real life

"Looking back I can admit it: I was a sh*t of a kid."

Working with kids everyday reminds me what it was like to be a kid myself.

I often wonder how much they will remember of what they say (Zoe, is your hair a wig? You smell like my Pop), or do (fart while sitting on my lap/ throwing a croquet mallet at my head) .

Yesterday while out for coffee with my mum, we realised that the sales girl in the nearby shop was someone I’d gone to school with, or, as my mum pointed out dryly, someone who was screeching at the top of her lungs that Freddy Kruger was going to “get” her at my 10th Birthday slumber party.

That seemed to set mum off on another tangent of how ill-behaved I was as a child and bitterly dredged up the following stories. Damn you Tiffany Dawn Crystal* and your screechy voice! Damn you to hell!

*not her real name

Sam, mum, Caleb, my children and myself, 2015.

The time I broke my mum’s $2000 bed

I still maintain this was an accident. Just want to put that out there. I was fighting with my brother (common theme) and was in the middle of chasing him around Mum’s brand new, mahogany four poster bed complete with Laura Ashely bed linen.

I fully intended to give him a good pummelling. The reason is unclear all these years later but no doubt he deserved it. He was cheeky with a smart mouth. He dived under the bed for protection, and I, not blessed with grace or agility, tripped over our toddler brother who was crawling on the bedroom floor and crashed down like a sack of spuds on mums bed, crushing my stupid brother who was of course, underneath.

The bed was stuffed: slats were broken, the posts came down, basically I was fucked. Total chaos ensued. Mum was livid and punished us by newspapering the tv like a giant papier-mâché so we couldn’t watch Home & Away. Hardcore shit. Jokes on mum though: we made a little hole in the newspaper to see through. Bad asses.

Zoe, Caleb and Sam 1997.

The time I laughed at a kid falling over

No doubt you’ve picked up on the fact I have a sick sense of humour. When I was a teenager I was driving with my dad and saw one of the neighbourhood kids running full pelt along the street. He tripped and fell spectacularly and I, watching the whole scene unfold, laughed maniacally. I had the window down and he just stared at me like I was the most evil villain on the planet.

I felt bad afterwards and summoned him to the back fence where I showered him with lollies. I’m not above buying forgiveness. His brother tried to cash in on the deal and told me he also injured himself, and got shut down. But good on him for trying, hey?

Confessions- Things parents do after their kids have gone to bed (post continues after video):


The time I pulled down my friend’s verandah

I was big boned, ok? I was 12 and at a sleepover playing downball. I got out and went to swing off the pole of the verandah and onto the grass.

After having been told 57 times by my friend’s dad not to, as it was a rickety apparatus. I remember heavy beams of timber falling down around all my friends heads, and an unpleasant tearing, metallic sound. The dad chose that moment to come around the corner on his tractor and his face just fell.

They tried to make me feel better by saying “um, we were thinking about renovating anyway, so thanks!” *nervous awkward laughter*

I used to force my brother to play dress ups, 1990.

The time I refused to go with the babysitter and made mum catastrophically late for work

In the holidays mum would work which meant a strange smelling woman with large nostrils would have to look after us. Unfortunately, she would look after other kids as well and we would have to go with her when she babysat them.

This particular day we were going to 6 year old Gretchen’s* house and I’d fucking had it. Gretchen would bully us into giving her all our food, control the video selection, never let us play in her cubby and would blackmail us too. Mole. This day I stacked on a ripper turn and wouldn’t get in the car. Mum was in trouble for being late for work, and let me have it.

*not her real name either

The time my brother broke his arm and I didn’t believe him

Zoe, Caleb and Sam 1999

You really can’t blame me, he was such a drama queen and would over react to everything. This time I was in charge, and he tripped over, then lay squawking that he’d broken his arm.

Didn’t look broken to me. I gave him a bit of ice, my other brother wrapped it in a crude bandage and we called it a night. Then mum saw it in the morning, freaked, took him to the hospital where it was x-rayed and pronounced broken.

I felt so bad I didn’t even comment when the cast started to smell like sweaty arse in the hot Australian sun.

I might have been a shit kid, but I wasn’t a total bitch.

This article was originally published on Sarcasm is the Lowest Form of Wit. It has been republished here with full permission.

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