Wednesday, September 27, 2006

When I Was A Kid...

Scenes from Early Childhood:

Age five: She was chasing the cat, and missed. Her eye connected with a piece of furniture. The next day she had a loverly shiner. It was photo day at school.

Age four: She goes to visit the nursery school with her mother, who is an ardent civil rights Democrat. Her mother is talking to a black woman also visiting with her son. Ever the socialite, Eleanor chirpily asks the black woman why she doesn't wash her baby's face.

Age five: (winter) ELeanor is privileged to be the first out on to the ice on the lake in back of their family home. Her brother has graciously allowed her this. The ice breaks, and down goes Eleanor. Fortunately the ice is only waist deep to her, and she waddles out in her soaking snowsuit. Brother has disappeared. Eleanor wonders where he went, but is more preoccupied with what her mother She sheds the snowsuit in the basement and disappears. There is no ending to this story, happy or otherwise, and perhaps it is just as well.

Age three: Eleanor recalls toddling around the bedroom with a large load in her pants. It doesn't smell very good. Another unresolved story.

Age six: Eleanor recalls treating a neighborhood cat to the fun of being swung around by its tail. She wishes she wwre the cat because it lookes like great fun. Her mother calls her in. The end of the story involves pain and a hairbrush.

Age four: A party on the terrace being given by her parents for friends. To her great delight, her parents aren't paying too close attention to what she is doing, so Eleanor is running gleefully around the backyard in the dark wearing nothing but underwear. She smacks straight into the open pipe end of the monkey bars with her face. Blood everywhere. Eleanor finds mother, who has a cow. Eleanor knows this means that some stinging medicine will be put on her cut, so she runs. Mother yells frantically, promising it will NOT sting. Eleanor begins to fear a hairbrush, so she cautiously approaches her mother, who with great self-restraint stays calm so Eleanor will not bolt again. To Eleanor's surprise it actually doesn't sting. She carries the scar to this day. (Addendum: Was this the party at which she told one of her parents' guests that he drank too much? Memory foggy)

Age four: Eleanor wants to play with a friend, but the friend says she cannot play. For the first time, Eleanor wonders if the friend perhaps might not like her so much after all. It is a thought that haunts her about her friends for the rest of her life. (Not without reason)

Age three: Running brainlessly around the yard (again), the unthinkable happens: Eleanor gets caught full on by a large orb web rigged between the house and some lilac bushes. Instantly realising what has happened, she loses her mind and jumps in the lake, frantically washing and scrubbing lest the spider bite her. To this day, Eleanor has arachnophobia.

Age four: Eleanor shares a bedroom with her brother. Brother's bed is next to the window, her bed is next to opposite wall which is built with funky glass bricks. However, Eleanor has discovered that whenever she falls asleep facing those bricks, she has a nightmare, which happenes pretty often. Slavishly she spends the rest of her time in that house and that bedroom training herself not to face the wall when she sleeps. To this day she hates glass bricks. (They really are cheesy, anyways.)

Example of nightmare: Eleanor dreams that her father has made her hellishly angry, so she murders him with a kitchen knife. (Note: Father dies of natural causes thirty years later)

Nightmare #2 Brother is chasing her with a box full of spiders. In the basement, she stops, but he comes up to her and dumps it all over her. Eleanor has connptions in the dream. To this day, Eleanor has arachnophobia, and a certain caution of her brother, and basements.

Nightmare #3 Tornado hits house. Started after seeing the Wizard of OZ. To this day, Eleanor has nightmares about tornadoes.

Nighmare #4 Gorilla carries off Eleanor. She pees on him to make him stop. It works. She does not remember wetting the bed.

...More scenes from the Life of Eleanor another time....


Anonymous Andy said...

Guilty of multiple charges, your Honor.
1) I believe that photo also sported numerous missing teeth.
2) I was graciously allowing you to do this because you were the smallest. If it could hold you, it might hold me. And I didn't disappear; I turned the thermostat up to 95 for us to dry off. The water was over your head, by the way. And I was the one who got smacked for it, too.
3) (Age four) I always wondered why the beds got switched. In summer, you had the habit of exiting window onto roof. Father would then arrive upstairs with shoe in hand.

5:05 PM  
Blogger craigellachie said...

Not a shoe. A hairbrush, always a hairbrush, dagnabbit.

5:43 PM  

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