Tuesday, October 17, 2017

In The Closet

My parents bought the house they were living in. It had been a three family home so they did a lot of remodeling to make it a home for one family. They knocked out walls between two small bedrooms on the first floor to make a gigantic living room. And there was a door that had been sort of between the bedrooms and the living room. It led to a large closet.

My parents used this closet to hang coats, jackets, and sweaters. Shoes and boots were kept on the floor. Christmas decorations and other things that were not used all the time were stored in the closet. It was an old house so there was no light in the closet.

My family and I spent a lot of time at my parents' house. My children liked being at Grandma's where the food always tastes better. And at Grandpa's because he always found something fun for them to do. My husband felt like he could relax which was not something he often did. I just enjoyed the feeling that comes with being around family.

It was a natural move that my children and I would stay there while I waited for my third baby. My husband had a new job out of state and I was too close to having the baby to be able to safely travel. My husband was able to join us every weekend.

On one side lived an older couple and the woman's brother. They were nice people who kept to themselves. On the other side was a young family with four little girls. The youngest girl was about the same age as my second son.

One day my boys were outside playing. The youngest was with the little girl playing in her yard. My mother was not home and I was enjoying some quiet time in the house.

My three year old son came rushing into the house and made a bee-line for the closet and shut the door!

I was sitting there wondering what on earth he was doing. It was amusing the way he rushed in. Then there was a firm knock on the front door. I answered it.

There stood the neighbor who lived on the other side of the little girl's family. He was holding a mudball that was about the size of a soccer ball. He looked like he was offering it to me. I did not want it.

"Is that little blonde kid yours?" I said that he was. "Well he and the little girl next door just threw this at my bathroom window!" Again offering me the mudball. I still did not want it.

I asked him if the window was broken. That was not the point but no it was not broken.

I looked over at his house and sure enough there was a big spot that had obviously been made by a big ball of mud. I assured him that I would talk to my son and make sure nothing like that ever happened again.

He became totally outraged. Sherry (the little girl next door) had been with my son. When the man confronted her parents, they grabbed her and spanked her. He wanted my son punished too. I told him firmly that I was not going to spank my child in front of him just to make him happy. I would take care of it but in my own way. He was still sputtering as I closed the door.

I then had my son come out of the closet. I explained that we do not throw mud at people's windows. Then we went together to the man's house. I had my son apologize and offer to clean the window. The man declined.

I have told you before that my mother was a resourceful woman. Well she decided to collect returnable pop bottles. She would turn them in once a week to collect the deposit on them and put the money in a special bank account. It kept the neighborhood cleaner and she was getting an extra bit of cash. She was going to buy a car with it.

And buy a car she did. It was a used model that needed a paint job but it ran good. She painted it herself with some spray paint she had. It was fluorescent blue paint and the car glowed in the dark.

One night a police helicopter noticed the glow and came down to investigate. They were astounded and amused.

So Mom had her car. After a few months she began to complain that it was making a "chirping" noise. Daddy drove it around the block and heard nothing. As time went on Mom said the noise was getting worse.

On a Saturday Mom was going to the grocery store. I was sitting in a chair feeling huge and bloated awaiting the imminent birth of my third child. Mom said the chirping noise was getting worse and worse so Daddy told her that when she came back from the store she should honk the horn. Then he would go to the front door and she could move the car back and forth so he could listen.

After about an hour and a half we heard the horn. Daddy sat there. I told him that Mom was honking for him so he heaved that put-upon sigh that he had and went to the door.

Mom was driving forward, then backing up so he could hear the noise. A look of horror came over Daddy's face. He turned from the door. On his way to the closet he said, "I just can't stand watching your mother try to park the car." Into the closet he went and closed the door.

I was still laughing uncontrollably when Mom came in to see where he went.

Eventually they knocked out the wall in the closet to make an entrance to the rooms that my parents were going to use as their room. I miss the closet.


  1. Your dad was pretty resourceful. My car once made a tappity noise. It's your tappit tappiting, my dad said. Don't worry about it.

    1. My father would fix the cars. For some reason he did not remember telling Mom how to let him listen to the noise. It was a loose fan belt by the way.

  2. Your dad had a good sense of humor and your mom either had one like his or learned to live with him. I admire your handling the irate neighbor. I would not have spanked my child in front of him either. Well at least I would have hoped to have that presence of mind. It would have taught your child not to have his own mind.

    1. I had the greatest parents. They were often funny without meaning to be. As for the neighbor he learned what many people have found out through the years. Do not mess with my kids!

  3. What a great couple of stories about a closet, Emma.

  4. How often, I wonder, does a closet inspire such great stories? That was fun.

    1. It was certainly funny to sit there watching them rush from the front door, into the closet, and close the door.

  5. Great stories and you obviously loved your parents like I loved mine. I still miss them every day. Cheers Diane

  6. I love your narrative! It seems that I am looking at the scene, present in your scenario!

  7. This is a good story Emma. It sounds like you handled the mud ball incident well.

    1. I believe in discipline for children. I was quite strict as a mother. However that was my job. It was not someone else's place to do it. My son was only three years old and I still have not figured out how those two managed to get the mud ball that high to hit the window. But they did. He was punished appropriately by me; I was in charge.

  8. very interesting story dear Emma!

    i am glad that you did not come in pressure of that angry man and dealt with matter carefully .

    That is what i learnt from my mother who was really strict yet she always cared for our self respect even when we were kids.

    You son was smart enough to choose closet for hiding :)

    Here is custom that to deliver first child women go to stay for few months with parents though husbands visit them regularly

    i did same when my first one was about to born and still have warm loving memories of days when mom took great care of me except her awful medicines that she tried to make eat many time but they came back by vomiting she said they will give you strength and make you strong after the delivery .
    i am happy for her car gaining

    1. As your comment shows being strict does not mean being mean. A caring parent wants the child to grow up with values. The way to instill those values is to have the child practice them while young.

  9. Nice article great post comment information thanks for sharing.