Story Note – All stories will have a title for easy finding and which family it is about in brackets. Stories take place from the beginning of the 1900s to present and therefore there will be things that may not go over well in a present day mind. Spankings were only a couple of swats on the bottom. Pets were not the fluffy pampered animals of today but working animals who earned their keep as well as being loved by the children. Smoking and drinking was a normal part of life even if Moms were pregnant or kids were present in the car or room, especially smoking.
In 1960 I was 2 years old and there was a family story that my grandfather Papa loved to tell anyone that I brought over to meet them and probably anyone else too. We lived on Gilbert Street in Delhi, at the time and I was sitting on the kitchen floor playing with my dolls when Mom told me she was going shopping and that Papa was coming over to babysit while she was away. Now to my mind, Mom being gone for an hour was nothing and since I was going to be busy with my dolls I wasn’t planning on moving from my spot so Papa babysitting was a waste of his time. After all I was a big girl and knew not to play with stuff under the kitchen or bathroom sink. Mom told me that. I knew not to make a mess with anything else and my dolls were much more fun.
Papa arrived and Mom went out. I told Papa very calmly that he could go home now I didn’t need him. Papa said that he had to stay and that was when I decided he was treating me like a baby, so I pushed him out the door, shut it and went back to playing with my dolls. Being a softy grandpa, not only did Papa let me push him out the door, he sat out on the porch on this spring day and would keep peeking in on me through the window. Now the door was unlocked and Papa could come back in at any time if I left the spot he could see but I was just as stubborn as he was and every time I would catch him peeking in on me I would wave my hand and say “Go Home!”
He stayed outside the entire time Mom was gone as I quietly played on the floor thinking I had won the argument on needing a babysitter or not. After all I was not any baby anymore I was 2 and perfectly capable of sitting and playing quietly until Mom got back. There, of course, was one fact I didn’t know and the grown ups really didn’t think to mention to me that might have changed my mind and that was that it was illegal for me to be alone. I might have listened to that.
Mom, of course, was very embarrassed that I kept trying to send her father home. I am pretty sure that I got a spanking after he was gone and put in my room without my dolls. Papa on the other hand thought it was funny and was very happy to tell the “Go Home” story for the rest of his life.
By Alicia Potvin