I am pretty sure my parents were trying to kill us as children. I was going to say, ‘me,’ instead of, ‘us,’ then remembered that I have two older sisters. I sort of block them out of most of my childhood memories.
Because most of those memories consist of things like…. them making up mean songs…. with hand clap routines to go with the lyrics — like in ‘Miss Mary Mack.’
Anywhoo, here is proof that my parents tried to kill us:
1) When visiting my grandparents who lived in a trailer that was situated on an alligator infested pond in Florida, my mom would be all, ‘Hey Ma and Pa, why don’t you go put the kids in the paddle boat?’ And my grandparents would and my parents would watch from the safety of the enclosed patio as my sisters and I, all under the age of ten at the time, would paddle out into the alligator pond.
In my parents defense, they did worry about us playing in the Florida grass because of bites from fire ants. Looking back, I think being mutilated or swallowed whole by an alligator probably would have been worse than super itchy and burning bug bites.
2) When we would swim at the public pool during the summer, my sisters and I were so excited that my dad could stand in the deep end and have his head above water, something none of us could do yet. We would be all, ‘Dad you are sooooo tall. Can we swim under you?’ Because at our age that sounded like a fun game. So we would play the tunnel game, which meant touching the bottom of the pool and swimming past Dad’s ankles. My dad would think it was funny to trap us with his feet while we were under water. Um, hi, Dad, we couldn’t breath under water. I do remember sucking in water a few times.
Also, Dad would play a game called, ‘How long can you hold your breath?’ in which we would voluntarily allow him to put his hands on our shoulders and hold us under water until or arms flailed about enough for him to decide that we had reached our limit. We would all get very excited if we lasted longer than the other sisters, and I remember voluntarily sucking water sometimes during that game.
It all seemed like fun at the time, but as an adult looking back, I can’t help but wonder…. Were our parents trying to kill us? Don’t worry, things turned out okay. And I am pretty sure that my parents do care because since Rich has been struggling to find work, they are helping us pay our mortgage. Although my dad says they are doing because if they didn’t, Rich and I would probably end up homeless and then he would feel bad and let us stay with him and mom, and he would rather shovel out hundreds of dollars a month than have me staying in their house again.
PS. In case you were wondering, one of the songs that I remember my sisters making up, and that had an accompanying hand clap routine, went like this:
Punky is a big fat cow
She eats and sleeps and smells like a sow
There’s always a flood
and bugs in her hair
and nothing’s ever right for Punky
(I believe the flood lyric referred to high water pants. And I give them credit for rhyming in the first two lines, but after that, the poem really lost its artistic appeal for me.)