Jan 27, 2012

Stories That Still Haunt Us, Part II

Just reading over a few others' stories that still have the emotional impact of when they happened or maybe more so since we've built them up in our minds, I am prepared to purge a few more nuggets.

  1. My dear mother really never learned that her children were not safe at home alone. She made us a dinner then left for some function. My baby sister was strapped securely in her high chair and cranky. Then suddenly she was not cranky but happy. Then the smell hit us. None of us were prepared to change a dirty diaper but it was much worse than that. She had diarrhea. The oldest siblings were my brother, age 14 and my sister, age 12. Mike desperately pleaded Suzy to clean it up. He swore that if he tried, he'd throw up. He drew the short stick. He threw up. Suzy cleaned up both. Joey and I quietly left the dinner table to play possum.
  2. In the first year of marriage, my husband and I went out to eat at Chili's. There was a wait so I killed time by talking to a baby. The mother offered for me to hold her and I politely did. I held her up by her armpits above my head where she promptly threw up all of the green baby food she had just consumed. 
  3. My first dance recital when I was 5 included all of the cute little dancers with taffeta polka dot skirts and matching hair bows, lining up to go on stage. Surprisingly (not), something shiny caught my attention and the entire class went on stage without me. When I realized I was left behind, I ran on stage to catch up. In tap shoes. I fell down on my bottom. I still have nightmares of the audience laughing at me.
  4. When Suzy was in the second grade, she contracted bacterial spinal meningitis. She spent many days in the hospital and children were not allowed. I was in the first grade and Joey was no more than 4. We waited downstairs on uncomfortable chairs or a bench. Joey got sleepy and fell asleep on my shoulder. I held as still as I could so she could sleep. Unfortunately, a gaggle of pink ladies caught a peek and started grabbing all the Lois', Delores, Ethel, and Erlene's to see the adorable seen. They made such a ruckus that Joey woke up. They then tried to pose us to recreate the moment. Joey was awake and I was already working out my cramps. They should have had their Kodak cameras with cube flashes. Duh.
  5. My dad took my brother and I on a river raft trip down the Colorado River. It was a peaceful first day. The second day we hit the dreaded "Skull" rapid. I remember little besides the raft folding in half and me in the middle gasping for air. My dad had magically left the raft along with the oar that hit him in the head, knocking him unconscious. We picked him up within 30 seconds. Because our family consist of slow learners, we did again two years later. Because we're stupid like that. Two years after that, my dad excitedly informed me we'd be running the Colorado down the Grand Canyon. I'd grown a backbone by then. I told him to have fun with that.
  6. On the subject of running rivers, we took a one day tour down the Snake River one summer while we were at Yellowstone Park. Worst. Three. Hours. Of. My. Life. NEVER get into a raft if you have to pee. 'Nuff said.
  7. For some reason we just needed to be around water and camped at Lake Powell the first few years of going there. One morning we got up and I couldn't find my shoes. They were finally located in a shallow part of the lake, all chewed up. I don't EVEN want to know what was out there.
  8. Frozen water was also used as punishment recreation. Ski school all winter tortured me. When Joey was finally old enough to start, three children had already gone through so explanations seemed unnecessary. They were not. We boarded the ski lift and rode up to midway. Apparently, we forgot to clarify the meaning of midway. That means you get off halfway up the mountain. My poor sister, having never skiied in her life, looked down at us with a panicked expression as she continued to the top. 
  9. My husband and I had a difficult time adjusting to sharing a bed. It seemed one or the other of us was getting kicked, kneed, or smacked in the course of the night. This had nothing to do with intimate moments. One Sunday morning as we were talking in bed, he grabbed an ice cube out of glass of water and flung it to drop down my pajamas. He severely misjudged the distance of his hand and my face and gave me a black eye. Later that day we went to see my parents. My mother greeted us and noticed my shiner. She asked what happened to my eye. "I, uh," casting a frightened look at Scott then suddenly looked down at the ground, "I fell down," I finished. Oddly, Scott was not amused but mortified.
  10. When I was pre-pubescent, I developed a strong middle child syndrome. I was ignored and disliked. Very victimized, of course. On more than one occasion, I would pack up a bag and run away. To the barn. It was hot. Sometimes I'd be gone for an hour or more, planning on the ways I would make the barn my new home, train the mice to be helpers like in Cinderella and we'd be very happy. Eventually I got bored, convinced myself that my family had learned their lesson and return home. Nobody ever realized I had been gone.


Kim said...

what a harrowing childhood!

Do you ever wonder what litany of suffering YOUR children will blame on you?

I think it's interesting and weird how two siblings can tell two different stories about a single encounter - confirming why eyewitness testimony is so unreliable.

Klin said...

It's a wonder you survived! Makes me think of the crazy things that happened during my childhood. Oh the things my mom should never know...

Becky Thumann said...

THIS is dang funny: They should have had their Kodak cameras with cube flashes. Duh.

Thanks so much for sharing your stories -- it was fun to read!


Tonia said...

Ah, the stories we tell when everyone is around for the holidays to contradict, laugh, and point fingers! Loved both the posts. I didn't grow up with sisters but my brothers and I still have stories that are EPIC.

mCat said...

Number 9 has to be my favorite!