One of the things that having a second child in the house has hurt the most is my ability to write. I start with all kinds of great ideas and end up getting distracted and just throwing up unfinished thoughts or some such crap that never ends up being what I intended for it to be in the first place. This post was one such example. The idea started when I was telling someone the story about my uncle and his false teeth joke and laughing about it and the person was all, "Hey, that's weird." and I was all, "Maybe, but don't you think it's funny?" and she was all, "Ummm... no, it's gross."

Then a few days later, my father sent some .wav files of recordings he'd run across and I listened to the refrigerator one. It was a mini-sized fridge made to fit in a mobile home trailer, but this has been a story I'd told The KingofHearts for years and he never really believed me. Finally, I had proof. I think the part he was most incredulous about was that while all this was going on, my father would say, "Wait, we've got to record this for posterity" and then take time to go set up the reel-to-reel tape recorder. We all got a laugh about that.

After I posted that, some people emailed and commented about how cruel this was of my parents to do to me, ones that led my mother to wonder aloud if CPS would be coming to her door soon. I assured her the statute of limitations was well expired; that unless she was a Catholic Priest, she shouldn't worry.

The post should have been much longer. I should have done a better job explaining that these experiences were in no way cruel and in our family, it's all taken in good natured fun. I'm afraid that in the spirit of interesting writing and that damn NaBloOhNo where I was stupid enough to agree to post every day (every day! what was I thinking?), I I didn't do the subject justice. Lately, I miss a lot of details, grammar and spelling errors in my haste because I no longer have two hands with which to do anything and it's hard to write in my normal stream of consciousness manner when you're typing with one hand and a holding squirmy baby - who does not want to be held but wants to be put down even less - in the other.
(Or at least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.)

I should have included how good natured it all was and how I really did think it was funny. How if you listen to the sound byte closely at the end, you can hear me begin begging to go BACK up on the fridge once they took me down.

I adored my great uncle - loved him dearly - and couldn't wait to see him each time we went to visit. I always laughed about the teeth thing (was grossed out, but laughed!). A cousin recently reminded me how it actually became a game among all the little kids and they'd try to get his teeth and run off with them when he did it. Ha!

I also remember how he'd tell me the same two stories about my mother when she was little. Every. Time. I. Saw. Him. The first one was a sweet story about how they were working on some project together when she was young and when they finished, she looked up at him and said, "Did we made it, Uncle?" Awww.

The second was one in which my mother, who at two or three years old somehow accidentally let the pigs out of their pen on the farm. When they came after her, she went running up to the house, banging on the kitchen door, yelling, "Open the door! Open the door! Damn pigs are gonna eat my baby!" (Yeah, I'm probably going to catch hell making that public, but it's funny dammit! So stay tuned for my disclaimer post follow-up to this disclaimer post.)

I knew these stories word for word but I never stopped him from telling them.

It was my grandmother who used to stick her finger in a hole in our clothing and rip, then announce wide-eyed and innocently, "You have a hole in your jeans." I thought that was pretty funny too, but mostly because I didn't tend to wear old clothing back then. Some of the cousins had less of a sense of humor about it in the eighties, when the style was to wear jeans with holes in them. Many a prized pair of teenage badges of honor were ruined by that particular family joke. I remember that Grandma hated what she called "holey clothing - and not the kind you wear to Church" and was never sorry!

She also hated frayed and worn towels and whenever she helped fold the laundry at our house, you could periodically hear the telltale "riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip" that meant she'd just found an unacceptable hand towel and was tearing it into small pieces so we have no excuse to continue using it. This might sound insensitive or just presumptuous, but she always purchased replacements before her visits were over.

It was also Grandma who sewed all the flies to my uncle's underwear shut while folding laundry one day. When he discovered what she'd done and he confronted her, she frankly told him, "I thought you had enough children."

They weren't the only family jokesters, just the few stories that came to mind at the time. I left out how there was always a race to short sheet everyone's beds when we got together and how my dad put the cat inside the piano one day and then watched me search for her while she howled to get out. (No animals were harmed in the making of this joke; the cat was fine, so don't start emailing about that either.)

Some people, it seems, didn't get from what I wrote last week that I knew it was all in good fun and that those are some of the fondest memories of my childhood. To them, I say simply, "You just don't know my family." I truly miss those times and the people who aren't with us anymore. I also left out how I've turned out to be just like them and how I'll probably do all the same stuff to my children (well, minus the refrigerator gag... because my fridge is not that small and I don't want CPS showing up at my door) - I know I do to my husband.

Sorry honey, it's in the genes.