Broken

Largely, my sisters and I dismissed the authority of the babysitter.  She was a playmate.  She brought us treats.  We styled her hair and demanded that she style ours as well.  Finally, at the appointed hour, she gave us piggyback rides to bed and tucked us in and brought us water and let us go to the bathroom one final time.  Wearily, she clicked off the lights and left the room.

A few moments later, we sneaked out of bed and tiptoed back into the family room where we found her eating popsicles and watching TV.
Teasing each other was my sisters’ and my favorite occupation.  Three girls—not Irish twins, but rather Irish triplets—whirled into the family room and then down the stairs into the basement, chasing each other around the ping pong table, zipping past the wine rack and then back up the stairs and into the kitchen.  I paused to grab a wooden spoon from one of the drawers.




“Please, guys, just go to bed.”
We ran into the dining room and down the hallway towards the bedrooms.  We ran into my sister’s room, dashed around the bed, past the little blue table with matching chairs, then back out and down the hall.  We ran into the living room—a room carpeted in dark green, largely unused unless company was staying on the pullout couch.

I had my sister in my sights.  I drew back the wooden spoon.  I smashed it against her backside. 
The wooden spoon cracked in two.

All action ceased.
Our eyes widened as we stared at each other.

The merriment ended.
This was dangerous.

This was serious.
This was bad.

I hid the wooden spoon in the coat closet of the living room; a closet carpeted in dark green and containing the leaves from the dining room table, my mother’s raincoat, and a leather bag holding my father’s photography equipment.
 We headed off to bed.

The party was over.
Apparently, the bedraggled babysitter pronounced our behavior “excellent.”

And as far as I know, my parents never discovered the broken wooden spoon hidden in the closet; my mother never noticed its absence. 
A few years later, we moved to our new home. 

And perhaps the broken wooden spoon is still there—thirty-five years later, hidden away at the back of the coat closet, sitting on a carpet of mossy green.

* * *
This post was written in response to this week's Write on Edge prompt: One person’s Humpty Dumpty is another person’s omelet. In 400 words or less, write about a time when something was irrecoverably broken and the ensuing scramble.

Labels: ,

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Broken

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Broken

Largely, my sisters and I dismissed the authority of the babysitter.  She was a playmate.  She brought us treats.  We styled her hair and demanded that she style ours as well.  Finally, at the appointed hour, she gave us piggyback rides to bed and tucked us in and brought us water and let us go to the bathroom one final time.  Wearily, she clicked off the lights and left the room.

A few moments later, we sneaked out of bed and tiptoed back into the family room where we found her eating popsicles and watching TV.
Teasing each other was my sisters’ and my favorite occupation.  Three girls—not Irish twins, but rather Irish triplets—whirled into the family room and then down the stairs into the basement, chasing each other around the ping pong table, zipping past the wine rack and then back up the stairs and into the kitchen.  I paused to grab a wooden spoon from one of the drawers.




“Please, guys, just go to bed.”
We ran into the dining room and down the hallway towards the bedrooms.  We ran into my sister’s room, dashed around the bed, past the little blue table with matching chairs, then back out and down the hall.  We ran into the living room—a room carpeted in dark green, largely unused unless company was staying on the pullout couch.

I had my sister in my sights.  I drew back the wooden spoon.  I smashed it against her backside. 
The wooden spoon cracked in two.

All action ceased.
Our eyes widened as we stared at each other.

The merriment ended.
This was dangerous.

This was serious.
This was bad.

I hid the wooden spoon in the coat closet of the living room; a closet carpeted in dark green and containing the leaves from the dining room table, my mother’s raincoat, and a leather bag holding my father’s photography equipment.
 We headed off to bed.

The party was over.
Apparently, the bedraggled babysitter pronounced our behavior “excellent.”

And as far as I know, my parents never discovered the broken wooden spoon hidden in the closet; my mother never noticed its absence. 
A few years later, we moved to our new home. 

And perhaps the broken wooden spoon is still there—thirty-five years later, hidden away at the back of the coat closet, sitting on a carpet of mossy green.

* * *
This post was written in response to this week's Write on Edge prompt: One person’s Humpty Dumpty is another person’s omelet. In 400 words or less, write about a time when something was irrecoverably broken and the ensuing scramble.

Labels: ,

9 Comments:

At March 3, 2012 at 2:09 PM , Anonymous Leslicollins said...

I remember this so well - and the shock when the spoon bowl snapped in half! Those poor Frame girls, they sure earned their sitting wages with us!

 
At March 3, 2012 at 4:37 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

That was bad. Although I don't know why we were so worried about it. A wooden spoon!

 
At March 3, 2012 at 5:16 PM , Anonymous Elizabeth Young said...

This is hilarious! My Grandmother used to babysit my siblings and I so there were no such hijinks, but they sure found fun. As to the wooden spoon, it has its own story to tell!

 
At March 3, 2012 at 5:27 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Looking back it is funny, but not at the time! Thanks for reading, Elizabeth!

 
At March 6, 2012 at 7:01 AM , Anonymous may said...

I would have been the babysitter in this scenario! In fact, are you sure I didn't watch you every Wed. and Sat. night for my 7th through 9th grades years?!

 
At March 6, 2012 at 9:28 AM , Anonymous BalancingMama (Julie) said...

Funny how these little things seemed so big back then. I must say, your babysitter had some solid patience! Not sure I could have handled you ladies ;)

 
At March 6, 2012 at 9:49 AM , Blogger ~Julia said...

I like the way you wrote the very first line. It had me wondering the whole time what was going to happen.

 
At March 7, 2012 at 6:14 AM , Anonymous My Pajama Days said...

So cute! The wooden spoon that my mom used on our backside was given to me as a baby shower gift when I was pregnant with my first child! I could so picture this whole scene. Great job.

 
At March 8, 2012 at 7:20 AM , Anonymous Sightsnbytes said...

nice story, nice blog. I think I will have a look around. feel free to do the same on my blog.

 

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