Picking up where I’ll take care of this! left off…
As my husband and I swiftly exchanged glances of approval, Phil disappeared into the living room and proceeded up the staircase. The screams of delight coming from the children, quickly flittered away as “Phil the Disciplinarian” arrived on the scene. We imagined that the kids were a little confused to have “Uncle Phil seeking to remediate the situation, however because they were obedient little children, we were not surprised that the shenanigans promptly ceased. Or at least we thought that they had.
Surprisingly, all was quiet for a puzzlingly long period of time. It wasn’t long before my husband and I were certain that they all had hopped into bed, said their prayers and wished Phil, “good night.” However, for some reason time was dragging on past what was normal. We were honestly beginning to worry that perhaps Phil too had fallen asleep up there with them. It was way too quiet! Then all of us sudden, everything changed.
The next sound that we heard was somewhat suspicious. So we quickly dropped the cards, and paused in an effort to listen in. At first the giggling was a bit restrained, perhaps in an effort to remain undiscovered. However when it all started to build to a noticeable crescendo, we all jumped out of our seats and ran frantically into the living room. The loudest laughter had been much too deep to have come from one our children.
Now, it’s important to understand that it wasn’t necessarily our hearing Phil say, “No! No! It’s my turn!” that ultimately caused us to freeze in our tracks. It was the sight of what he was doing that caused us to stop and take note. As it turned out, Phil was not asleep with the children. All of them had been up to no good. What we saw next is still indelibly burned into my memory. Uncle Phil was not to be outdone by the children.
If the kids wanted to have fun sliding down the steps, he was determined to show them exactly HOW it should be done! He had solicited their help and hijacked a mattress from one of their beds. Together they all dragged it over to the top of the staircase and Phil sat on it. Quite inventively, he then pulled the front of the mattress up and over his feet, toboggan style. At this point, we recognized that he wasn’t completely out of his mind, because we heard him insisting that this first try would be a solo run, for fear that one of the kids would be hurt. The adults acknowledged his sound judgement, and proceeded further into the living room, where we quickly sat down on the couch in order to witness his first attempt at a world record. From that vantage point, we could see most of the staircase.
It’s again important to note that at this particular time, we were living in a 200 year old home with very high ceilings. So this staircase was about 40% higher and longer than most and now precariously perched at the top was Phil, preparing to ride his homemade mattress-sled. Could he actually be crazy enough to do it?