Holiday Safety: avoid pants, not ladders
Last week, I got stuck on my roof. Bratchild spent a significant amount of time explaining that me getting on the roof was a stupid idea; I fall up stairs, walk into walls, trip over nothing, etc. She then decides, due to my visions of Griswoldism dancing through my head, that she could come on the roof with me. No, I explain, someone has to hold the ladder.
Ever since my first viewing of Christmas Vacation, I have longed for a house shrouded in lights. Due to a lack of outlets and a husband with safety concerns, this year I conceded that I was going to settle for a roof outlined in lights. Because of the hubs’ aforementioned safety concerns and his height, he is not a fan of ladders and rooftops. In my continuing efforts to be helpful, I decided to put lights around the roof myself.
Obstacle 1: he hid the staple gun. Obstacle 2: a fully extended metal ladder is much harder to get angled up to the roof then one would expect and wobbles scarily once it is in place–even when being held by a giggling, dedicated Bratchild. Obstacle 3: roofs are slantier than one would expect from the ground. Obstacle 4: Once I overcame the staple gun issue by finding sticky hanger things, I couldn’t figure out how I was supposed to lean over the edge of the roof to attach them and then string the lights. Obstacle 5: pants.
As I was shimmying/crawling/starting to weep along the roofline, my spiffy don’t jiggle it when you wiggle it Old Navy bootcut yoga pants became entangled in my grippy bottom athletic shoes and caused me to stumble. I forced myself into a sitting position and was frozen in terror. Visions of best Christmas magic lights ever were replaced with bloody images of my skull on concrete. I actually physically couldn’t move.
Bratchild: Mom, are you okay?
Me: Nope, I’m stuck.
Bratchild: On what? Just come down.
Me: Can’t. Ladder will move and I will fall and die.
Bratchild: I told you this was a bad idea.
Me: Not helpful.
Bratchild: I’m going to take a picture. Does your phone have a video camera?
Bratchild: (squealing and cackling) It does! It does! Admit this was a stupid idea and I will come hold the ladder. I want it on video.
Me: Santa is not even going to wrap your presents in Bieber paper if you keep this up, he just won’t come. (In years past, I would have called Santa but my phone was safely on the ground whereas I was not.)
Bratchild: I’m going to call Poppy. (Dialing, chatting) He wants to know if he should call 911?
Me: I’m not a cat stuck on a tree branch!
Bratchild: He says to come down backwards.
Me: Hang up and come hold the ladder. You know what? Maybe I don’t have to use the ladder? I could just sort of roll into those azalea bushes. I think they would break my fall?
Bratchild: Mom. No.
Me: Really it’s these pants that are the problem, I keep getting tangled in them and they are tripping me up. Do you think I should take my pants off?
Bratchild: I think if you try to take your pants off while you are stuck on the roof you are for sure going to fall.
She eventually coaxed me down the wildly wobbling ladder which by then I was too tired to move. When my ex-husband came to pick up bratchild for dinner I met him at the door and asked him to move the ladder. When he wanted to know why, I explained I needed it down before J got home. He countered with it wasn’t like Bratchild wasn’t going to tell him I was on the roof and while I conceded that yes, that was true, it was entirely different to see something actually on fire than to know it had once been on fire but had since been handled. He shook his head but did move the ladder for me.
My holiday safety tip for you? Avoid pants. And sensible shoes.