Jumping Competition

by Donna Kirk on May 19, 2016

“Grandma, how do you spell ‘jumping competition’?”

Seven year old Sloane’s hand was poised, red marker hovering an inch above the paper. She started in the middle of the sheet and ran out of space long before I’d finished spelling ‘competition’.

“Oh, well,” she said. “I can just write it underneath.”

Another of her innovative games would soon progress from infancy to full blown heaven-knows-what, somewhere in my home.

“Jumping competition, Sloane?”

“It’s like an athletic thing, Grandma. We’re going to jump on the bed and see who wins.”


Her eyes opened wide and she bounced up and down, demonstrating her skill. “Reese, me and our stuffies.”


“Yup. Stuffie, Stuff and Frankie.”

I didn’t ask why two of the stuffies didn’t have names.

Sloane and Reese, her five year-old sister, were choosing the venue, (our bedroom or the spare room) when Ed arrived home from golf.

“Grandpa, Grandpa, you’re just in time!”

Moments later, after hand written posters advertising the event were scotch-taped to the door of our spare room there was some discussion over who would judge the competition. Grandpa thought it best if he took charge of the event. That way, Sloane wouldn’t be the hands-down winner and we wouldn’t have to spend the next half-hour consoling the loser.

Before the competition began, a few moments were spent organising the venue. My hand-made quilt was removed from the field of action, along with the matching pillows. Markers were allowed only in the Judge’s hands.

“Let the games begin,” shouted the Judge.

Sloane jumped. Her score of 5 was duly recorded on the official score sheet.

Stuffy was next. Bombed with a zero.

Stuff earned 1point and so did Frankie.

Reese took up the challenge. Score of 5 for her.

The Judge, probably thinking of the cold beer downstairs in the fridge, decided that the competition would consist three jumps each then one final jump-off to decide the winner.

Round two.

Sloane leapt in the air and came to rest, beaming with her score of 7, an improvement of two points and a personal best.

Stuffy bettered him/herself with a score of 5. Stuff, earned a 6. Frankie remained consistent at 1 point.

Reese, all concentration and form, equalled her sister and the judge awarded a 7, a personal best for her as well.

In the third round, Sloane fell back one point, earning a disappointing 6. The Judge declared there was no time for pouting.

Stuffy followed with a 4, while Stuff halved his/her previous total to earn a 3. Frankie fell on his/her face and got zero.

Reese, posturing for a champion jump, pulled it off, earning an 8.

Before the final round, the judge read the scores.

Sloane: 18, Stuffy: 9, Stuff: 10, Frankie: 2, Reese: 20.

There was some discussion amongst the competitors. The Judge announced that the final jump would have to begin in order to avoid disqualification.

Sloane got into position in the centre of the bed. She took a mighty leap! Personal best of 9, announced the Judge.

Stuffy and Stuff’s nerves got the better of them. They both crashed with scores of zero. Frankie doubled his/her previous scores to earn a 2.

Reese, confident and poised for success, equalled her high score with another 8.

The Judge, perhaps distracted by the impatience of the competitors, took a few moments to calculate the results.

Finally, he rose from his official seat in the rocking chair. And, like all judicious judges, thanked the competitors for their participation, in this, the first ever, World Event of Spare Room Bed Jumping.

“Grampa, who won?” screamed Reese.

Sloane, remembering that she had trailed her sister in the last round by one point, said nothing.

The Judge took off his glasses to read the final scores.

“Stuff, Stuffy and Frankie trailed the first and second place winners by earning respective total scores of 10, 9 and 4.”

Eager squeals from the remaining competitors.

“And, ladies and gentlemen, the final scores have resulted in a tie! Congratulations Sloane and Reese for achieving scores of 28 each.”

Hugging and kissing and leaps of joy ensued between the two first place winners.

“And now, ladies and gentlemen, let’s proceed to the refreshment booth.”

Moments later, a cold one in hand, he told me the story.

I smiled. “What are you going to do when they learn about tie-breakers?”


Most Incredibe Parents

by Donna Kirk on April 22, 2016

This is THE BEST post I’ve ever seen. Chris was born with disabilities so severe and numerous, his parents were told to institutionalize him. Please watch the short video. I’ve been the parent of a child with severe disabilities for forty-six years, and I’ve NEVER seen anything like this.


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