November 21, 2005

Just below the ceiling

A mysterious dent appeared one day in the downstairs hallway of my home. At first, I thought the dent was my imagination. I stepped back, looked at it from the front and then from the side. Yes, definitely, there was some kind of indentation in the wall. It looked like a footprint almost, but that didn’t make sense because the dent was high up on the wall, about level with my head.

That night when the kids were hanging out in the living room, I asked casually, "Anyone know how that dent got into the hallway?"

"What dent?" Boy in Black asked. He and First Extra exchanged a smile. Shaggy Hair smirked. Okay, there was something they all knew. I suspected it had something to do with Monster, the hike-and-seek game they play in total darkness, because the house does sustain a certain amount of damage when you've got teenagers racing around blindly, but I couldn't figure what would cause a dent that high up.

"Okay, come on, I want the story," I demanded. By now, I was really curious. I could not think of any activity that would cause such a peculiar dent.

"Well, it's been there for weeks," said Boy in Back, "And you never noticed."

"I WANT TO KNOW!"

"Well .... I think you should have to guess,” said Boy in Black. I could tell from his face that he was going to draw this out as long as possible.

He and FirstExtra began acting out scenarios that could have caused the dent. All the other kids, who were clearly in on the secret, chimed in. CoolKid and I were the only two who did not seem to know the origin of the dent.

One scenario involved the game Alligators, a game in which the kids have to move around the house without ever touching the floor. Boy in Black claimed that Older Neighbor Boy was standing on a chair when he fell against the wall, his hard head making a dent. That story did not ring true. I suspected Boy in Black was remembering a story Spouse had told him about the time he was little and excited about brand new sneakers (PF Flyers!) and ran so fast that he put his head through the wall.

Another story, acted out dramatically, involved all the boys teasing Blonde Niece until she threw her lacrosse ball right at the wall as hard as she could. The teasing part of the story seemed highly believable, but the angle seemed wrong. Blonde Niece does bring her lacrosse stick and ball here when she comes on Friday, but none of the kids are the type to throw a ball inside the house. The third story they told, long and complicated, involving water damage, was not believable either.

By now, I was eaten up with curiosity. I hate not knowing stuff. FirstExtra said, "Okay, if you sit on the couch and close your eyes, I will tell you the story." Impatiently, I sat on the couch while he told yet another story that did not match the dent. Teenagers drive me crazy.

"TELL ME THE REAL STORY!" I screamed.

"Okay, open your eyes," Boy in Black called. I walked into the hallway, and there he was, up above my head, his entire long body scrunched up against the ceiling, his legs bracing against the opposite wall, his foot right in the dent.

“It was a wicked nasty hiding spot for Monster," he said, grinning. "Skater Boy kept walking right underneath and never dreamed I was up here."

BoyUpHigh

Photo courtesy of Shaggy Hair Boy

31 comments:

peripateticpolarbear said...

I KNEW IT!!!!!
Really, I did!
And I think your kids should all work for the CIA or FBI or Charlie's Angels, or some group where they have to hide in impossible ways.

jo(e) said...

PPB: I think one of the reasons I didn't guess is because my legs are about a foot shorter than Boy in Black's ....

He's the only one tall enough to brace himself in that spot.

Yankee T said...

I love your kids.

delagar said...

I just love adolescents. They give me hope for the world.

Jane Dark said...

I would like to play Sardines with your brood; it would make for a very exciting evening.

halloweenlover said...

You are the nicest mom ever, because my mom would have just commenced the screaming.

Too funny! The picture just makes it.

liz said...

That is some photograph!

Your kids are fantastic. And they are VERY lucky that they have such a great mom.

will smama said...

Awesome! I have pictures of me at the same age doing exactly the same thing.

ccw said...

That is great!

I love that you took a picture rather than being mad about the wall. Every child needs someone like you in their life.

Jesse said...

as soon as I saw myster dent high up on a wall, I figured it was something to do with shimmy-ing up to the ceiling. I did that as a kid at my friends house.

I once left a body sized dent in a wall where I work, by jumping backwards into the wall. I hit exactly between 2 studs, and the drywal caved.

It was a wee bit embarassing.

Teri said...

Your kids are great. I'm sitting here chuckling over the whole thing...

Running2Ks said...

Holy moley that is impressive. How Spiderman! Very cool.

Friday Mom said...

Wow! So what caused the dent? His butt or his foot?

jo(e) said...

Friday Mom: It was his foot. He said he had to press pretty hard to have enough tension to keep himself up there for the whole game ....

Piece of Work said...

That is such a great story. YOur kids and their friends have so much fun at your house!

mc said...

"wicked nasty" -- i love it! and i love that they not only 'fessed up, but made a game out of telling you. you're one cool mom.

KLee said...

I could SO see my little brother doing this when we were little. So -- your kids been bitten by any radioactive spiders lately? :)

Leslee said...

I hope I can be half the mom you are when mine's a teenager!

Suzanne said...

Wow. I just love this story (not to mention the photo). You have the coolest kids!

corndog said...

So when is he going to run away to join Cirque du Soleil?

CarpeDM said...

It's been said but wow. What a great mom you are for not freaking out. And how flexible he is. And I love the fact that they made up all of these stories, very creative. Which isn't surprising, considering they're your children.

Star said...

I'm 41 (and a girl monkey as opposed to your boy monkey) and I did that when I was a kid, but I shimmied up using one leg on each wall. My mother used to ask who put the footprints on the wall She NEVER took pictures. NEVER!

Terminaldegree said...

This brings back memories of "climbing the walls" in my dorm room as a freshman...

Deb said...

When you wrote about throwing candy out the window for your kids' birthday parties, I thought you were pretty darned cool. But this story seals the deal: you are THE coolest mom in the world!

listmaker said...

I love your stories. You have to be the coolest mom ever; no wonder the extras love to spend time at your house.

Psycho Kitty said...

I. Love. Your. Family.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Last night I told my husband about this, both of us cracking up, and my almost-4-year-old overheard. He said, "Tell me a story about that." (When he doesn't understand something, he wants me to explain it as a story.) So he and I went into our hallway and I told how you all play Monster and your son hid by bracing against the walls, and I did it! I braced myself against our walls. For about 2 seconds. It's really hard! Your son is amazing!

lostinthemiddle said...

This is astonishing. Not in the least b/c you recognized it--even before you really knew--as a footprint.

Mieke said...

I can't wait for my boys to be old enough to do fun things like that. Your house sounds full of warmth and laughs.

RageyOne said...

Wow! That is too much!

Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

I think one reason you get such funny stories from your family is that you take teasing very well. You get flustered in an amusing way without actually becoming upset or hurt. It's a good skill to have, and it must require a lot of patience and energy.