My daughter was creating a masterpiece with play-dough yesterday, when she dropped a rather hefty piece on the floor. Much to my surprise, the dog devoured it hungrily and almost appeared as if he was savouring the taste by licking his lips. Screaming in horror, my daughter was in disbelief that he had actually gobbled it up and indicated that the whole thing “was disgusting”. I began to console her by agreeing with her that, yes, indeed it was disgusting, when I had a flashback to my earlier childhood days. I, too, had consumed play-dough and could honestly say that I have eaten worse in my life. Then, I got to thinking. My childhood was fairly riddled by random acts of thoughtlessness. Some I could soften by calling them “experiments”, however many were just “what the hell” kind of moments. Here are some highlights in no particular order:
1. Deciding on “bath night” that I would make quick work of the washing by getting into a mud puddle in our gravel driveway stark naked. I felt that if I could get it over quickly, I would have more time to stay outside and play. Makes sense right? That’s what I thought.
2. After hearing my mother (REPEATEDLY) tell me to “be careful with the crayons”, I decided to shove one into my left nostril…you know…just to see if anything bad would happen. Really, how dangerous could crayons be to cause a parent concern? And it was a broken one anyway…I hated the broken ones. Even at a young age, my OCD caused me to discard the crayons with imperfections. Thank heavens it was the 80’s and my mother had REALLY long fingernails.
3. An older kid in the neighbourhood told my friend and I that the elderly Catholic priest that lived on the corner gave out candy to kids if they knocked on his door and asked for it. Throwing caution to the wind (and knowing it was nowhere near October 31st), my friend and I brazenly rang the doorbell to get our goods. The priest’s housekeeper (who was nearly as old as he was) answered the door, and in her soft little voice said “yes, girls?” Immediately I spoke up and said “we’re here for some candy…someone told us you give out candy if we knocked on the door”. In hindsight, I think I knew immediately I may have overstepped my bounds, but I was in too deep to back out. Low and behold, the little housekeeper rustled us up some hard candies in wrappers and said “thank you for stopping by” before shutting the screen door. As if this weren’t bad enough, I remember feeling extremely disgruntled that she had given us what I liked to call “old people’s candy”. The hard, gross, minty candy that your great Aunt Ethel might give you.
4. In preparation for dismissal, my kindergarten teacher would make the class get dressed in our outdoor clothes about 15 minutes before sending us home. Since it was the dead of winter (and my mother had dressed me in the usual 5 protective layers), I suited up quickly (as I am an efficient little thing) and took my place at the table to wait to be sent home. As I began to sweat watching my classmates dress and take their seats, I realized that I had to pee…and badly. I had drank 3 glasses of Tang at snack time as I was not allowed artificial colors at home. My overindulgence was rearing it’s ugly head. I don’t remember whether or not I just did not make it to the bathroom in time, or I was just too exhausted from snowsuit application to care. I unleashed the floodgates, then trudged the 10 minute walk home in my urine-soaked clothing.
5. Being gifted a brand new metal swing set for grading, I became particularly mesmerized by the swinging see-saw. I would put my stuffed animals, rocks and even the neighbourhood cat (OK..maybe not the cat…not that I will ever admit to anyway) to watch the back and forth motion. Strangely, I was very focused on what made that thing swing back and forth so many times. One day, I had been watching it for quite awhile, when I decided to see how close I could get to it before it would hit me. One gigantic push, and one neighbour carrying my lifeless body to my back door as I gushed blood from my forehead later, I found out just how close I could get.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Really, it only just touches on my childhood years. I haven’t even scratched the surface yet.