Let's see, I was a bedwetter long enough to remember waking up in wet sheets and being cold. I also remember my mother telling me once that she wasn't going to change the sheets or my soaked clothing. She didn't do that all the time. I think that particular time was a special occasion, a "cure" suggested by some asshead who shall remain nameless.
That memory is still so vivid I
guess I haven't really forgiven her for that cold wet night. However,
being mean to children wasn't in her nature, so she didn't do it again.
My brother, on the other hand, used to get out of bed when he was two
years old and head for the bathroom in his sleep. He never seemed to
get there. Instead of finding the toilet, he would settle for the
refrigerator and pee in the lettuce. His "accidents" were charming and
a source of family amusement. Mine were a problem, a source of concern.
Funny how I just noticed the double standard.
My kids didn't sleepwalk nor did
they have to lie in their own pee. I bought plenty of colorful and cute
designer kid sheets and warm fuzzy footies to change into in case of
accidents. These days those new pull up pants for toddlers and older
kids are wonderful solution to the embarrassment and shame kids can
feel for something that happens while they are sound asleep.
I remember thinking I got off
relatively easy compared to the children who made the news for the same
problem. There ought to be a special place in Hell for parents who hit
their kids for wetting the bed. And life in prison for the ones who
beat them to death. Or put them in scalding water.
I once had a babysitter named Anna Mae who made me eat a plate of peas
for lunch. Peas were not lunch as far as I was concerned. A bologna
sandwich and bean soup were lunch. But she made me stay at the table
until I ate every last one. By the end I was gagging every time I
swallowed. Not surprisingly, it wasn't until I was in high school that
I tried to eat peas again. To face my fear, I had to wrap a forkful of
the little green orbs in potatoes and gravy before I managed to get
them down. Just the sensation of their roundness on my tongue came
close to making me retch. But I survived. Now I like Bird's Eye Tender
Tiny Peas so much I have
actually made myself a whole plate for lunch.
Pee problems and a problem with peas. Coincidence? Maybe not.
I think I was young enough during the iniital plate of peas episode that
Anna Mae had no idea that I would be able to complain to my mother
about what she made me do. In fact, I think my mother was so stunned
when I told her what I had for lunch that she even asked the woman if
what I said was true. I can only imagine the look on Anna Mae's face
when she realized I was able to rat her out. Whatever transpired, I
never saw her again.
A bologna -- pronounced BALONEY -- sandwich and bean soup was my favorite lunch mantra. My mom picked us up at school until sixth grade so we could have a homemade hot meal of sorts. Every day my mother would ask us what we wanted for lunch. Every day I would say, "BALONEY AND BEAN SOUP."
Then I switched schools in sixth grade and she started making me a
brown bag lunch to eat in the cafeteria. A new school meant a new
lunch. Now I always had two sandwiches: One peanut butter and jelly,
one cream cheese mixed with red caviar [yes, you read that right], all
washed down with two cartons of chocolate milk. M-m-m-m-m-m, dee-lish.
In fifth grade I got a cookbook that had a recipe for old fashioned
fudge -- not the Marshmallow Fluff kind -- the cook it until the
softball stage and beat it until your arms fall off kind. My mom was
from the "you can do it without my help" school of learning, so I would
use a wooden spoon and beat the fudge all by myself, until it went from
shiny to creamy and was ready to pour into the pan. Timing was
everything. Too soon and it wouldn't set up. Too late and the fudge
would harden in the pan. The change was subtle, but she would let
me know when it happened until I figured it out for myself.
Learning to make rich buttery fudge from scratch began my lifelong
attachment to all things chocolate. Godiva, Dove, Ghirardelli, Nestle, Hershey, I'm not a snob. There isn't
a fudge shop in a vacation town I've visited where I haven't purchased
a big chunk of the plain kind so I could relive those halcyon days of
yesteryear. The miracle is that I didn't feel compelled to open my own
Boy this is making me hungry.
END OF CHAPTER SIX