There are several other scattered memories that come to mind from my early childhood. I had a teddy bear. Apparently I wet the bed as lot as well, which resulted in a somewhat disgusting bear that was thrown away. My parents never told me that they had tossed the bear. But Mike, ever kind as older siblings are wont to be, made sure to tell me. My brother told a lot of creative stories, so I’m not sure I believed him when he told me he had gone to the dump with Dad and found the bear. This set off some trauma, I cried to mom about how I wanted my teddy bear, and that was pretty much it.
I also acquired a small stuffed turtle at this age. I think I named him Hermes. I thought this would be a nice ironic name for a turtle (though I don’t think I knew that word, but still, my knowledge of Greek mythology was impressive, right?).The turtle is still around. Most of the outer layer of plush is just gone, and he looks pretty sad, but still. My girls like to look at him, and he sits by my computer monitor.
One time I walked home from a weekday Primary meeting. I suppose I thought my mom would see me as I went. But I decided to crawl through a drainage pipe that my brother had shown me before. It was harder than I had remembered. I don’t remember that dirtying the outside of my clothes (though I’m sure it did as I wriggled through). And I soiled my drawers. I don’t know why, except that I was 4 or so and wriggling though that tight space took a long time. My mother reprimanded me, but she was probably scared to the point of panic when she hadn’t been able to find me. I was never scared the whole time, so in my childish mind didn’t imagine anyone else could.
When I was five we moved to Dayton, Ohio during the summer. This is the first place I remember having specific friends. It makes me wonder if my Elizabeth will remember the first friends she had when we lived in Provo. Or even the ones she has right now if she doesn’t keep playing with them.
At any rate, my parents bought a newly built house at 5340 Gander Road West. This had a nice rhythmic quality and even a little alliteration in the number (which I may not have remembered correctly), which made it fun to say. Again, to the 5-year old mind, it just sounded neat, but those are the reasons why. My dad informed me that a child my age named Dan lived 4 houses down the street. For some reason I had the impression that he had “helped” build our house. And when the toilet seat didn’t want to stay up in the bath room, I figured he had done that work.
At any rate, I did walk down the day we moved in and knock on Dan’s door. We became friends and did a lot of things together, including dressing in Underroos. Dan had Superman, while I had the Robin to Mike’s Batman (how is that supposed to make a 5 year old feel – that he’s just his brother’s sidekick?). Dan also was a trouble-maker, and one time we all got in trouble because of his idea to involve nudity in a game when a girl was around. I didn’t participate; I didn’t know what to do. But I got sent home. I remember one time when Dan and his sister came back from a visit somewhere and they had balloons. The cool helium kind that rose on their own. I told Dan’s little sister to let it go and I would catch the string. I thought THAT would be cool. I didn’t realize that my reflexes weren’t fast enough. The balloon was gone, and I went home again. Another time I visited Dan’s house he and another friend were doing something and wouldn’t let me participate, and I threatened to hold the wooden handle of a lawn tool in a puddle until it was ruined if they didn’t let me. Yeah, not only does it not make sense, but I didn’t have the patience to wait long and I left. I swear that Dan and I must have done fun stuff, but all my memories are of weird things like that.