Saturday, September 25, 2010

There Once was a Girl with a Curl....

     My sister, Cindy, was always a bad child and was born with super human strength.  My grandpa always tells the story of how she would walk around at the age of two and three pushing furniture out of her way with her bare hands.  Maybe she had a chemical imbalance or she was just born thinking the world owed her.  Even today, in her adult form, she acts like the world is in debt to her at times.  My sister started smoking cigarettes at two, yes two, years old.  It started out that she would raid the ash trays, pick up half-lit cigarettes, and imitate our parents.  She must have imitated rather well, for she became addicted and the cravings would throw her into a rage.  The doctors told my mom to let her smoke one cigarette a day if it would calm her down.  I bet you wouldn't hear them saying that to parents today.  But everyday, in the afternoon, my sister would be given her daily smoke.

     I was three, so it's not easy for me to say if the cigarette therapy was effective.  I do remember that she continued to bring mischief and chaos into the house.  One particular afternoon, we were playing in the dining room.  A bar and two bars stools also occupied space there at the time.  My mother was about 10 or 15 feet away in the living room.  Cindy yelled in and asked my mom for some cookies, and my mom told her not until after dinner.  Well, you never told Cindy no and not expect a fight.  She called out to my mom, "You're not my boss!  I can have whatever I want!"  My dad was always used as a weapon for Mom, and she threatened my sister with him at this time.  "Wait until your father gets home!"   I guess my mom had no reason to fear a little three year old, but she was not expecting to have to dodge a bar stool.  My sister had picked it up with her super-human strength and flung it at my mom when her back was turned.  I remember yelling out a warning, and my mom successfully dodged the bullet.

I don't remember what happened to my sister that night, but I'm sure she got the paddle.  I never could get her to realize if she just bent over and let it happen, that she'd only get one whack.  No, she had to kick, scream, and squirm.  She made it harder on herself, but she always went out with a fight.

I remember the day she took my grandma's bright red lipstick and colored all over her white bedroom furniture.  There was the day that she stabbed me in the back with a pencil.  More spankings...I don't think there were many days she didn't get a spanking.  And the episode where she took pen and wrote my name all over our white walls.  I was punished by being made to scrub the walls with soap and a sponge.  I 'm not sure why my parents didn't believe I was telling the truth when I said I didn't do it.  My sister finally fessed up about an hour later after the guilt wore her down.  She did love me, and I guess she had a conscience after all.

There was one afternoon that her temper tantrums almost cost her her life.  She had been quiet for a little while and when my mom finally found her hidden in my grandma's bedroom, she sat on the floor with an empty perfume bottle in her overly sweet smelling hands.  She was slick from head to toe and smelled like a "speak easy," my mom recalled.  My mom gave her a spanking and set her on the couch for time out.  This did not bode well for her temper.  She sulked and festered, even when my aunt came in and offered to take us with her for a walk.  Cindy huffily told us that she wasn't going, so my aunt and I started out the door and across the street.  It was a four lane city road right outside our house, and as we got about half way across, we heard my mom scream my aunt's name.  My sister had run out of the house screaming right into the middle of the street in the path of an oncoming 16-wheeler.  It blew its horn at the same time that my aunt turned around, letting go of my hand, and rushed to grab and throw my sister out of the truck's deadly path.  It happened within a few brief seconds, the truck sped by, the three of us all safe.

My sister received quite a spanking that day, and then shortly after a doctor's appointment for a mental health evaluation.  My mom was becoming terrified of what she was capable of doing even at four years of age.  The docs didn't do much, they simply told my parents she needed lots of supervision and discipline.  They said she would outgrow her tantrums and nasty fits.  And she did, for the most part.  She continues to smoke, she will always have a cranky attitude, she will always argue with anyone who varies from the way she sees life, but she did turn into a mom, a wife, and a person that loves to lend a hand to someone in need.  A sociopath she did not become, but she sure was a bad child.

** I posted this for Magpie tales 33 when the photo brought back memories of my sister and her mischief as a child.  Visit Magpie Tales hosted by Willow to read some great stories and poems, or post your own!



  1. What a story! (I hope my youngest sister never sees this ~~ she smokes, was a terror as a tot, still a little cranky, quite opinionated and I adore her.) Nice writing.

  2. wow. your sister was quite the character back in the day...she is one mom i dont think i would ever want to mess with

  3. Boy Caty your sister was sure a hand full!!! You are probably a very patient and long suffering person because of all the stuff you had to put up with growing up! Loved your story...what memories they the time they were hard, but what wonderful stories they are to tell now!

  4. What a hand full she was - glad she turned out okay! :) You must have needed a lot of rest in those days!

  5. Oh my gosh, what a story! I cringed at the red lipstick on the white bedroom furniture. And smoking at two! What a wild girl!

    She makes me look like a nun!

  6. what a hoot....what a BAD sister....great story.

  7. Good to know she turned out O.K in the end. Nicely written.

  8. Great story! It's amazing what kind of trouble some kids can find, and very fortunate your mother knew to keep checking on her.

    Great magpie!

  9. This sounds like my daughter! She's 28 now, quite talented and creative. I love your opening line.

  10. Wow! What a childhood u must have had. I can imagine how distressed ur parents must have been. Glad u all survived.


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