In honor of some of the childish stunts my little ones have pulled recently, (pouring gasoline/oil mix all over the garage, waking me up 4 times a night for the last week, walking on top of the piano, pulling Jeff out of his crib and dumping the whole thing over, hammering animal crackers into the carpet…etc…) I’ve decided to write a post about some things I remember doing as a child that probably didn’t thrill my parents- if they ever knew about them. So sit back, relax and enjoy some “stupid” ideas.
When I was about 5, I remember living at our house on Lake Dow Road- a brown split-level house that had an asphalt driveway on one side and a gravel turn-around going through the front yard. I also remember when it changed from dirt to gravel. Anyway, the driveway went straight back to the left side of the house and then curved right and went down a little hill to the carport where the house actually was. Because of this hill, we had to get our toys up to the level driveway if we wanted to play for any length of time.
One day Jeff and I were playing on the driveway with a wagon and a high chair. I’m not sure whose bright idea it was, but somehow we ended up with the high chair in the wagon and me sitting high and mighty on top. Jeff was pulling as hard as he could and down the driveway we went - about 5 or 6 feet and then I fell out and scraped up my knee pretty bad. In fact, I had a scar there for years after from that stunt.
When Roy was about 18 mos. he broke his leg falling off a slide about the same height as the one at Fairwood. It was that big thick bone that’s hardest to break, but forgive my ignorance in bone names - that thigh bone. So there he was with a cast from his waist all the way down one leg and halfway down the other with a hole in the middle for changing diapers (ewwww!) So there he was one day, laying in his special chair in the carport, I suppose getting some fresh air, when I noticed a great neglect - no one had signed his cast!!! Well, I took quick steps to remedy this. (I was 7) I went and grabbed a couple of markers and went back to Roy to sign his cast. I should mention at this point that I am confident that my father was standing less that 6 feet away from me grilling something, but of course, he had his back turned to me. Sign away, that’s what I did. When I had accomplished my name I stepped back to admire my work and realized that it looked silly with just one name on there. So, I fixed that problem too. I wrote some other names on that cast. Daddy, Mother, Jeff, Frank, Molly (dog), Danger (dog), Roscoe (cat)…on and on. I wrote my friends names from church, and many others that I could think of. As I remember, I had just about covered the top of the entire cast with names when my Dad turned around and saw what I was doing. I don’t think he was happy because he took my markers away and said something about people writing their own names. I was a little disappointed - mostly because I wanted him to have names there and all those other people weren’t there to write their names. I was being helpful! *Ahem*
The next one is about my creativity. First, the time that I “won twenty dollars”! You see school had just begun and I was in the third or fourth grade - I’m not sure which, but as usual, Jeff and I ended the summer with our birthdays and then we were off to school for the fall. It was sometime during the fall quarter that the school had a lady come and present a program to the kids called, “Bet You Can’t Do That” In her show, she had all sorts of tricks that “couldn’t be done." I’ll explain more in a minute.
When I came home, my mother found twenty dollars in my back pack and asked me where it came from. I told her about the thing at school and how the lady asked for a volunteer to come up and stand next to a wall. She put a twenty dollar bill on the floor and said, “Bet you can’t pick that up without bending your knees or falling over.” The idea was that if the kid could pick it up, he could keep the money. Looked easy to me, so I told my mom that was what happened. At the time I was very flexible and limber and could put my limbs into a number of weird shapes. (Ok, an example - lay on your stomach, with most of your weight on your neck and raise your feet up behind you, curling them so that you place your feet in front of your shoulders on the floor. Sort of like a backwards circle.) Anyway, I figured that standing next to the wall was easy enough, so that’s what I said. My mom called the school to see if anyone won the money and the receptionist blew my cover and said that it was an impossible trick and that no one could do it.
Mom came back and said I was lying. Where’d you get the money? Well, I found it on the playground in a tire. Why didn’t someone else find it, she wanted to know. Well, because no one else was playing on that, of course…
To make a long story short, I finally confessed that I had stolen the money out of Jeff’s dresser drawer because for my birthday I had gotten a new wallet and I wanted to show it off at school with some money in it. Needless to say, I got a spanking and worst of all, I had to give the money back. I think about that lie now and realize just how stupid I sounded.
But, just in case you think I learned my lesson, in sixth grade I had another battle with truth. (Of course all in between too, but this one was dumb.) I always rode the bus from my school across town to the Elementary School and then walked across the street to my Grandma’s house where my mom would come and pick me up. One day, I stopped to visit a friend’s mom in the Elementary School and then ran as fast as I could over to Grandma’s house to make up for lost time. I should mention that it was OK for me to visit with this person and I had done so in the past and would not have gotten in trouble for it.
For some reason, when I got to Grandma’s and she asked me why I was out of breath, I said, “The bus driver kicked me off the bus down at the chiropractor’s office and I had to run the whole way here so I wouldn’t be late.” (Oh WHY, WHY, WHY?) This began quite the ordeal in our house, because Grandma was horrified that I had been kicked off the bus “for no reason” and then my parents got involved. I remember being up late that night, sitting on my white canopy double bed, crying my heart out, begging my parents to believe me that I did get kicked off the bus. I think the scariest moment and also the moment of confession came when my Dad stormed into my room with the school handbook opened to the page about bus drivers and regulations. He told me that the bus driver would be fired for doing such a thing and that I had better tell the truth because that driver was going to loose his job if what I was saying was true. I broke. I told them everything as accurately as possible. The only trouble was, they didn’t really believe me because the truth had no motive for a lie. I hadn’t done anything wrong. Oh, the agony of that day! What a stupid thing to do. The truth wasn’t even believable. I got a spanking for that one and for a long time afterwards my parents didn’t know what to belive. So much for creative stories…they can get you in pretty big trouble.
There you have it: stories from my childhood to show that I guess my children come by their silly ideas honestly. And what ever doesn’t match up with me, they get fom Brandon. He’s got some good ones too, only he was more sinister in his ideas.