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Location: Midwest, United States

"Power lines, my travlin' partner on this ride. Dripping, pulling - up and down, in this sing song, their lullaby blends with the swaying train. I curl myself into this journey; folding myself up into this pocket of time. Old familiars greet me - that swing set in the back yard, the ruins of an old church covered in new birth and old - mixed with unremembered newness." Journal Entry, October 13, 2005~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~All words are copyrighted by GoGo on a Page/gogoroku.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Sunday Scribbles: The Wees Get in Trouble, Often

When we were wee, oh dear, did our imaginations run wild. By brother, sister and I were nothing less then renegades in the play realm, complete with superpower skills in making up new games, rules, and ideas! As I go back, delve down and deep into my memory…so deep they live in the belly of history I can remember a world all our own – a world so innocent we seemed to have a shield around us protecting us from ourselves because, you see, as I look back I wonder how we ever got away with half the things we did.

Yard Darts, remember the game? The rules were simple. There are two teams, one team had yellow darts the other team had red. These darts were on steroids, heavy enough to hold flight in the air and gigantic. The aim was to throw the darts one at a time aiming for a plastic hollahoop type ring a distance away. The more darts that made it in the circle, the more points your team gained. The adults in my family loved this game bringing them out whenever there was a party. While the darts were retired to the garage, my brother and sister and I got a wonderful idea. Wouldn’t it be fun if one of us ran between the trees while the other two threw the yard darts at them? I mean come on, fun right? This was dodge ball meets Fear Factor and we had a blast to say the least. Never got hurt, nope. Did more damage to each other making mud pies.

Then there was the water game. My brother, sister and I came up with Ride’em horsey. Take a standard oversized inner tube and sit on it while floating placidly in the water. This game is for two people at a time, while the third person watches to make sure the riders don’t get too close to the edge. We thought ahead. Each person on the tube sits directly across from each other, putting one foot firmly under the butt of the other person. Now each rider simply starts a rocking, and a rocking, then a rocking some more and like a rodeo horse bucking and thrashing, the tube goes up higher and higher. The end goal is to flip the tube, your counterpart being thrusted off into the air while yelping and screaming "Yeehaw!" If this happens, you’re the winner. Please note, this game is best played in the absence of the parental units, preferably with the supervision of a babysitter who believes you when you say “Oh, Mom & Dad let’s us play this all the time.”

Then there were the chores. I grew up with a huge yard in the city. It took hours to rake leaves, a chore handed down to us kids the second we had the motor skills to do it. It took even longer when we had to stop and fight the evil in the universe with our handy-dandy rake swords. Side note, I was Han Solo. Once, Dad bought us a leaf blower, thinking this would make our task a little easier and faster. For us, this was like going from Jedi Swords to laser guns. Remember the yard dart game we made up? Now picture the person running from tree to tree while the other person shoots Smarty candies from the leaf blower at them. Halloween was a good time to stock up on projectile candy.

Dusting in the house became towel snapping fun as we perfected our twist and snap techniques. And cooking usually ended up with one of us being Julia Childs, while another was the cook from the Muppets, and the third was the Creolle cook guy from TV, complete with “I done did that.” I admit, we fought over who got to be Chief from the Muppets!

We three little wees, were wonderful companions as children. There were game boards, and coloring books, and cards, and games that were made up on the spot. With a piece of string, a straw and gum, we could make ourselves a world of trouble. I will leave you with one more story from the time when we were wee.

My sister and I shared a room growing up, bunk beds our sleeping abodes. My sister, the older one, slept on the top bunk, while I slept below. One time, while my Dad was in the kitchen cooking, we got a great idea. Wouldn’t it be fun if we took the bed railings and slid down them into the closet? See, the closet would offer a cushioned stop. It was great fun, complete with “wees” all the way down. Of course they were quiet “wees” because deep down, we knew we were doing something we shouldn’t be doing. We simply used the loophole that no one told us we couldn’t do it…seeing that we hadn’t made it up yet. Well, at some point we got the brilliant idea for all three of us to slide down at once. If you’re a parent, you probably know the end of this story…as soon as we hit the middle of our ride “CRACK” went the rail and we plummeted down. I remember Dad yelling “What was that?” We three wee’s mustering as much innocence in our voices as we could in a hot second simultaneously responded “Nothing!” The ending to this story was Dad coming into our room catching us trying to duct tape the rails with the biggest grin on our faces.

I love duct Tape!

And yes, even after reviewing my childhhood I want three kids. I've watched childbirth, changed diapers, sat up all night with a crying baby...I think three is ideal to keep each other occupied while growing up!



Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh my you were busy! Your story reminds me of the crocodile game we used to play. We jumped from bed to bed and tried to avoid being attacked by the crocodile in the middle. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I had forgotten that game until now.

9:49 PM, April 15, 2006  
Blogger Cate said...

This is so damn good! Not only do I love any game involving the word "horsie," you've got me all interested in playing yard darts!

This is childhood at its finest. You look back and wonder how you survived! As a parent, it is my worst nightmare, but I wouldn't begrudge my children these memories for the world!

You are an amazing storyteller! Thank you so much for making me smile tonight!

10:40 PM, April 15, 2006  
Blogger megg said...

ha ha ha ha ha! This was a great admittance. I often think about all of the things that my brother and I got away with and shake my head. It sounds like you had a real romping childhood - the very best kind!

2:23 AM, April 16, 2006  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Fantastic description of childhood games and fantasies! If only we could keep that kind of energy forever!

4:00 AM, April 16, 2006  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

Oh the games. I loved all of that. I can see you at all the mischief. We had an Auntie (not yet a mother!) who conspired and helped us in games. I remember her hiding me in her washing-machine for a gme of hide-and-seek, then getting scared it was such a good hiding-place, no-one would find me. Don't think a mother would have done that, somehow!

5:00 AM, April 16, 2006  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Duct tape, lol! Do you still play games? I hope so!! Your love of life is contagious!

6:03 AM, April 16, 2006  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

Proof once again that kids can make a game out of anything with a little imagination. :) Very sweet.

7:52 AM, April 16, 2006  
Anonymous Jennifer (she said) said...

you had so much fun! we used to use the mattress from the bunk bed and half slide, half sink on the way down. using it on the steps that went to the basement worked better! when i got to the part about the duct tape i smiled even more than i already face is getting kind of achey from all of the great memories i'm reading about today!

9:41 AM, April 16, 2006  
Blogger eliza said...

you know, you can still play ride 'em horsie as a grown-up... you can also tuck both legs under and face eachother. it's best in a lake.

thanks for the hilarious read.

10:30 AM, April 16, 2006  
Blogger Laini said...

Hi Gogo -- what inventive and busy little monsters you were -- in a good way! I was one of three, too, and I also think it's a good number. Doubt I'll make it to that number myself. I have other conflicting feelings about population growth, and plus, I'm just getting too old. But I loved your description of your games and your naughty grins and deceiving the babysitters. So funny!

11:06 AM, April 16, 2006  
Blogger GoGo said...

Yeah, I know over population, but 3 kids are a want...I want love and world peace too, we'll see which one actually comes my way in the end.

Thanks for all the responses! Keep 'em coming I say!

12:24 PM, April 16, 2006  
Anonymous Shannon (Sentimental) said...

Loved all the imagery and description through out this post. Beautiful!

6:51 PM, April 16, 2006  
Blogger JourneyThroughLIfe said...

What a wonderful childhood you had!! I'm so envious of the bond you had with your siblings! Fabulous!

7:12 PM, April 16, 2006  
Blogger Alexandra G said...

I'm also one of three (the youngest). I hope you show this post to your siblings as it was such a joy to read. While I was quite a bit younger than my siblings, young enough to tease, too young to play with!, I too loved (most of the time) having them around and now as adults I am SO grateful to not be an only child. After reading this delightful post I'm reminded that all children should come with brothers and sisters!

6:48 PM, April 17, 2006  
Blogger Kim G. said...

Great stories and wonderful writing! I could see the lawn darts whizzing through the air! I'm sure most of us kept our guardian angels busy through our wild childhoods. We are so overprotective as parents these days. As I think about it, I imagine an over-crowded staff lounge with under-utilized angels flipping through old magazines to pass the time - their halos dull and their wings limp and out of shape from lack of exercise. So sad and yet, unfortunately, so necessary to put more boundaries on our kids in these uncertain times. Thanks for sharing your precious memories!

11:06 PM, April 17, 2006  
Blogger HoBess said...

Your writing took me right back to my childhood home. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I can't stop grinning right now, your stories are great! I'm one of three and I have three and, I confess, as parents it's quite something when that third kid arrives and your taken from man-to-man coverage into a zone. We are always outnumbered! But for the kids it is an amazing way to grow up. Like you show here, who needs neighbors when you've got three kids! Off to explore some more!

9:39 AM, April 18, 2006  
Blogger Jamie said...

I laughed like crazy reading your post! You kids were wild ones for sure. What a lot of fun you had! I can just imagine you guys in the pool laughing and splashing and the looks on your faces when that bannister cracked!

And as for that 3 kid thing, just keep in mind my grandmother's wisdom: you get the child you were! hehe.

5:49 PM, April 18, 2006  

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