A fellow asked on Facebook, “you’ve told us about your childhood home. What did you do to destroy it?”
Nothing is the answer. You have to understand that I am practically perfect in every way.
That is statement is only 75% BS. In truth, when your nose is stuck in a book 95% of the time it keeps you from doing too much damage to your surroundings. Tim was more rambunctious than I, but even he wasn’t too hard on the place. The other inhibiting force was that whenever it got rowdy we were told to, “Take it outside.”
If I was hard on anything it was my toys and small appliances. I loved to take things apart to see how they worked. Space shuttles and AT-ATs were disassembled. So were Transformers and other action figures. Under supervision so were VCRs and toasters. I wasn’t too bad at putting things back together either and Dad was awesome at it.
Here are a couple incients with the house though. Two I think.
Bath night was Tim’s favorite night of the week when he was really young. Or at least his after bath ritual. Once his pajamas were on, but his hands and feet were still tacky due to retained moisture he would climb the walls. The back hall was about 20 feet long and fairly narrow. Enough that if you were a kid who stretched out their legs you could brace on the parallel walls and spider walk up to the ceiling. Tim would hang out at the ceiling like a ninja – a giggling ninja with bright red hair.
This story would end better if he also jumped in order to take us out, but that didn’t happen. The rest of the family would sit and watch Knight Rider while eating popcorn in the tv room. Tim would be in the hall watching the same show from his perch up at the door jamb. At least until his skin dried out and he eventually slid back down the wall and couldn’t get back up again.
But the house does suffer in my last story. The large basement room downstairs was very large. Big enough that chasing games like tag were entirely possible, but not large enough that most chases didn’t end up with someone crashing into a wall. The dry wall held up pretty well to 80 lb kids crashing into it.
Wagon races in the basement ended the same way as foot races though. Except when a wagon hits the wall it leaves a chip, a dent, or a hole. As I mentioned, once crashing was heard from upstairs normally all the kids were shuffled outside post-haste. But a red wagon moves pretty quickly when headed to a wall.
Once we were too big to sit comfortably (or uncomfortably) in a wagon, we got even luckier. Dad got a new wheelchair and his old one was still on good enough shape to keep as a backup in the basement. Nearly everyone learned to balance the chair in its hind wheels. But that learning required learning to fall over too. Falling into a wall could leave a hole from the rear handles. With enough force, falling onto the tile could crack a tile. And wheelchair races were even more fun than wagon races. The kids were bigger, the wheels were bigger and we went faster.
I wonder if when the ping pong table was purchased and filled one end of the basement if part of the reasoning was to prevent us getting up a head of steam?
That might be enough. Oh, I just remembered. At least one of my brother and I was scared of matches and the other liked to set them ablaze. There was never a big blaze, but I think we can count on vigilant parents for that. At some point both the fear and the fascination were matured up out of.
That is all I have. What about your homes? Lots of my friends had a hockey wall in the basement that was even more beat up than the one we crashed wagons and wheelchairs into.