My wife had some alone time (AKA grocery shopping) earlier this week. That left me at home with the three boys for the evening. The boys immediately started asking to play the Game Cube. “Spend some time outside first, and then you can play Game Cube while I give Gamma his bath.” was my reply.
We all went outside. Alpha and Beta went straight to the trampoline, and I put Gamma in the the gravel pit. I set about my spring chore of spreading crushed rock over the driveway (stay tuned for an upcoming blog post).
Alpha and Beta can play happily on the trampoline for at least 45 minutes, provided no one gets hurt or needs a potty break. Today, however, they saw that I wasn’t doing anything that couldn’t be interrupted and called me over to the trampoline to play a game.
I was unaware of any games for the trampoline, so I asked “What game?”
“The monster-under-the-trampoline game!”
Of course…have they been reading the fairy tales book again?
“You can be the monster. You get under the trampoline and then you pop your head up to our feet and try to make us jump.”
That certainly does sound fun for those on the top side of the trampoline, but you can’t just tell your kids no. So I had to break it to them gently that the “monster-under-the-trampoline game” was not a good idea.
It sounded like this: “That might hurt my head. How about if I lie on my back under the trampoline and kick you up in the air with my feet instead?”
And then I added “Hey, what’s this game called?” They each shouted undecipherable phrases, mostly involving baby sounds such as kah, koo, and gwah. But then Alpha started calling it the “bouncy-monster game” and that’s the one that stuck. So let it be written.
(Fifty internet points for you if you mentally added “so let it be done” after that last sentence.)
My contribution for the name of the game was “Something we do when mom isn’t home” but that doesn’t flow as well as “bouncy monster”.
So that’s what we did – I lay on my back with my feet on the underside of the trampoline. It’s the perfect height for that. I bounced the trampoline with my legs while they ran around and tried not to fall.
After a little bit of that, they thought it would be more fun to stand right next to my feet and just be launched into the air. That kind of worked, except their legs would buckle on lift-off and absorb most of the energy. So they collapsed more than flew.
Finally we figured out the best method – the launchee would sit right next to my feet and then I would kick. Note, be sure to tuck your feet and knees down low after kicking, since kids don’t like landing on them. And no, we didn’t find that out the hard way.
Then Gamma wandered over from the gravel pit – either he was done playing with the toys or he was full and couldn’t eat any more pea gravel. Or maybe he heard all the laughter and wanted in on whatever it was.
I certainly was not going to put the baby on the trampoline and launch him. I know better than that. He liked being under the trampoline with me. His problem is that he is almost as tall as the trampoline, so his hair brushes the underside of the trampoline as he walks. That’s fine as long as there are no boys bouncing on top of the trampoline, which there were so it wasn’t.
My next few minutes were spent launching the older boys while holding the baby down. No one got hurt, but Alpha and Beta were not being launched as well and Gamma was getting frustrated because he was being restricted.
“Bath time!” I announced, thus ending the Bouncy Monster game. Gamma likes baths, so he was happy. Alpha and Beta realized that meant Game Cube time, so they were happy. And I got to go inside and read a magazine article or two, so I was happy.
Please note that I read the magazine with only one eye, as the other eye was busy watching the bathtub.
For man is born for trouble,As sparks fly upward.
This little article thingy was written by Some Guy sometime around 5:30 pm and has been carefully placed in the Family category.