Here are some “Dick and Jane Moments”, which are flashbacks, if you will, of memories from my childhood or my own questionable or quirky parenting moments. I invite readers to include their own “Dick and Jane Moments” either from their own childhoods or their parenting experiences. Write them in your comments and I will include some of them here – enjoy!
- Jane had a crush on her flamboyant, gay hair stylist. She would let him cut my hair the way he wanted. So he always gave me an ugly pageboy haircut (not the cute kind) that made me look like a little boy (hmm … I wonder why). Meanwhile, Dick was very frugal and would buy our jeans from Sears, where he worked. So I would walk around with stiff, boxy jeans from Sears in an ugly pageboy haircut. Frankly, I looked rather butch. I definitely wasn’t one of the “cool” kids at school.
- Dick was known as a gourmet cook. He enjoyed it and even had an article written about him in a local newspaper. When I was 18, I asked him to teach me how to make some of his dishes, like Coquilles St. Jacques, Coq au Vin, etc. However, I was horrified when he mentioned that one of the ingredients in one of his recipes was a jar of baby food meat! I can’t even remember which dish it was, I was so grossed out! So much for him teaching me how to cook.
- When I was dating David, who is now my husband, the first time he went to Jane’s house, she had spread out some snacks on the patio, like cheese, salami, crackers, etc. My brother, Brian, happened to be there, also. When she went back into the house to get something, Brian picked everything up, threw it away and replaced it with items he had bought. David watched with his mouth wide open. Brian explained that he was just trying to keep us from getting sick, as Jane had a penchant of serving well-expired food.
- One holiday season, we went to a wedding. I was about 4 or 5 years old. I was getting antsy so Dick and Jane gave me a sip of champagne, hoping that it would make me sleepy. Well, boy were they wrong! I started dancing around and swinging my skirt up, even right in front of the priest who married the newlyweds. Cheers to you!
- We had a huge Saint Bernard dog named Timothy. Sometimes in the morning when we were rushing to get to school and were late, as usual, Timothy would bite the tires on our car as my mom was trying to back up and drive away because he didn’t want us to leave. Jane would be screaming frantically while he was lunging at our tires and my brothers and I were afraid he would get hurt. He was so strong that he actually flattened our tires several times.
- Jane’s mom was eccentric, to say the least. I didn’t enjoy going to visit her. First, there was a tree growing in the bedroom I would sleep in. Yes, an actual tree that they built the house around! Then I would hate taking a shower because it always had a number of spiders in it, I’m sure coming from the tree that was in the house! She seemed to think this was all normal – huh?
- Jane was into health food, even working at a health store at one time. So in the effort to keep my brothers and me as healthy as possible, she would give us vitamins. We would take them (or should I say try to take them) every morning. Trouble was, they were huge – we called them horse pills. We would be trying to drink enough water to get them down and inevitably someone would choke, and the horse pill with copious amounts of water would get spewed all over the kitchen floor. But God bless her, she would just keep giving them to us – we hated it.
- In an effort to spend some quality time with my older brothers, I would sometimes play softball with them and their friends with a wiffle ball (thankfully). For some reason, I was always the pitcher and I would inevitably get hit in the head with the ball (now you see why I was thankful it was a wiffle ball). It still hurt, though … a lot! These boys were five and six years older than me! They hit that ball hard! I don’t know how much Dick and Jane actually knew about these softball sessions or why I was sometimes coming home bruised. Just trying to be one of the boys.