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Archive | Childhood

Jack in the Box

Another early memory I have is either six months before or after the previous story. I remember a Christmas Tree, and I remember being in the living room at my aunt Catherine’s house. My frame of reference is for time is that they stopped putting the tree in the living room by the time I was 3. So I was 1 or 2 at the time.

My uncles were trying to get me to play with a Jack-in-the-box, but I wanted no part of it. I wanted to play with some other toy. I would start to crawl away, but they kept grabbing me, sitting me down in front of the box, cranking the handle very sloooowly so the music would drunkenly warble out until Jack finally made his grand entrance. I remember going through the routine at least three times, getting more and more annoyed each time until finally someone started crying. I partially glad that someone else was sick of this crap too. It took me a bit to realize that I was actually the one who was crying.

I found the jack in the box a few years later down in my aunt’s basement. I smashed it all up and scattered the remains in the neighbor’s yards.

The houses

One of my first memories was of being washed in the kitchen sink. From my new, elevated point of view I could see across the kitchen to the refrigerator and actually to the top of it. And I saw houses up there. I was amazed! Was it a town? It couldn’t be, it’s too small. I remember telling my mother to take a look at it “Mom! Houses! There’s houses up there!” My mother just gave a quick look over her shoulder and ignored me so I dropped it.

A while later, my birthday arrived and what wonderful gifts I was given! My room had been re-done! There had been a strange hallway between my room and the upstairs bathroom. No real purpose for it now that I think back, it just cut into my room for no reason. Anyways, one wall of the hallway had been removed making my room about 4′ longer and my parents had built a little city scape on the floor where the hallway had been. All manners of roads and railroad tracks for my to drive my matchbox cars on. Oh, and there’s a large wooden toy box built in too, what’s in the toy box? All the houses I saw on top of the refrigerator ! I guess my mom wasn’t very happy that I had “found” my presents.

A few interesting facts that go along with this story. I was only about 20 months old during the first part, and I didn’t start talking until I was 3 1/2. My parents actually thought I was deaf for quite a while since I wasn’t speaking or paying much attention to them. When I thought I was telling my mother that I saw houses, my mother contends I was actually just saying “Uhh! UHHH!” I also remember my father telling me not to go into the hallway before it was torn down. He told me there were nails and broken glass in there. I do remember walking through the hallway, before or after the warning, I’m not sure but there was lots of dust, dirt and random junk on the floor.