Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Childhood Games and Other Stuff

After writing about breaking the ping-pong table while playing "Lava," I began to think about all the crazy games my sisters and I made up when we were kids. I figured I'd fill you in on what they were...

"Mummy" was a really fun game... so long as you weren't the mummy. It consisted of finding every extra blanket in the house and rolling someone up in each one until they looked like a giant beached whale lying on the floor. Then the blankets were secured with belts at the top and bottom, just to make sure they wouldn't come off. Sometimes we'd amuse ourselves by trying to stand the mummy up... although most of the time we'd get done wrapping up the mummy and then leave the room, closing the door behind, pretending to abandon the helpless victim. Whoever the mummy was would proceed to bawling and screaming that they were too hot and for the other two jerks to come let them out of their hellish torture.
Once the first person's turn was over, nobody was ever dumb enough to go next. Why we continued to play this game was anybody's guess. Oddly enough, Corinne, my older sister, never had a turn at being the mummy.
"Alligator" was a very simple game. It was usually played on my parents' bed because it was the only one big enough. The game went as follows: whoever is the alligator tries to grab the people on the bed and pull them off. Sometimes we called it "Wrestlemania." This game never did last very long because my mom would usually come and tell us to get off her bed. Go figure.
Prince, Princess and Dragon
This was another game played on the bed. Each of us would take on a role of either the prince, princess or, you guessed it... the dragon. The dragon was supposed to keep the princess captive. This meant sitting on her, smothering her with a pillow... whatever it took. The prince's job was to save the princess and try to get her free from the grasp of the dragon. The princess was mainly supposed to try and get away from the dragon.
Corinne always won this game. If she was the dragon, you'd never get away and the prince and princess would both take a beating. If she was the prince, the dragon would take a beating. If she was the princess, there was no holding her. The dragon would yet again take a beating. Corinne was usually the dragon which meant both Annie and I took a beating. Had I been smart I would have been the prince, made her the princess and Annie the dragon. At least that way I could have escaped punishment.
Well that's about all the games I can remember at this point. However, it did get me thinking about Corinne. She was actually pretty good at manipulating Annie and me. She could get us to do just about anything. She used to borrow money from us and get us to let her pay it back for pennies on the dollar. My parents actually ended up forbidding us from lending her money. She'd tell us that if we'd do this or that for her that she'd give us a "surprise." A "surprise" usually meant a hug. We eventually wised up and demanded she tell us what the surprise was before we did her any favors.
I don't remember fighting with Corinne much. She was bigger and stronger than I was. I do remember a couple of occasions that I really pissed her off though. We were arguing one time in the kitchen and she tried to kick me. With my cat-like reflexes I grabbed her leg. She started hopping around and lost her balance and fell. She was MAD. I immediately knew I was in big trouble and made a beeline upstairs to my bedroom. I quickly slammed the door behind me and wedged my foot up against the door to hold it closed. She probably got me anyway, she always did.
Another time we were out stacking firewood on the patio and I decided it would be funny to scare her. I jumped up and yelled that there was a wolf spider on her. She started jumping around and screaming... much to my delight. I should have just told her the spider fell off, but instead started laughing and told her I was just kidding. Man was she pissed! She tore off across the yard chasing me as fast as she could go. I remember knowing that if I slowed down my life was going to end. I'm sure I got what was coming to me.


It's Me said...

I sound like a Nazi older sister....good times, good times. Wish J.R. would listen to me the way you and Annie did! By the way, can I borrow some money....I'll pay you back AND give you a surprise... hee hee

heidi said...

This one got me going! I've known and loved so many kids in my life... Have definitely liked almost every single one I've ever met (not the case, at least not as automatically, for me with adults). But I have this "thing" about mean kids! Or maybe it's immature incidental thoughtless cruelty. I think it may be one of the bigger of the emotional challenges to come for me in parenting, to not be all intolerant or overreactive when my kids are "mean." Maybe they'll be perfect so this won't come up! That would be really great for me but really awful for them--impossibly perfect fantasy children! --h.

p.s. Looking forward to more about Corinne! She's a captivating "villain." Is she the sis that reminds you of my Co? (Me too!!! :0)

Karen said...

I think it's funny that Corinne is seen as the 'mean' one or a 'villain'. I didn't even realize it came out that way when I wrote it! She actually was pretty nice for the most part. I think it's part of the older siblings'job description to be a bit manipulative and bossy. Now, Annie, the younger sister is another story...shudder ;D

heidi said...


I'm not sure... about older sibs having the "job" of being bossy... At least that was my first thought upon reading your comment. Then, slowly, a memory resurfaced, of me coming home from school each day, stretching out (full-length) on the couch & using up every inch in doing so, in order to watch tv--and forcing my little brother to SIT ON THE GROUND NEXT TO ME. I don't have a clue why I thought this was okay! At all. I wasn't generally physical with my bro but I did try to 'control' him.

I'm glad he still speaks to me after those years of my "guidance."

In listening to you it struck me that maybe we're all better off... if we CAN learn to have some skepticism or caution about others when they've shown certain tendencies we dislike; but to, at the same time, offer them a certain generosity of heart, generosity of mind.

I think? --h.