The Bearded Lady, Wet Panties, and My New Brother

beardI remember the day my brother was born.  I’d just turned three.  I woke up to find Mother gone, something I’d never experienced.  Grandma had come to stay a few days to help out, but had broken a rib in a fender-bender the day before, so she wasn’t up to much, but that’s a whole other story.  A neighbor stayed till with us till mid-morning, when a bearded Amazon identifying herself as Aunt Cynthia showed up to take care of us all.  I’d never seen such a thing in my life. She must have been overdue time off from the circus to be free on such short notice.

The whole crazy scenario was too much for my tiny mind, especially, the strange bearded behemoth.  I wasn’t buying any of it, so headed for the hills, in this case, the shrubs in our front yard.  Eventually, tiring of calling me, “Aunt Cynthia” hoisted Grandma out of bed long enough to gain my trust, luring me in with the promise of scrambled eggs and strawberry jam.  I was mortified to have wet my pants while in hiding.  It took me forever to make Aunt Cynthia understand I needed “panties” not “pennies.”

Despite the psychic trauma,  it ended well enough.  Mother got home in a day or two with my new brother.  Grandma was back on her feet.  Aunt Cynthia went home, but for some reason I never really bonded with her, maybe because she kept offering me pennies instead of dry underwear.  That’s kind of weird.

14 thoughts on “The Bearded Lady, Wet Panties, and My New Brother

  1. Thank you. You made me laugh. And not because I have the goofy-old-man ability to laugh at practically anything… though that probably helps… but because you took me back to a time of child-against-the-cruel-world-ish-ness… and monster relatives.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have been through drama at every point in your life, it seems. I remember, age three, my brother being born – but this happened upstairs. I remember being made to finish my lunch before being allowed to go and see. The nurse was just giving him a teaspoon of what I thought was cod-liver-oil, but my father says it was brandy. Apparently this was to help him recover from having the cord wrapped round his neck! My mother was in bed with a crib beside her.


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