We last left Cinnamon Cricket realising she’d used one of her limited pork rib emergencies perhaps a little rashly…
In hindsight, this may not have been the PORK RIB emergency I first thought it was. Hoot is drooling on the floorboards just as I figure out that seeing the JITTERBUG is shaped like all the other CDs Grandma sends, it’s probably just a CD. Yeah, that makes sense.
Unless gravity is now backwards, Hoot’s drool has turned into tears. On top of that, his ears look funny and his teeth are showing – all of them. I think he might be mad. He’s very far down but I’ll try and get there; I think it’s important because I’m pretty sure I’m in clear violation of the PORK RIB rule and that’s bad. What if there’s cauliflower in my near future and Hoot doesn’t come? I need to make amends with giant pats.
There’s only one thing to do. I heave myself backwards with all the muscle power I inherited from my Dad. My Dad is very tall. Just his legs are 6’5”. Mum, though, is about the same size as Dad’s head, so really, there’s not much competition for me. Mum, innocently assuming she’s comforting me in her hour of need, has no earthly chance against my backward, inverted, double pike that has surprising velocity, even for the spawn of a giant.
I didn’t know floorboards hurt that much when you land on your face on them. I thought I was doing the right thing spotting my landing like a proper diver, but all that meant was I saw the exact spot on the pine floorboard my forehead split open. And the worst thing? Hoot took off before I even got to pat him. He was just a blonde blur and flash of angry teeth whizzing back down the hall with drool flying out behind him. He looks like a flaxen dragon shrunk down to cat size, I thought, before I realised how much my face hurt and started screaming.
I’m in a hospital and Dad’s on his way! WOW. I’m fine now, but Mum doesn’t believe it so she’s bursting into guilt-ridden sobs every 6.7 seconds and because of that Dad thinks my brain is broken and is leaving a meeting just to see!
Of course, the intensity of the guilt-bug-hugs is stuck on extreme and I’m pretty sure I have three broken ribs. I guess small people can be strong after-all. I must note that for future reference.
Dad is here! What a relief to be freed from the guilt-bug-hug. Dad holds me gently, like I might break at any second. Bless him and his precious ways.
‘What happened honey?’
‘Honestly, I don’t know. She just threw herself backwards with such force.’
Looks like Mum answered for me. It’s not what I would’ve said, but I guess it is pretty much the truth.
‘So, you didn’t have a good hold of her?’
This was probably the worst thing Dad could’ve said to Mum, ever. Her face went sort of like a plastic bag when you crumple it up to shove in the sausage thing. I could feel the conflict inside Dad’s body.
‘Is she ok?’
‘She’s fine. It looks worse than it is. I guess she’s got a hard head! They did a cat scan just to make sure and she’s fine.
WHAT?!!! I didn’t know a CAT was operating that big doughnut! That’s the most EPIC thing that’s ever happened to me! I can’t wait to tell Hoot and Grandma!
‘Are you ok?’
And then something amazing happened. Mum sobbed. I’ve never seen Mum sob before. She cries all the time, but that’s usually only when she’s staring at me with that funny look that only old mums who give up all their fallopian tubes, spent $30,000 and six years trying to be a mum get – usually when I’m on her boob, or pretending to be asleep. But these are loud sobs and her whole body is jostling around like an old towel in a tumble dryer.
Dad sweeps her up in a giant hug and I’m in the middle and they’re squishing my sore head a bit, but that’s ok because sometimes love hurts.
I know it’s been an EPIC day when Dad takes the rest of the day off! We all go home together and Mum and Dad spend a lot of time smothering me and then offend me with mittens. Mittens! I’m not a baby anymore, but apparently the bandage on my head is supposed to be there so now I have to wear mittens. Mittens.
The best thing about us all being home together is that mum FINALLY puts on the jitterbug CD! JITTERBUG! And it’s about a big rock in a jailhouse!! And the man singing about the big rock sounds like warm honey and it’s so catchy Mum and Dad DANCE! They’re not as good as Grandma and Granddad of course, but my Mum is a pretty good dancer and she makes Dad look better than he is and they’re so thumpy and jumpy Hoot swishes his tail back and forth so furiously I’m worried it might come off! Oh the FUN! I’m waving my stumps around in time to the music and making the bouncer almost take off! Mum has stopping sobbing and is actually smiling. She waves at me. ‘This is called the jitterbug, Cricket. Do you like it?’
I LOVE it! You guys look AMAZING! And something clicked in my head and I realise the DANCE is the jitterbug! Oh I love it when my brain works things out all by itself. Turns out my head is hard and smart. WOW.