Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mischief with Missy B.

Saturday, 4:30am. Of all days, I should be sleeping in - today will be busy. The kids won't be waking up for another 2½ hours and I would have been wise to take advantage of that and sleep that long myself.

But I'm remembering. Remembering is something significant in my life right now. Pregnancy does things to your memory, and for the past half hour I've been recalling things that happened more than 20 years ago. Things I haven't even thought about for years.

(Puppets at the N. California location - 25 years ago.)

Maybe it's because Dolly woke up at 4 and when I tucked her in again I thought about what we were planning to do today. Sir got a new job almost a month ago. Today we were going to celebrate and for weeks the plan has been to take the kids to Chuck E Cheese. As I tucked Dolly in a few minutes ago, I almost reminded her that today was the day the kids had been looking forward to for so long. Then I realized that reminding her then would only ensure my day starting even earlier, so I bit my tongue, and went back to bed. And kept thinking.

I was remembering the 3 or 4 times during my childhood that my parents took us to Chuck E Cheese. Once we went when I was 6 or 7 probably. There was this little girl who was staying with us - overnight, for the day, a couple of days - I don't remember how long she was with us. I don't even remember her name. She was either the step-daughter of my mom's nephew or she was the granddaughter of an older woman named Cherry B. I think she was the latter, so for blogging purposes, I'll call this girl Missy B. Missy B. was older than I - a year or two maybe? She had short brown hair, and she knew all about stuff. I was very impressed by her and she probably liked me because I was so eager to do whatever she asked me to. Although I did get into a lot of trouble for it.

The first thing I remember about Missy B. was that she asked me to ask my mom to let her stay with us. I did, she was allowed, and later my parents told me it wasn't my place to be asking things for other people - especially if it wasn't my own request.

(Tina, me - about age 14, Li'l G., and our brother Ike posing with a friend on the long-retired little John Deere tractor)
So, when the next adventure occurred, I think it may have been my suggestion based on something I knew Missy B. would like. See, I could drive a tractor. It wasn't a very big tractor - just a little John Deere thing with a scoop shovel in the front and any other kid loved to ride in the scoop. I wasn't supposed to drive it without being told to by my parents and I knew this, because I still remember trembling with excitement and nervousness because I took Missy B. down to the mixer in the shovel scoop. There was some urgent reason we had to go so fast and our legs wouldn't have gotten us there in good enough time. My parents seemed appreciative of the news we breathlessly brought them, but they also reminded me I had driven the tractor without express directions. They didn't punish me, but I'd never experienced butterflies in my stomach before and I know it was because I knew I'd done something I shouldn't have.

You'd think I'd have learned my lesson, but perhaps the excitement of having another girl close to my age around played with my good senses. The next thing I remember doing with Missy B. was making Kool Aid. I'd never made it before although we did have KoolAid packets around the house. Missy B. said that the stuff we were drinking wasn't really KoolAid and so, she and I slipped off to the chicken house to make it the 'right way'. My parents would put about a quarter of the suggested sugar into a jug of KoolAid and my siblings and I never knew the difference. To us, it was flavoured juice, and it was something we didn't get very often. Anyway, Missy B. and I took a package of Strawberry KoolAid, and I have no idea how much sugar, and we made our own KoolAid out in the Dove Room of the chicken house. We used plastic Strawberry Shortcake glasses (because they had red pictures on them) and basically concocted a syrup. Very few sweet things made me sick growing up, but the Strawberry KoolAid that Missy B and I made, was definitely one of them. To this day, I do not have any real liking for Strawberry Shortcake characters, and I do not think I've tasted strawberry KoolAid for more than 20 years!

(One of the few pictures of the Chicken house with Tina playing Indian out front. The Dove room was on the left side)

Of course remembering the KoolAid incident with Missy B., reminded me of one of the only other times I got sick on something sweet, and that was pomegranate juice popsicles. Aunt Helen had come over to watch my siblings and me for a while and she kept us busy doing all sorts of fun stuff. We made play dough out of flour and salt and water, and when that was done, we juiced a box of pomegranates and made pomegranate popsicles. I didn't do so great the next day when my mom let us all try one of our popsicles. Although, I have tried pomegranate juice flavored things since then - just never popsicles! But I'm digressing.

After the KoolAid making, Missy B. and I discovered some makeup underneath the kitchen sink. I think I was showing her a science experiment we had down there. Probably an egg in vinegar, and stowed away in the cupboard was a little basket of makeup my aunt had gotten rid of. I do not know why we even had it, but there was nail polish, and lipstick and some other stuff as well. Missy B. declared it a treasure and within a few minutes, we'd dashed off to the dark bathroom on the patio to try some on. I knew we'd get in trouble if my mom caught us wearing hot pink lipstick, so I persuaded Missy B. that it would be better if we wiped it off before leaving the bathroom. After all, we were going to a pizza place that night and the last thing I wanted was a reason for my parents to cancel those plans. Missy B. was fine with that, but in turn, she persuaded me that once we got to the restaurant, we could go to the bathroom and put the lipstick back on. So, we carefully smuggled the lipstick to Chuck E. Cheese's and at the first opportunity we got, we dashed off to the bathroom to apply our stolen treasure. It didn't take my parents long to discover us, and I distinctly remember being marched back to the bathroom, getting my faced scrubbed clean and then watching in dismay as my mom threw the lipstick away. When we got home, she threw out the rest of the makeup too.

(Me about 7 yrs old and Tina who I'd tricked into crawling into the cage before gleefully locking her in. We were directly in front of the Dove room of the Chicken house.)
6am - So, now that it's been an hour to write what took me half an hour to remember, I should be able to go back to sleep without words buzzing around in my head. Maybe I'll even get another hour or two of sleep before my children wake up and remind me that today is the day that they've been waiting for to go to Chuck E. Cheese's!

Saturday, 6pm - now that I've dug up some old pictures for this post, I'm publishing it just before I wake my kids up from their naps so we can go do something they've been anticipating for 23 days.

10:50pm - The kids woke up before I got the rest of my editing done. They're in bed now, wiped out from all the excitement they had this evening. Maybe one of these days life will slow down a little and I'll get more posts written.


  1. I loved this post and I love it when you share memories!

  2. I'm sorry you lost out on some sleep but that was the funnest post! Takes me back too!

  3. Great memories! what a fun read. I can totally sympathize with the whole memory during pregnancy thing. Been there done that and still can't remember anything. I think it's called MOM syndrome. :)