I Don't Teach Them Anything They Know

When we were in Salt Lake City a few weeks ago, walking around downtown, we passed a group of suited men. David dropped back to talk to my sister and me: "Did you see that guy that was with those other guys, walking out the door as we came in? The one in the suit?" Uh, no. We were busy talking about...stuff. David, completely undeterred at our lack of observation skills, continued, "He looked exactly like the former prime minister of Australia, John Howard." Wha...?!

I am sorry to admit that my sister and I laughed. Um, because we don't know who the current prime minister of Australia is, let alone the former one. Um, maybe we don't even know Australia has a prime minister. Let alone what he looks like. We also laughed because if there was ever a person who would recognize the former prime minister of Australia completely out of context and know his name as well as various and sundry anecdotes from his prime ministry, and get as excited about him as some people might get about say, Tom Crazy Cruise, it would be my husband. It's from all the hobnobbing he does with these types via the Drudge Report.

Anyway, when we got home, the husband googled the man and found that he was indeed in Salt Lake at the same time we were. Can you imagine? We were in the presence of the former prime minister of Australia!!! Can you believe our brush with celebrity and our complete unknowingness? (That was sarcasm...) Just so you don't repeat the same mistake, I am posting here, a picture of John Howard, former prime minister of Australia. So that when he walks by you someday, you don't unwittingly fail to recognize him. Don't say I never helped you out.


In another tale of random knowledge, I put on my amber necklace that David brought back from Moldova a couple years ago. I love it. My husband has exceptional taste in jewelry. He says he doesn't buy it for me very often because I don't wear it very often. Hmmm. Well, that's how this conversation started out - someone pulling on my somewhat fragile amber necklace (the reason I don't wear jewelry much) and David telling them to be careful, it's fragile, it will break, just look at it because it is pretty. At which point Calvin interjected: "Yeah, and it's made from tree sap from when there were dinosaurs on the earth." So...I think, "Amber," and my child thinks, "Rock hard tree sap from dinosaur times." Love that necklace.


A while back I was telling someone that Charlie knows how to go up the stairs but doesn't know how to go down, so he climbs to the top and hollers for me to come get him. Someone - either my grandma or my mom - asked if I had shown him how to turn around and come down on his tummy. I told them that no, I enjoy traipsing up the stairs eighty-nine billion times a day to bring the child down. And when I'm not doing that, I rather like the thunk, thunk, thunk scream sound of the baby falling down the stairs before I can catch him - I think that's a good learning experience for all of us.

The falling thing has only happened twice, and I was right there to get him, moving in slow motion with that deep, low, "nooooooooooooooooo...." coming out of my mouth as my hands reach for him and my cheeks flap unnaturally behind my face because I'm moving so fast but time is going so slow and the baby is falling and crying and I'm getting him but not soon enough for the miraculous save...Then I start crying harder than the baby.

Anyway, I just want to say that most times I follow him right up. And yes, I have tried showing him how to turn around and come down safely, but he wants none of that. (My other two learned really quickly and liked sliding on their tummies once they learned.) We have tried to deter him from the stairs, but he crawls faster and more recklessly when we come after him, which makes it less safe. We haven't installed gates because we are moving soon and there is a railing in the way at the height of the gate so it would involved a lot more construction than we want to do. Plus, our other boys are likely to injure themselves jumping over messing with gates on the stairs. Charlie just prefers to climb up to the top and holler for me to come get him. So I comply.

When we are upstairs, he likes to sit on the edge of the top of the stairs and toss things down, just to see what happens to objects when they go down the stairs. He drops his paci, he brings stuffed animals and blocks from the boys' room and throws them. He leans, leans, leans over to see how far they go bouncing down. Then yells because he can't reach his paci - or whatever he tossed overboard - and needs someone to retrieve it for him.

The other morning, he got a big toy truck, rolled it to the top of the stairs and pushed it, sideways, off the first step. Since it wasn't on its wheels, it stopped at the second step with an anticlimatic thunk. And Charlie - I'm not joking - sat there, looked at it, and harumphed in dissappointment. He pulled the truck back by its window, set it up properly on its wheels and pushed it as hard as he could. And it went rolling, bouncing, banging, crashing all the way down to the middle landing. Charlie looked at it and looked at his dad (who was supervising this experiment in physics) and squealed, laughing and clapping.

And so now he knows: Other things going down the stairs by themselves - awesome. Me going down the stairs by myself - not so awesome; makes mom cry. That, my friends, is useful information. And he figured it all out on his own.


S said...

Your husband has some mad skilz. This dude was in a crowd of men!!! I miss SLC I wanna go for a visit, was it lovely? RED has bruises on her spine from stairs. She hops down on her bottom kinda rough, hitting her back often. But no way will she ask for help its against the code of RULER.

Aimee said...

Don't feel bad about not knowing these political celebrities. I feel they must appreciate not everyone mobbing them for their autographs. Let's just say you did pass by Tom Cruise...would you actually go up to him? Ask for an autograph? Take his photo? Well, I wouldn't, and not just because he is crazy. I figure I'd be the cool citizen who just let him "be." At least you know what the Drudge Report is...I just had to ask my husband about it.

Gabriela said...

that's hilarious about the former prime minister of Austrailia. I would have been clue-less!

Pedro hasn't discovered throwing things down the stairs. The water cooler? Now that's another story.

Are you getting ready to leave yet?

someone else said...

As always, the stories of your little guys set me to laughing. I can just imagine Charlie doing the truck thing.

Anonymous said...

Love the description of you and Charlie on the stairs. I've watched D fall down the stairs twice. I'm a bad mom, I didn't cry. One time it was kind of funny because it really was in slow motion and his expression was pretty funny.

NExtly, I have BEEN there when David has said things like "the former prime minister of Australia" things. It always makes me laugh. To be sure, sir.

Danyo also likes to throw things down the stairs. it's ever so annoying. He goes up stairs and down stairs the same position. See if Charlie's interested. He started going up them at about 9 months and then at 10-11 months when he was just starting to walk, he decided he could go down the stairs upright, like us. Yeah, didn't work out so well for him.

Even just today, I caught him trying to reach for the bannister.