Tag Archives: childhood

My imaginary friends, I might have been gifted, and other random things

I am sure we have all seen the Facebook status game going around that asks you to post random things about yourself so your friends can all pretend to be interested. My friend Beth nominated me to do this (because I liked her list, I guess that’s how it works), but I am going to pull a Paula and post it on my blog instead. Because there are a lot of random facts about me and I would like to elaborate on them, and as Paula said, ain’t nobody got time for that on Facebook.

Beth gave me the number 8, so here are 8 random facts about me. Oh and they’re mostly about my childhood, because I think kids are hilarious and I can remember a lot of really random things about growing up.

1. When I was about four and still living in our first house in the suburbs (before we moved to the middle of nowhere) I got one of those massive boxes of crayons with every single colour and I was so excited to use them. I thought it would be nice to make pictures for all the neighbours on our street. I spent hours and hours in my room working very hard on this. Sometimes I would just colour a page out of my colouring book and then tear it out, and sometimes I would elaborately and painstakingly draw the pictures myself, but either way I made sure that no neighbours were left out.

Everyone on my street received a special picture from me. Every day. For several weeks. I drew pictures and delivered them to my neighbours.

I snuck them into their mailboxes and left them on their doorsteps. I thought I was giving them a beautiful present and they would cherish it forever. Perhaps my pictures would even make it onto their fridge.

One day our old crotchety next door neighbour Mrs. Moaner (not her actual name, just what my mom called her, and not to her face) came over and told my mom that I needed to stop drawing pictures and leaving them on her doorstep. She did not like it, and was in fact very angry about receiving the pictures. And so, that was the end of my drawings (but I found out later that the older couple who lived across the street really loved my drawings and saved every single one).

2. I had two imaginary friends, also when I was around 3 or 4, still living in the same house. One was a girl named Orion, who was a pretty normal imaginary friend, and who would play with me in our backyard. We had some great times together.

My other imaginary friend was the monster who lived in the furnace grate in the floor at the end of my bed. This sounds scary, but his name was Harry and he was a very nice monster and from what I can remember he was pretty hilarious. Harry used to tell me funny stories as I was going to sleep. I can distinctly remember having conversations with Harry so now I wonder if I just had a really good imagination, or if my house was haunted? I will never know.

Harry is not to be confused with the evil monster who lived under my bed who I OBVIOUSLY was not friends with.

3. In Grade 2 I wrote a story about a girl. I can’t remember what the actual story was about, but I do remember I had to draw pictures for it, and in one of the pictures I drew, the girl was getting ready for school. In the picture the girl was getting dressed, and I drew her from the back, finding clothes out of her dresser to wear. I decided to draw her naked. With a big butt crack. I can still picture it. It looked like this:

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My mom was called in to talk to the teacher to see if I was having any issues at home. I wasn’t. I just thought it would be funny to draw someone naked. I liked to push the envelope a little bit.

4. Also in Grade 2 my mom (and possibly my teacher also, I don’t know) came up with the idea that I might be gifted. I was doing exceptionally well in writing and drawing, so the idea was not completely unwarranted. My school was having a test for students who might be gifted in the library, so I was to take it.

The test was a Scantron. So a sheet of questions, and then a separate sheet where you mark your answers.

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Don’t tell me you don’t remember these.

It was the first time I had ever seen a Scantron test so I had no idea how it worked. Unfortunately I did not pay attention while they explained the instructions. When it came time to do the test, I was too embarrassed to ask how to do it because I was supposed to be gifted and I thought gifted people weren’t supposed to ask questions (and gifted people probably also paid attention). So I pretended to know what I was doing and just coloured in little circles at random and hoped for the best. I probably didn’t even put my name on there correctly.

No one ever brought up the results with me. I’ll never know if I was gifted, but I’ll just go ahead and say probably not.

5. One time in later elementary school I really, really didn’t want to go to school so I decided to fake sick. And I decided to fake sick very elaborately. I got a large bucket and just started pouring things into it from the fridge: Ketchup, mustard, milk, mayonnaise, and Cheez Whiz. I then added water and bread chunks and mixed it all together until it had a nice thick consistency. Then I showed it to my dad and said that I threw up. He agreed I must be sick and I could stay home from school. I was so impressed with myself because the contents of that bucket really and truly did smell like throw-up! It was pretty gross. (note: I was telling Evan this story and he said “So many stories from your childhood involve you pulling the wool over your dad’s eyes,” and he would not be wrong about that. The Ghost of the Indian Chief is another example of this.)

6. I used to be able to beat the original Super Mario Bros in under eight minutes, by using all the warp zones.

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It was quite a party trick (when I was 8) and I was kind of a phenomenon in my neighbourhood. I was very proud of myself.

7. Speaking of video games, I REALLY love Guitar Hero and I am freakishly good at it.

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Or Rock Band, which isn’t the same, in my opinion. The Guitar Hero guitar is my instrument of choice.

I can play it on expert and get 98-100% on most of the songs (except the really crazy ones). A few years ago I won $100 in a Guitar Hero competition that I randomly stumbled across in a mall. I saw a big crowd milling about, so I walked up and entered on a whim and I ended up beating a bunch of 14 year old boys. Suckers. It was a proud moment for me.

8. I have a really awesome immune system, and I am very thankful for this. I get a minor cold maybe twice a year (if that), and it’s usually just a stuffy nose and a sore throat for a day or two. Nothing crazy. I don’t usually get headaches, I have not had the flu since the 7th grade, and I just don’t normally get sick (hence why I used to have to fake sick). I am pretty hardy. Do you know what I attribute this to? Growing up swimming in a dirty lake. Practically living in a dirty lake. I was exposed to who knows what and I’m pretty sure that’s what gave me my immune system of steel.

And that’s it, but feel free to tell me random facts about yourself!

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They’re Magically Delicious

This story is dedicated to my mom, as it is her favourite story about me and she asked me recently why I haven’t told it yet. So heeeeere it is!

When I was just a little kitty, my very favourite cereal in the entire world was Lucky Charms.

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So magically delicious. Like every child I of course looooved the marshmallows. Could not get enough. I could eat an entire bowl of just the marshmallows, easily.

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Whenever I would eat my bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast I would eat all the boring oat pieces first and then save all the little marshmallows for last. I still do this with my dinner plates: eat the stuff that isn’t my favourite first so then the good things are all saved for last. It’s a good eating method. I recommend it. This way your favourite thing is the very last taste in your mouth.

One day when I was about three or four, my mom bought a giant family-sized box of Lucky Charms. She brought it home from the grocery store and as soon as she took it out of the bag I was all over it.

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My mom noticed me admiring the box of deliciousness.

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And she decided that it probably wasn’t a good idea to just leave the box lying around, as I’d probably get into it.

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But I didn’t WANT them for breakfast tomorrow, I wanted them right NOW.

My mom thought that a good place to “hide” the Lucky Charms would be on top of the refrigerator, because I was just little, and wouldn’t be able to reach it.

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But when I want something that badly, I want it, and I WILL get it.

I stared at that box for the rest of the day. And as I was going to sleep that night, all I could think about were the Lucky Charms just sitting on the top of the fridge waiting for me. I had to have them.

So I woke up super early, before my parents, with the plan of acquiring that box of Lucky Charms. And actually I am not even sure how I woke up so early, but it’s possible that I didn’t sleep at all.

But anyway, I woke up super early (it was still dark), crept into the kitchen, and there they were.

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In the same spot my mom had left them the night before. Still too high for me to reach.

But I was a resourceful little minx. So I grabbed a chair from the kitchen table, quietly dragged it over to the fridge, and climbed up onto the counter.

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Almost…

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Success.

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The Lucky Charms and I were reunited.

I quickly (but quietly) put the chair back, took the box of Lucky Charms with me into my bedroom and shut the door. I was alone with my conquest. The Lucky Charms were all mine.

I immediately dumped the entire box onto my floor.

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And then I sat down next to the mound of Lucky Charms and got to work.

I meticulously separated the marshmallows from the boring oat pieces one by one. It took me ages, but I didn’t give up. I picked out every last colourful piece of marshmallow and set it aside. In the end I had a pile of oat pieces (which I discarded), and a perfect pile of just marshmallows.

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Which I then ate. I ate the entire pile of marshmallows.

In the morning my mom woke up a bit later than usual and thought it was weird that I wasn’t up and harassing her yet. It was very unlike me to be so quiet in my room so late. So she came in to check on me.

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And this is how she found me.

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As my mom tells me the story, and as she tells everyone she tells this story to, she found me eating the very last marshmallow in the box.

I spent the rest of the day alternating between laying around in a sugar coma and magically throwing up the rainbow.

But surprisingly I am not sick of Lucky Charms even now! And I still love those little marshmallows!

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Adventures in Babysitting (with the Babysitter’s Club)

So it’s possible you have already guessed this, but things are not the most fab in my personal life right now, and I don’t really feel that it is appropriate to blog about (I am okay – no worries, and I am sorry to be cryptic!). But you should know that I am moving.

This is kiiiind of a big deal. My house is going up for sale next week, and I have never sold a house before. Sometimes I feel like it is a little bit too big of a grown-up thing to deal with… Dealing with the realtors and the stager and the lawyer, and talking about fees and taxes and blarrrrg requires me to put on my serious big girl pants, and I don’t feel fully comfortable in them yet (hopefully I will by the time I have kids…probably not).

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Plus, I really love my house. It is quite sexy. The day I got the keys was officially the most exciting day of my life thus far. So I will be sad to say goodbye to it. But, hey-ho! Carry on, as my Nana always says. It is not the most fun thing, but I know everything will be gravy soon enough. Things usually work out for me, and I have very extreme luck (can also be extremely bad luck, but can sometimes be extremely good). So, nungas crossed.

And every cloud and all that, because you know what I have discovered is fun?

Packing!

Welllll, maybe not packing per se, more like unpacking and organizing the random boxes in my basement that have sat there since I moved in three and a half years ago.

I found a bunch of stuff this week that I totally forgot existed and really made me laugh hard. Some of it is funny to just me, but some of it I think will be funny for everyone. I was originally going to cram it all into one post, but I have decided to break it up to give each find the attention it deserves. And I promise to make that more entertaining than it sounds…

So first up, I found my old Babysitter’s Club books!

Silly Stacey and her diabetes and boy-craziness. Seriously, I will never be able to hear the word diabetes without thinking of Stacey.

(A separate post will just be on books, because it turns out I am a serious book hoarder and have saved every book I’ve ever owned. I have boxes and boxes of them. Literally hundreds.)

But re: The Babysitter’s Club, I can’t even explain to you how much I loved it when I was in elementary school. A ridiculous amount. My Nana got me the super specials for Christmas and my birthday every year from Grades 4 through 6 (after I graduated from reading about Karen’s adventures in Babysitter’s Little Sister).

I loved the books so much that I wrote a letter to Ann M. Martin and asked her if the characters were real people…specifically Logan, as I had a crush on him and wanted to steal him away from boring Mary Anne.

No, Logan, you do not like Mary Anne. You like Lindsey.

Anyway, Ann M. Martin actually sent me a letter back! I don’t have her letter anymore, sadly, but I remember she said that no, the characters are all fictional, and actually Stoneybrook Connecticut is a fictional place (how was I supposed to know this?).

God how I loved those babysitters and their crazy adventures. I wanted to be funky and trendy and hide candy all over my room like Claudia (I actually did hide candy in my room trying to be like Claudia – and I got ants), but I also wanted to be cool and sophisticated and dot my i’s with hearts like Stacey (I’ll skip on the diabetes though). And of course I wanted to be like the laid-back Dawn, all Californian and hip. And Jessi was pretty cool with her dancing.

(I never aspired to be the other three. Mallory was a ginger, Kristy was bossy and basically a man, and the only thing I liked about Mary Anne was Logan and the secret passage in her house.)

It should be noted that I loved The Babysitter’s Club so much I started my own babysitter’s club, and after I found my books, I found our original flyer in one of my old boxes.

This killed me. I laughed for at least 10 minutes when I found this. No, scratch that. Days. I am still laughing about it. We totally stole the name We Love Kids Club from Dawn’s spinoff babysitters club in California (if anyone remembers that), and you better believe we made Kid Kits!

It should be noted that Gineen and I were 12 and 3/4 because we didn’t want to lie and say we were 13, but it sounded more mature than just 12. Also, Lisa was part-time, because her cottage was near my house and she was only there on weekends.

It also should be noted that the “have experience with newborns” line refers to my brother Eric who is 10 years younger than me, and who we had to look after quite a lot.

I look like I know what I’m doing, right? That was our only newborn experience. But having experience with newborns sounded good, so we went with it.

We also had to adjust our pricing model in later flyers, so people would actually pay us with money and not popsicles.

But these flyers totally worked, and I got tons of babysitting jobs because of them. Seriously like 20. People just called me because my number was first. I kind of shafted everyone else.

We also started our own Swim Club (couldn’t find that flyer, unfortunately). We lived on a lake, so one summer we decided to offer swimming lessons to all the local children for $2.

We also made flyers, and somehow they lured in all the parents in our neighbourhood. Small communities man, I tell ya (Cely will tell you too – go read that post, story of my life!!!)

We didn’t have any official swimming instructor credentials or anything, but we spent the entire summer in the lake anyway, so we figured we might as well make some money. Parents actually paid us $2 a week to teach their child how to swim. We had like 20 kids who we “taught” once a week for the entire summer. Not a liability issue at all. Not at all.

Correct me if I am right, but I don’t think this would happen now… Thankfully, no one drowned.

So that’s it on the Babysitters Club front. Any other super fans? Who was your fave?

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