Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday (Subtitle: Kids Don't Think Things Through)

This is probably the most famous photo in the history of my family. My parents continue to tease me about it, 40+ years after the fact.

It started like this. We were living in an apartment in Maryland. I think I was three or four (I believe this was before my middle sister was born but I could be wrong - if she was around, she was an infant). A snowstorm had hit the area pretty hard and my parents and I played out in the snow for a bit.  Then we came inside.

I spotted our Instamatic camera sitting on an end table. This was back when you had to buy flash bulbs and attach the little cube to the top of the camera. Between buying film, buying flash bulbs, and then taking the film out to be developed (and waiting days for the photos) . . . I feel like it's a wonder anyone ever bothered.  Of course, this was the 70s and we had no internet, so maybe we had nothing better to do but wait around for stuff.

My parents were in another room and saw the flash from the bulb. My mom came out right away.

"Claudia, did you use the camera? Did you take a picture?"

Me: "No."

They pressed me and I held firm. Nope, no photos, not me. I think they could have waterboarded me and I would've stuck with the story.  I guess I forgot about the whole film development thing, though. A week or two later, they picked up the pictures from the grocery store or People's Drug or whatever. And there it was: the evidence. Son of a biscuit!  I don't remember if I actually confessed at that time, but probably not. In fact, I'm still not entirely willing to admit that I leaned over that end table, looked down, and shot a photo of my own mug.

This little story reminds me of a similar one involving my niece. She was three or so at the time, and she and my sister came to visit us. We went to my friend's cabin by the lake.  One day, my sister put my niece down for a nap in another room. An hour or two later, we opened the bedroom door and discovered that instead of napping, the little blonde lass had eaten a whole slew of Dum-Dum suckers. There were wrappers and empty white sticks strewn all over.

My sister attempted to bust her. "Did you eat these Dum-Dums?" My niece shook her head.  Now, I need to mention that this was before my nephews were born and also before my daughter was born. In other words, my niece was the only kid at that cabin. In fact, she was probably the only kid for miles around.

An interrogation followed, but she wouldn't give it up. "I didn't eat them," she kept saying. Later that afternoon, we decided to drive into town and get some supplies.  The biggest store in town is a
Wal-mart.

"You know what?" my sister said as we got closer.  "There is a DNA lab in the Wal-mart and we're going to test this Dum-Dum stick to see who ate the candy."

I was driving. I nodded and tried to be very serious. "Sounds good. Let's head straight to the DNA lab at Wal-mart."

My niece sat in the back seat and I mean to tell you her expression did not change one iota. She was all, Go right ahead. Test it. Be. My. Guest.  Even when we got inside the store and my sister pretended to head to the DNA lab (which was the portrait studio, I think), the kid would not admit it.

Kids: not thinking things through since . . . well, forever.

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