They complained that Grandma used to pull their hair when she brushed it, but I didn’t believe it because she never pulled mine. They told on each other about which sister kicked or moaned in their sleep when they had to share a bed. They had two bedrooms for six kids, no one slept alone. I only had one brother and my own room, so the stories they told were strange glimpses of another world, and one story in particular fascinated me.
Mom talked about being really annoyed at Grandma for something and sticking her tongue out to express it, which got her a slap. So after that Mom said she always climbed the stairs first, and then she’d turn around and stick her tongue out. She felt like she was getting away with something and Grandma never saw her to punish her about it. In fact Grandma hadn’t even known about it! There weren’t many stories about my mom doing anything wrong at all, so this one I tucked carefully away.
I don’t remember what I was in trouble for-- likely not making my bed or leaving my stuffed animals scattered. But Mom walked me to the bottom of the stairs to send me up to my room to take care of it.
As I stomped up the stairs (I was a practiced stomper) I wondered if I dared to stick my tongue out at Mom. I thought about it on the way up and it seemed right, proper even. After all, she deserved it. I got to the top of the stairs, whirled around and stuck out my tongue at the bottom of the steps.
Where my mother was still standing, looking right at me.
What had I done wrong? Mom never got caught when she stuck out her tongue at Grandma. Then I realized; at Grandma’s house the stairs went halfway up to a landing. From the landing the stairs turned 90 degrees to go the rest of the way up. From the top of the stairs you couldn’t see the first floor. Our stairs were one flight straight up. Oops.
I pulled my tongue in and tried to look properly contrite while I stood there looking down at my mom, wondering what my punishment would be for this.
At the bottom of the stairs, Mom burst out laughing.
**** This is my true story for week 2 of LJ Idol, read other takes on the topic here. The moral of this story, being extraordinarily stupid will work in your favor exactly once.****