La La How The Life Goes On

Once Upon A Time

Posted on: August 16, 2010

One of the most endearing and annoying things about Bambina is her near-constant request to Dada and I to “tell me a story!” I am certain this arose from the fact that she was an only child until the age of 5, so our mealtimes were jolly affairs full of listening to her, engaging her, entertaining her and being a little family of three. So we told stories. Dada made up some great ones, some that are still ongoing (I think we are on Chapter 26 of the continuing saga of Bambina’s magical ice cream shop empire and the famous individuals (living and dead) who frequent her worldwide establishments). Having said that, if you steal this idea and get on Oprah, BELIEVE that I will hunt you down. As will a slew of famous personages who happen to love magical ice cream.

More often than not, however, Bambina wants to hear stories from our childhoods, and we willingly oblige. Some of them are just funny, and some I tell on purpose to teach a Grandpa Walton-type lesson about honesty and truth or whatnot.

On the dangers of unintended consequences:
The time I did a giant fart in 2nd grade because my mum had made my corduroy pants with a snapper instead of a button and I wanted to see if I could pop my pants open by pushing my chubba stomach out really hard. Twelve kids sitting on the rug for story time, ten of them listening. One–John McCarrison–picking his nose and studying its treasures was not listening because picking is what John McCarrison did 24/7. Another child–that would be me–was not listening because I was concentrating on my core pilates moves in service of grabbing that no-hands pants-opening brass ring. I pushed and pushed until–PHTBBBBBBBBTTTPPBBB! The largest and loudest fart every produced by a European grade schooler trumpeted from the circle. Bedlam ensued; kids laughing and rolling around, the teacher attempting to restore order, and me feigning outrage and asking, “Who on earth was that?”

On compassion for others:
The time I walked a fellow first grade student to the bathroom because her stomach hurt and—retch!–she vomited all over me in the hallway. And how grandma (my mum) had to walk the mile and a half to my school to bring me clean clothes because we only had one car and my dad had it at work. And how it was so gross that as I saw and smelled the barf running down my skirt and legs that I had an overwhelming urge to vomit as well. But how Hazel and I stayed friends anyway even though I thereafter refused to go anywhere with her alone.

On courage and doing it afraid:
The time I decided that today was the day I’d use the Big Kid Slide at the playground in my hometown in Scotland. My bro and sis had been using it for positively MONTHS now and it was time for little ol’ Mama to man up at the age of 4. So I climbed to the top of the slide (recallng that this was the early 70’s and that shit was not safe by today’s standards at all, in that it was about 20 feet tall, metal, peeling lead paint and a guaranteed ass-burning on sunny days). So I climbed my little fat self up the ladder to the apex, where there was no candy-ass 90’s or 00’s landing or safety area at the top; just a ladder and a slide attached. As i sat down I began to have second thoughts about my survival chances, about the wisdom of doing something so reckless from so high a height, when my brother and sister appeared behind me on the narrow ladder to tell me to go down already you big scaredy cat. So I started crying, my mother was reassuring me that she was meeting me at the bottom and that she’d catch me and that nothing bad was going to happen but that there were 6 kids now behind me on the ladder and I had no choice but to slide on down. NOW. And so, with the taunts and epithets of my siblings hanging in the air I finally let go and descended. Scream of terror followed by “Wheeeeee!” Then climbed up and did it again.

Oh, there are more. The dog poop on my clothes story. The spider in my ear story. The time I ran up to my babysitter Deborah on the street and gave her a gigantic hug, only to discover that “Deborah” was a dude I did not know. I do at times get so tired of telling a particular story that I’ll just flat-out refuse to do it, but I’ve realized that whenever Bambina requests a particular story she is trying to connect to a truth in it related to something going on in her life at the time, so I tell it anyway. At least that’s what I tell myself so I don’t have to contemplate the fact that my kid just enjoys hearing about my childhood humiliations. Either way, I hope she’s learning something, even if it is simply “Always use your hands to unbutton your pants.”


1 Response to "Once Upon A Time"

Haha, sunny days in Scotland. Good one.

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