Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Weird Kid

It's time to lighten things up again, and what's better than a piece I wrote about me? Both of these "incidents" are true.


Yes, that’s me in the photograph, Fatty Arbuckle, plopped on my fat ass. I think mommy had to sew two diapers together to get one XXL to fit me.

It was my second birthday party (June 2, 1949), but mommy wasn’t there because she was sick: two days prior, the stork brought my new sister, Pootsie. I was pissed about missing the stork but I forgot all about it, and mommy, and Pootsie, when I saw the XXL cake in front of me . . .


Before I learned to walk, I learned to playpen. It was a prison made of wood bars. On rollers. On a linoleum floor. Dumb mommy, smart baby. Somehow, baby managed to stick his fat legs through the prison bars and take himself for a roll. Without a rolling license. Oh, he couldn’t roll to New Jersey or anywhere neat like that, but his one-room world provided lots of places to explore. Like the sideboard where dumb mommy stored the . . . toilet paper!

Baby didn’t know toilet paper from a snow shovel, but who cared. Toilet paper was FUN! While baby was rolling like mad around the room the toilet paper was rolling off the roll, rolling off the roll, when one was empty grab another and roll it off the roll! It was a toilet paper extravaganza, and before long the whole place was forty-two inches deep in it! Baby was in TP heaven until dumb mommy walked in and screamed. That scared baby and he took a dump in his XXL diaper. No worries, though. There was plenty of toilet paper to wipe baby’s fat butt.


“ARE YOU TAKING YOUR BATH UP THERE?” Mom screamed from downstairs.

“YEAH MOM, CAN’TCHA HEAR THE WATER RUNNING? I screamed back, turning both faucets to “on” in the tub—but without the stopper in the drain.

We did a shitload of screaming at my house, didn't we.

To this very day, I don’t understand why I made life triply hard on myself. I went to more trouble not taking a bath than if I’d just taken the damn thing in the first place. I ran a tubful of non-existent water, I wet ten towels and the bathmat so it looked like I had dried off, I soaked the soap in the sink so it would get all slippery and shrink, I dunked my head under the faucet to get my hair wet, I sang all the arias I knew from The Barber of Seville at the top of my lungs and, to prove I was a slob, I squirted shampoo all over the bathtub tiles.

All that work, plus I actually used a washcloth so I would pass behind-the-ears-and-neck inspection.

And all along, I thought Mom was the dummy.


Stinkypaw said...

I sure hope you know better now!

You really were a chubby baby, yikes!

Wandering Coyote said...

Oh, the TP story is hilarious! I can just picture it!

What is it with little boys and their aversion to bathing? I don't get it. Then, as soon as they become teenagers, you can't get them OUT of the bathroom!

Robert the Skeptic said...

God I remember playpens... I found out that the floor of my playpen pulled up in two halves. If I stayed on one side and pulled up the other, I had access to the floor and... FREEDOM!! Until I got recaptured.

11pm said...

I think it would be interesting to know your brushes with death as a child. Bed-wetting and pooping oneself, aside... there's much humor in a book-reviewers childhood.

I fondly remember being smacked in the forehead by my mother's elbows while she cooked a meal in the kitchen. I always did that....

So stupid

Kim Ayres said...

Of course now you've revealed it on your blog, Martha might be suspicious of your bathtime routines now...

Peter S. said...

Hi, Charlie! You look adorable in the picture! Really!

I can't help but laugh when you mentioned "I went to more trouble not taking a bath than if I’d just taken the damn thing in the first place." I actually can relate to this.

Here in the Philippines, we have a long-held practice called the siesta, which is basically making kids sleep during the afternoons. I recall pretending to sleep instead of actually sleeping for 2 hours. The things that we did as kids! Unimaginable!

Pat said...

You were adorable as a toddler. One of my little darlings pushed the ancient playpen to jam against the door handle of the play room so I couldn't get in.
Hope by now you have overcome your aversion to soap and water - for Martha's sake..

Barbara Bruederlin said...

What an adorable little butterball you were!

It is hilarious the lengths you went through to avoid the dreaded bath. You probably quite rightly feared that you would melt, being made of sugar as you are. HA!

Tiffin said...

Charlie, I have a cartoon of an old man hirpling along with a cane, bearded and bent. The caption says "It was hell, recalls former child".

I am never going to blog about the stuff I did as a kid. It's going to the grave with me. But I will say that I was a chubbette too. I think we had the same shoes.