Charlie’s Room: Upside Down and Backwards

“…And we’ll find out what happened to the dinosaur detective in the next chapter.” Isaac put the homemade bookmark in place and closed the book.

Charlie had been quiet all evening. Even now, when the chapter was over, he didn’t complain or ask for another chapter. Isaac was a little worried.

“Charlie, are you feeling okay?”

“Yes.” There was a long pause. “It’s just that… everything feels upside down and backwards right now. I miss when things were normal.”

Being stuck at home indefinitely as the world tried to halt the spread of a pandemic was certainly not normal. “It’s a little scary and you miss your friends, right?”

“You and mom have work to do and it’s boring by myself.” Charlie shifted on his bed so that he could see Isaac better. “Do you have to do so much work? If I help, you could get done faster.”

“That would be backwards wouldn’t it? If you did my work and I did your school? That would be a real upside down and backwards day!”

Charlie laughed. “We could have spaghetti for breakfast and cereal for dinner.”

Isaac made a face. “I don’t think I’d like that. I like cereal for breakfast, or oatmeal. But not spaghetti.”




Isaac tapped his chin with a finger. “Hmmmmmm. Maybe pizza.”

“Yeah, pizza is really good.”

Isaac nodded. “And you could wear pajamas all day, and brush your teeth before you eat, and put your daytime clothes on for bed.”

This time it was Charlie who made a face. “Pajamas all day would be okay, but the rest would be awful.”

“Daytime clothes would be uncomfortable,” Isaac agreed. “And pajamas would be fine as long as you didn’t go out to the garden. The raspberries would rip up your pajamas.”

“And toothpaste before you eat would make everything taste weird.”

“But maybe you could have a treat before dinner.”

“Like what? Upside down cake?” Charlie grinned. “Get it? Upside down cake? And you could serve everything with the plates on top and the food on the table?”

“But what about cocoa? That would get everywhere if you poured it on the table.”

Charlie shrugged. “No cocoa on upside down backwards day, then.”

“But if we can’t drink anything, we’d get thirsty.”

“We could drink out of the faucet.”

“I wouldn’t want to miss out on cocoa.” Isaac thought for a moment. “Would drinking it cold be backwards enough?”

“I guess.”

“If I’m doing your school, do I get to play before I get my assignments done?” Isaac grinned up at Charlie.

Charlie frowned. “Does that mean I have to do your crossword puzzles before I do your job? I don’t like crossword puzzles. I think I’ll play before school, and that’s backwards enough for backwards day.”

“Sounds good to me.” Isaac put the dinosaur book back on the shelf. “Maybe we could read the next chapter in our book before breakfast.”


Isaac smiled. “Sure, if tomorrow is upside down backwards day.”

“Well… I did say everything is already upside down and backwards, right?”

Isaac nodded. “Does that mean I’m serving spaghetti under plates for breakfast?”

“Dad! No. Just the story. And maybe dessert first. And playing before schoolwork. And pajamas, except when I’m in the garden.”

“And cold cocoa, right?” Isaac smiled.

“I guess. Can we do all that?”

“I think so. You could wear your pajamas backwards too. And your shoes inside your socks.”

Charlie laughed. “I don’t want to, but you could do all that. It would be funny for your meetings.”

Isaac imagined wearing backwards pajamas to his online meetings and laughed. “Yeah, probably not. But I think the rest of the things you mentioned sound fun. We can have a upside down backwards day tomorrow.”

“That’ll be great. Thanks, Dad.” Charlie smiled.

“Of course.” Isaac stood up. “Goodnight, Charlie. I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Isaac turned out the light and left the room. He had an upside down backwards day to plan.