Sunday, January 07, 2007

Jiminy Cricket

This morning, we finally took down our Christmas tree and accoutrements, sparse though they were. We'd put off the deed for a week, and for good reason: it's dangerous business to undecorate. Don't believe me? Well, ask my sister Sarah, who might be willing to share her tale of woe and warning as soon as her head stops spinning from her current dose of painkillers. It ain't pretty, people.

Although we were able to avoid any serious injuries at our house, we did sustain minor losses. To begin with, Carter was heartbroken when Trey announced his plans to denude our Charlie Brown tree, and begged for clemency. I had a momentary vision of him encouraging the wilted branches to bloom and flourish, a la Fern and Wilbur, but Trey wisely stepped in with some bit about preserving the specialness of Christmastime. I missed the finer talking points, but Carter was placated and the work continued.

Ornaments, stockings and such were finally boxed and stacked and ready to return to the black hole we call a garage, so we turned our attention to going out for lunch. I was in the bathroom, brushing my teeth, when I heard an unusual sort of commotion. Lo and behold, Carter and Spencer had (collectively, it seems) pushed a side table from the front room to the door of Carter's room. An impressive feat, yes, but far from the most interesting activity in this milieu.

Beneath the table, they were crouched over a yellowed cardboard box of inexpensive glass ornaments that Trey and I have had for at least 15 years. Spencer was laughing as Carter, wielding a tiny toy hammer, gleefully SMASHED EACH ONE OF THE ORNAMENTS.

It took a full minute for me to rehinge my jaw so I could commence to yelling. In short order, Trey was by my side, equally stunned and noisy. Incredibly, the boys were even more amused at our red faces and raised voices. Trey corralled Spencer and the wide-eyed, innocent Katie away from the mess and, muttering under his breath, cranked up the vacuum as I escorted Carter to a quiet corner of the house so we could have a little chat.

Together, we reviewed the situation. He struggled to control his mirth as I explained the sentimental value of the ornaments, the potentially permanent relocation of his tiny hammer to Toy Siberia and the very serious dangers presented by broken glass.

Passing through the room, Trey said, "Tell him about your foot." So I showed Carter the Frankenstein-like scar on my right foot and told him that, when I was 17, a piece of glass had cut my foot so badly that I'd needed stitches and THREE shots. The mixture of disgust and awe on his face told me the story had worked its magic, so I filed it away for future use as a cautionary tale against teenage drinking.

A new thought came to me: this could be the perfect opportunity for me to teach him about conscience. "You know, Carter," I explained, "we all have a little voice inside that tries to stop us when we're doing something we shouldn't be doing. Do you know what I'm talking about?" I asked him. He nodded slightly, but looked uncertain. I tried again.

"When you were smashing those ornaments into broken bits, did you hear a little voice inside your tummy say, 'Carter, this is a bad choice?'"

He assumed a serious expression for just a second, then brightened immediately. "I do have a voice in my tummy! It says 'lion.'"

And so we save the discussion of moral precepts for another day.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


"..escorted to a quiet corner of the house." Honey please,
I L-O-V-E Y-O-U Franklins!
Carter's voice said he does have a voice and it says LION!!!! All I have to say is that I am so glad Katie wasn't the culprit this time.

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love, love, love this story.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HILARIOUS!! Sorry bout the ornaments but you gotta admit, they are devious little creatures. As promised, I'm forwarding you a copy of the poem I wrote today -- "Ode to Vicodin," which was inspired by my fall over the weekend . . for those of you who may be unaware (although this is highly unlikely, as I *know* my sister doesn't like to let stories of woe go untold), I was in the attic putting away Christmas boxes, when I slipped and fell THROUGH the sheetrock to the garage floor, which is a nice 8 foot drop (amazingly nothing was broken, just a sprained foot and bruised arm & ego.) Here ya go:

Ode To Vicodin
by Sarah M. Hazel

You make me sleepy, you make things blurry
Sometimes you make me feel my tongue is furry.
You remind me that danger lurked in the attic
And now I lay motionless, somewhat static.
You take away the pain that throbs in my toes,
And bring on strange dreams whenever I doze.
Because of you I don't have to work,
That, for sure, is a definite perk.
Sadly only six pills remain,
After that, I'll have to use OTC to take away the pain.
Until that time I plan to enjoy,
the naps and the numbness, o what a joy!
Vicodin, vicodin, you're only there when I'm sickly,
Now I understand why you are so darn addicting!


7:05 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Ladies and gentlemen, my sister: a modern-day Anne Bradstreet.

Just for the record, little sister, I did stay mum about the details of your injury. This prompted the following call from Shigeta late last night: "SarahHazel fell through the FLOOR?!?"

But since you opened the door, let me just state for the record that YOU ARE SUPERWOMAN. Or at the very least, Isis. Because after you plunged through the floor of the attic, you HUNG ON TO THE RAFTERS and tried to PULL YOURSELF BACK UP. I am stunned. And then... THEN! you dragged yourself back to the house to call for help.

Can I please have an amen for my sister Sarah? Standing, clapping!

11:53 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

hilARious! Sounds like an episode of "My House, My Family."

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can assure you it was nowhere near that glamorous . .. I'm pretty sure the thoughts running through my head were "OH MY F**KING GOD!" I doubt that denotes any kind of heroic quality. And it was more of a useless dangle for those few seconds that I was hanging from the rafters (who knew I would ever be able to say that in a literal sense??), with the dog watching me like I was a crazy woman (and then making a run for it once I fell to the floor in a big heap). I had to call him back before he took off for freedom, and he has been slinking around me ever since! I am convinced that had Cleo the Wonder Cat been present, she would've put on a much better show of concern and rushed to my rescue! (Mom can attest to this, I'm sure!)

Much love,
Sister Sarah
p.s. and I'm back to work today, which translates to "No More Vicodin." I don't want your readers thinking I'm some insane pill-popper. But believe me, I know good stuff when I get it.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All hail Sarah Hazel, queen of I am woman, hear me roar. Right before I fall through the rafters. I bow down before your poetic and physical prowess!

6:08 PM  
Blogger Sugar Photography said... what is Sarah's blog addy?

and...can you make that a haiku? now THAT would be literary genius!

8:32 PM  
Blogger anniemcq said...

A LION in his tummy. That's priceless. Not to sound too much like Art Linkletter (and give away my age in the process... oh. wait. I just did. ohwell), kids say the darndest things.

And yes - Sister Sarah. You are a girl after my own heart. I'd tell you to get down with your bad self, but I guess you already did ;)

Thanks for the great laugh!

12:33 PM  

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