Friday, January 13, 2006

A Million Tiny Pieces of Cake, continued

Mrs. Linklater's Memoir keeps on rolling. . .


I remember a lot of things from when I was two. In short colorful segments. There was a bottle filled with blue liquid sitting on the radiator one day. At least in my memory. I was in a crib and utterly fascinated by the blue color. I have a distinct memory of wanting to get to that bottle at all costs, so I could drink the liquid in the bottle. I assume I did not succeed, since I have no recollection of a trip to the emergency room in a red truck.

I also remember spending time at my aunt's Wisconsin vacation house in the winter, because my brother had just been born.

The popping noise of the crackling fire, roaring in the fireplace, upset me when I was in the high chair being fed. I remember a plastic bib with red things on it around my neck. Dots? Strawberries? The bib made a funny sound when I turned my head. Even though I remember turning and looking at the logs every time I heard the explosions that frightened me, I couldn't express myself, so my aunt assumed I was tired and cranky, not hungry. Each time I got upset, she put me back in the crib, not once but several times.

I remember the dark wood paneling in the room where they kept my crib. The door would close, they would leave, but I wasn't tired. So it was back up, then back down. I think if my aunt was a little more perceptive she might have picked up on my distress over the fire noises. I have the distinct memory of turning around to look at where the noise was coming from whenever I heard that gunfire sound. I think they thought if I weren't facing it, it wouldn't bother me. Stupid adults.

When my sister was born I was sent for another visit to the vacation house. That time it was summer. I remember sitting in the back seat of a big black car on the way up there. There was a huge gray area between the back and the front -- large enough for me to stand and move around but I wasn't allowed to get up. All I wanted to do was play and I had to sit on the seat and not move.

When my little sister was born, I was almost four. My dad's mother was at the vacation house this time. She had a bunch of rules for children. She made me go outside after breakfast and play there all day long. I couldn't come back in until dinner time. The problem was there were no other kids and no toys to play with, except some trucks that belonged to my cousin who wasn't there. So I was very bored. Iwas only allowed inside to go to the bathroom, so I spent a lot of time on the toilet as I recall. Not surprisingly I spend as little time as possible there now.

On reflection I think Grandma and her boyfriend, a very nice man I called Uncle Joe, were having some playtime of their own and didn't want me around. I have no memory of my father ever lying on the floor playing toys with me, but Uncle Joe would play Lincoln Logs with me, helping me put together little cabins and topping them off with that green chimney. Or was it a chimney?

My grandfather had died of a heart attack at fifty, partially as a result of losing all his money in the Crash of '29. That combined with losing his oldest son in a flight training accident not long after that had to have a cummulative effect. Plus he smoked cigars.

So my grandma was a widow pretty young and obviously had an agenda that didn't include babysitting grandbabies unless she had to.

My most burning memory of that grandmother was the time she walked me into the bathroom to show me the tomatoes in the toilet. Tomatoes made her sick to her stomach, and for some reason she wanted me to see what they looked like after she had vomited. I remember standing there looking at the pink floating pieces, holding her hand. To this day tiny pieces of sliced tomato can bring back that cherished childhood memory. Thanks for sharing, Grandma.

Another ding of the microwave. Time for lunch.



mawmellow said...

shall we say saved by the bell ???    

ally123130585918 said...

I am really enjoying this  - I fell down cliffs when I was young and have no memory of the early part of my life - so here I am quite envying you being able to remember being in a crib......looking forward to chapter 3....Ally

mosie1944 said...

Good grief!!!!  I'm thankful for my grandma now, for sure.  I'm amazed that you remember when you were two.  

Oh, Lincoln logs, I believe, have green roofs, and red chimneys.

suzypwr said...

OK, so you remember age two, but do you remember what you did yesterday?


sdoscher458 said...

I loved my grandparents dearly, however they scared me to death as a child whenever I slept over their house.  They kept their "teeth" in two glasses in the bathroom at night I guess soaking. That was so scarey...I still cringe at the thought of choppers soaking.....Sandi

labdancer51 said...

A very interesting entry,  I think in the future I will view tomatoes in a completely different! :oO

Sandra xxxx

onemoretina said...

    My earliest memory was when I was three, and out walking through the forest with my grandmother.  I told her I had to go potty, and she said to use "Nature's bathroom," and pointed to a nice big bush .... which turned out to be poison ivy.  My bum was raw for two weeks.  Your granny and mine sound like they could be related.   Tina

sunnyside46 said...

I am trying to recall my first memory... I think I had drawn on th e wall with a crayon and I was trying to wash it off, afraid I would get in trouble. I remember thinking "why does mom blame everything on me?How would she known Dad didnt draw on th ewall?"
perils of being an only child!