet in the air, and yells, "Tah-DAH!" Elsa laughs and squeals, egging him on.
"Wow," I say. "That's quite a trick, Rol." I don't scold. I don't yell. How can I, really? I'm the big idiot who told a two-year-old to entertain his little sister. I didn't specify no acrobatics on the furniture, no flying leaps in your diaper, no attempts to defy gravity in the house. In fact, I pull out the video camera, because this is one of those moments that's even funnier in retrospect.
Then my husband comes home. Cue the lighting crash.
We're back in the kitchen, my husband and me, and in the middle of telling me about his day, my husband suddenly shouts, "Rollie, get down from there Right Now."
I don't have to look this time. I know damn well Rollie is doing the ol' jump-from-the-coffee-table-and-onto-the-couch trick.
Apparently, Rollie made it known that he wasn't about to get down from anywhere Right Now. Because my husband springs into action, striding across the kitchen and into the family room. Dadda means business.
"Rollie," my husband says, "we don't stand on the coffee table and we don't jump on the furniture. That's naughty. I know Momma doesn't let you do that, right?"
Rollie doesn't respond. I don't know if he's trying to protect me, or if he really doesn't know if jumping on the furniture falls under my umbrella of restricted behavior. And I hate to admit it--I really do--but I'm not about to turn myself in. All I do is stand in the kitchen and try like hell to not meet my son's questioning, confused eyes. And I make a mental note to delete the footage I took earlier, the proof that not only do I indeed allow Rollie to jump on the furniture, I encourage it.
Much to my relief, my husband drops the subject and starts horsing around with Rollie on the floor, and all is forgotten. By them, anyway. I'm left wondering just what is worse--letting Rollie hurl himself from various elevated surfaces in the house for my daughter's amusement, or not coming clean about it. Does that make me a bad mom, or a liar? I guess it makes me both. Well, at least I learned my lesson....Next time I tell Rollie to cheer up his sister, I'll add the clause: No Furniture Jumping--Dadda's almost home.