What funny and memorable things did you do as a child?
This prompt probably couldn’t come at a better time. The world is dark and scary right now so let’s spend some time reflecting on the past, to the time of youth, where hope was eternal and the future was bright. As with most of these essay responses, this will be fairly free-form and possibly a bit incoherent so apologies in advance if things don’t follow a logical order. I just really need to decompress and writing streams-of-consciousness tends to be more cathartic to me than planning out how the post is gonna go.
Funny Baby Sara Story #1 – The Flyswatter
When I was 3, my first sister was born. She was a very finicky baby, needed to be held at ALL TIMES. If she wasn’t being held, she would scream bloody murder. Putting her down was never an option. Except that sometimes, mom needed to free up her arms to do things. Like cook dinner. Or clean. Or hug her husband and first child. You know.
On very rare occasions, it could be done. It took a lot of cooing and convincing, but there were times when mom could get her to lay on a blanket under a little toy mobile, distracting her with the dangling stars and shapes while mom went to take care of as many things in 20 minutes as she could.
Enter Lil Sara, bored and partially ignored (baby ninja in training, stealth was important). For some reason, lost to history forever, I had a flyswatter. Was I chasing bugs in the old farmhouse? Was I terrorizing the cats? Was I a wizard casting spells with my staff? The possibilities are numerous. The only things that history remembers, is that my little 3 year-old brain devised a brilliant plan to ease my boredom.
The first floor of the house had a loop at the front. The front door opened into the living room. To the left, a short hall led to a second family room. The family room opened into the dining room at the back, which also had an opening into the living room at the other end.
I stood in the hallway by the stairs, peering around the corner into the family room, watching my baby sister gawking up at the mobile. I saw my mother exit into the dining room and heard her sit down at the table. I crept into the family room and hovered over the babbling baby, clutching the thin metal handle of the fly swatter close to my chest. I looked up toward the dining room to see if mommy was within sight. She wasn’t. I raised the flyswatter over my head.
I hit her square in the face. To this day, I do not know what possessed me to do this.
UNHOLY INFANTILE WAILING
My mother came bounding around the corner to see what had my sister so upset. It took her less than half a second to process the image of me standing next to the baby, flyswatter gripped in hand, and the welt on the baby’s face. She flew into a rage and chased me around the loop. I don’t remember how many times we went around it, if it was even more than once. I don’t remember the lashing I undoubtedly received with my own weapon of choice. I do remember this story coming up often when we reminisce about the wily antics of sisterhood at family gatherings. It never ceases to amuse.
Funny Baby Sara Story #2 – Twins!
A related, less voluminous tale about my first sister being born. I was an only child for just over three years. I was about two and a half when we were sitting in the living room catching up with an old friend of my mother’s. I remember his hat. It had a feather in it. He also had a beard. Mom told him she was pregnant again. The news was well met and congratulations were in order. Then they turned to me and asked me how I felt about having a sister. I responded with great enthusiasm. “I’ve always wanted a twin!” I cried.
I was much disappointed to learn that I would not, in fact, be a twin. (Maybe that’s why I feature so many twins in my stories? Haha, perhaps!)
Funny Baby Sara Story #3 – Sara The Kitty Cat
I have been a cat person since I could crawl. Growing up on a farm, we had loads of cats around, and several of them lived in the house. I loved pretending I was a kitty cat. So much so that I would put my entire heart into my acting. 3-4 year old Sara was a method actor.
Mom was walking past the laundry room one afternoon while I was playing. Something struck her as odd and she had to double back to get a second look. Upon her return, she shrieked with horror and rushed in to set me on the toilet.
I didn’t understand what the big deal was. I was a kitty cat. I had to go number two. Kitty cats go potty in the litter box. I’d seen our kitty cats squat in the litter box to poop all the time! Kitty cats didn’t go on the toilet, so why did I have to? I was very indignant about the whole thing, but mom forbade me from ever using the litter box again. Big Girl Kitties use the potty, she said. Pfft. Whatever.
Funny Baby Sara Story #4 – Shushing The Cat
This tale is not one I remember personally, but it is one my grandmother is very fond of recalling. It was on a day she was babysitting, and I had been uncharacteristically quiet. That unnerving quiet of a child that is up to something they shouldn’t be and you are scared to discover what. But of course, grandma had to investigate. And what she found seemed innocuous enough.
I was in the bathroom, standing by the toilet with the lid down. There was a suspicious amount of water on the floor, though, and grandma asked what I was doing. “I shush the cat gramma!” I proudly replied.
“I shush him!”
I reached for the flusher but then the lid flew open, and the cat, sopping wet and MAD, bolted out the bathroom and out the door, startling my poor grandmother.
It’s amazing my mother ever had any more children after me, haha!
That’s all the stories I have off the top of my head right now. I hope they brought some levity to your day/afternoon/night. I feel a bit better myself after strolling down memory lane. I’m sure I am forgetting others, but it’s been a long weekend and I do have to go to the office tomorrow. Stay safe out there everyone!
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