I tripped over a cello yesterday, landed hard on the fingerboard and picked up steam as I skidded past an ineffective rock stop.
Eventually, I came to rest under our stately piano which, I imagine, sighed heavily and shook its dignified keys in dismay. We’ve had our piano for 20 years, and it’s seen more pratfalls than the set of Saturday Night Live.
In fact, we have a house rule, inspired by a similar dramatic scene many years ago. Tip toeing to the living room late one night, hungry baby in arms, I stepped on a rogue piece of Lego. I held onto the baby, but not my dignity, as I jumped around on my uninjured foot, face contorted into an expression perfectly captured in Edvard Munch’s the Scream.
The next morning, with the Lego shaped bruise on the ball of my foot maintaining a throbbing reminder, I sat my sweet children down and issued this proclamation:
“If Mommy steps on a toy, she’s throwing it out.”
And then I did.
There was the action figure incident of 1995, when the right arm of a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger caught my big toe and we both careened across a slippery kitchen floor.
Powers of water. Powers of Light. Unite!
I tossed it.
A pink Barbie Doll Dune Buggy met a similar fate after a banana peel slip sent us both on a wild ride across the family room.
Though they weren’t the tidiest children in the neighborhood, eventually all four of them learned to put away their toys or risk the wrath of their clumsy but consistent mother.
We’re an easily identifiable sorority, we mothers. We wear macaroni jewelry and hum nonsensical tunes.
And I’m no scientist but I’ll bet an X-ray survey of our big toes would reveal in each one of us, the Lego shaped outline of a healing fracture.