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The Dangers of Running a Circus at Home

Don't try this at home! These are trained professionals, yadda yadda yadda. Or is it a bunch of yadda? My son and I decided to put that to the test. We thought we could do half the stuff we saw on teevee at home and decided it was time we had a little fun.

Boy did we ever go down the wrong path! Although the sword-swallowing, fire-breathing, and trapeze acts went off without a hitch, we ran out of luck when we got to our acrobatic stunts. We captured the spectacle on film, as a warning to children of all ages: don't try this at home means don't try this at home!

Look at me, mom! We thought it would be cool if we set up a teeter-totter and I jumped on the high end to catapult my son, Calvin, off the low end. He would flip through the air, fly out the front door, and land on the old mattress in the driveway. We had the video camera set up in the foyer to get a shot of Calvin as he shot through the air, a laughing, happy 5-year-old fulfulling his dream to be in a circus all his own. All I have to say is that it certainly seemed like a good idea at the time.

MAYDAY! MAYDAY! OK, so I miscalculated! I had no idea I hadda do such fancy math to do this kind of trick. Poor Calvin shot straight up and went through the ceiling. His head got kinda stuck, so I had to help him get down. Fortunately, I'm pretty tall, so I could aid my son in his time of crisis. My daughter, who took the pictures, wanted to help, but I told her that someone always had to take the pictures and a true journalist stays distant from her story. Raina is such a trooper and took a series of photos that ought to win the Pulitzer. Anyway, Calvin was wedged in there pretty good and kicked and screamed a lot. I told him to hold still for the camera and as he posed, I could work better at getting him down. Thank goodness Calvin loves to have his picture taken!

All over but the shouting... Fortunately, nothing was broken but his spirits. Calvin sure did holler, though. This was the last picture Raina took before mom showed up and started yelling at me. She said I woke her up out of her nap, but she wouldn't listen when I tried to explain it was Calvin who made all the noise. She grounded me from email for 3 months and I really learned my lesson from that. I can say I will definitely never "try this at home" again!

On a side note, "don't try this at home" did not carry over to repairing the hole in the ceiling, replacing all the ceiling fans in the house, painting several rooms, and mowing the yard. I'm not one to call my wife a hypocrite (she's got a powerful left jab), but I think if a standard is good for one kind of activity, it's good for all of them. A pity it didn't get applied universally in my household...