I have a few baby stories to tell. These are things I did as a kid, between the ages of 4 and 9. I was the oldest kid in our family (and the first grandkid on both sides of my family), so I had to figure out most things by myself. My poor mother’s ulcers are proof of these events.
When I was just 3 years and 7 months old, I was playing in front of our house, with my uncle Bernie baby sitting me, and all of a sudden, I wanted to see my Mom, who at that time was at my Grandmother’s house. So what did I do? I walked to my grandma’s house!
The distance was about 2 miles, and I vaguely remembered the way, since my mother walked (and rolled) me that way often. I had to go down a long hill (Young Street), turn right onto another street (forget the name), walk about 8 blocks on a busy residential/small store street, then cross Bayswater, a busy commercial street, then walk another two blocks, then turn onto Merton Street, and walk another 2 blocks to my grandma’s place.
And I did it.
I knocked on the door, and then hid, playing a game – my grandma answered, I jumped out and yelled surprise! And she was happy – my Mom came to the door, and was happy too, and asked where Bernie was… I said he was back at our house… then my Mother lost it. She got into that mood mothers get – you know, both happy I was alive, and angry as hell at me. It took my bottom quite a while to stop glowing red after my Dad got through with me!
When I was still 4 years old (and finally with a baby brother – James, around 7 months old), it was the first Christmas I really could recognize my name in writing, both printed and script. Well, that Christmas, my Dad thought it would be cute to put my name as the giver on most of the gifts he bought for Mom… big mistake.
I woke up at the customary time for a kid who just discovered what Christmas and Santa Claus were all about, (5am), and went downstairs to check out the loot… and there was a lot. I waited a bit for my parents, even tried to wake them up – they told me to go back to bed… but I couldn’t. So I go back downstairs, and decided to open one gift… I open it, and it’s some weird bottle… so I try to open it, and it smells funny… I take a sip, and it’s gross – I spit it out and go drink some water… I come back, and spill the little tiny bottle on me, dousing myself with the liquid. Well, that liquid turned out to be some very expensive Channel No. 5 – my Dad paid over $100 for that one bottle of pure perfum.
Although I couldn’t figure out why Santa would give me such a gift, I was unaffected by my new scent, I started opening more presents with my name on them. Some were cool gifts, like Lego, and a model, and a train, but others were weird, like underwear, sweaters way too big for me, and other clothes. Some of the gifts were jewelry and a bracelet, which I put around my neck.
By the time my parents woke up, about 2 hours after, the only presents under the tree were two to my mom, and most for my Dad.
When my Mom and Dad came down, they could smell the perfume before they saw me, and started moving quicker to the living room – when my Mom turned the corner, she almost fainted. Here, in the middle of all this torn paper, with sweaters, bras, underwear, fancy clothes, jewelry and of course, an empty bottle of Channel, sat her son.
I don’t have to tell you how they felt – you can imagine it… but I protested that I only opened presents with my name one them… “see Dad, Santa was good to you… dunno about Mom, though”! My Dad never again addressed presents from me to Mom at Christmas!
When I was 5 years old, I got into two weird things – Mary Poppins and Superman. Mary Poppins was the first woman I ever had a crush on, and wanted to be with, if you know what I mean, as a 5 year old. I got it into my mind that I could fly like Mary Poppins, if I jumped off the roof with an umbrella. Well, it didn’t work. I tried it first off our porch, and, while I felt a little bit of drag from the umbrella, I still fell pretty fast.
So I figured, I needed to be higher up – so I climbed up on top of our garage, and tried again! And that time, I got a sprained ankle as a result.
Undaunted, I then figured I could fly like superman. My parents got me a superman cape for my Birthday (or Christmas, can’t remember), and I used to run around with it on, jumping on things, etc. One day, I jumped off our porch, and for a second, I would swear, I was flying… it was weird – it felt like I was flying! Then I fell down. So, again, my twisted logic brought me back to the garage roof – I actually ran down the side (building up speed, of course), and leaped off the edge.. and flew about 5 feet away from the garage, then 8 feet straight down…. and I broke a toe, sprained both wrists, and one ankle.