I am continuing with the everyday in May Challenge. I am off a bit, because life happens… but I still have loads to say, so I am going to persevere and keep going!
Day 18: Tell a story from your childhood. Dig deep and try to be descriptive about what you remember and how you felt.
Boy, have I got a story for you!
I was four. My brother was just a baby. It was a Saturday. My dad was off work, my mom was getting ready to go somewhere, and I remember the house being full of “hustle and bustle”. My mom was about to fix me some breakfast, but needed to go check on my brother. While I waited for her, she told me to go ahead and get myself my daily vitamin.
I’m forty now, so being four meant that it was 1977. There were no child safety caps. Flintstones were not only still a popular Saturday morning cartoon, but they were also delicious chewable vitamins. My favorite were the orange Barneys. I loved that guy!
I climbed up on the counter and got the bottle of Flintstone vitamins. I carefully chose my Barney (mustn’t accidentally grab a purple Dino… they left a horrible after-taste in your mouth! Bad dog!) Then it occurred to me… wouldn’t this be a great breakfast? Mom wouldn’t have to fix me anything. They must be good for me cause mom said they’d make me strong. So I began to eat the whole bottle. by myself. behind the couch.
I heard my family moving about the house while I sat in my hiding place. I ate them all… even the Dinos! Then I emerged from my den and went in search of my mom. I found her in the kitchen. She asked me what I wanted for breakfast and I proudly announced that I had already fixed myself breakfast. I don’t think I was expecting the shrill scream that came from my mom, or the loud cries for my dad, or the panicked call to our family doctor. And I definitely wasn’t expecting to be introduced to IPECAC.
Most moms are familiar with ipecac, even if they’ve never had to use it… but in case you are unaware, ipecac is a syrup used to induce vomiting. So, I spent the rest of my Saturday morning with my dad and baby brother in the doctor’s office. letting the ipecac do it’s job. violently.
I wish my story ended there. I mean, for a four year old, what I had just been through should be traumatic enough, right? Wrong. Enter Gus the Ghost.
This book was in the doctor’s office. My dad picked it up and lovingly began to read it to me and my brother. It had me hooked. I was hanging on my dad’s every word. And then the syrup started to work. Now, if my mom had been the parent with me, she would have lovingly waited for me to finish heaving and continue with the story. But my dad, though equally loving, had set on a journey of book reading and was not stopping till the book was finished! I could only listen to small excerpts between trips to the trash can and never heard the whole tale… especially the ending.
I asked my dad to read it again and he wouldn’t. Once was enough for him. The doctor was satisfied I was fine and we were sent home. No more Gus. I am sure my dad read other books to us that morning… but Gus was the only one I cared about. And I had missed the story. I had missed the ending. I was in college before I ever found that book again. I read it. It was good… nothing spectacular. Nothing like what I had built up in my mind over the previous two decades. But it gave me closure.
The moral of the story is to SAY NO TO DRUGS! Even the cute little orange Barneys… no matter how delicious they are!