Monogramed Toilet Seat

My mother often said, “If you have kids, you can’t have anything else.”  Well, she was wrong.  We had a new toilet seat.  After installing it, Daddy looked around, stared us down, and threatened.  “I’d better not see anybody’s initials on this seat!”  Where did that come from?  I’d never heard of anybody putting initials on a toilet seat.

I went about my business, that toilet seat and  initials, foremost on my mind.  I wrote LDS in my “Night Before Christmas” book, LDS in the sand under the big shade tree, scooped up some mud and wrote LDS on the dog house. Still unsatisfied, I heated the ice pick on a stove burner and burned LDS on a green Tupperware tumbler.

Feeling strangely unfulfilled and restless, I couldn’t think of a thing to do.  Billy was off somewhere playing with Froggy.  Mother and the baby were taking a nap, so if I stayed in the house, I had to be quiet.  I slipped in the kitchen to see if there was any Kool Aid miraculously left in the pitcher.  No luck. Dejected, I went to the bathroom.

There it was calling to me, pristine in its unblemished beauty.  The new toilet seat!!!  I sat down, my bare bottom luxuriating in its cool smoothness. I got up, locked the door, and turned the seat up. Making sure no one was looking through the window, I got Mother’s eyebrow pencil out of the medicine cabinet and wrote LDS in tiny letters where no one would ever see it.  Terrified, I erased my crime.  The finish was dull from pencil smears. My heart pounded!  I was caught!  I got tissue and buffed it off.  Thank goodness the shine was back.  Relieved, I sat on the side of the bathtub to catch my breath.  A nail fell out of my pocket and clattered to the bottom of the tub.  Never has the devil so possessed a soul.  Grasping the nail, I scratched BRS, Billy’s initials, on the toilet seat.  Horrified, at the enormity of my crime, I tiptoed past the room where Mother and the baby still slept.  By this time, Billy and Froggy had gotten back.  We were throwing mud balls at each other when I heard a shriek from the house.  “BILLY RAY SWAIN!!  You come here this minute!”  I didn’t need to go in to know what was wrong.  I heard “Spat! Spat! Spat!” and in a few minutes he was out, still snuffling.

“What happened?”

“Mother whooped me for putting my initials on the toilet seat. I told her I didn’t know how to write but she said, ‘Who else would put your initials on the toilet seat?’ “

How long could it be before she found the Tupperware?

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That “Kathy Bates” Look

kathy bates in misery

Though it’s been awhile since I inflicted any mayhem upon him, my brother says it still gives him the “willies” when I get that “Kathy Bates” look.  I think he’s referring to the Annie Wilkes character she plays so winningly in the movie “Misery.”  To set the record straight, I love Kathy Bates and am delighted to be compared to her.  I find her personality sunny and delightful.  I don’t know what his problem is.   My brother and I had a few dustups as we grew up together, but goodness gracious, what children didn’t?  True, I had to set him straight from time to time, but never actually broke his legs with a sledgehammer.  We were raised in a Christian home and both knew Mother would murder us if we ever harmed each other to the point that one of us had to have stitches or a cast.  Money didn’t grow on trees.  Is there anything at all in this sweet face to suggest a “Kathy Bates” look?

First Grade School Picture

First Grade School Picture

Girl’s Night Out

Bill 2image imageimage I am very fortunate to come from a close family with three sisters and one brother.  The girls get together periodically for a girl’s night out.  For some reason, my brother, bows out on our girl’s night out.  We gathered this time in honor of Mother’s birthday and Mother’s Day.  In the second picture back left is me , 2nd daughter, back right, Phyllis eldest daughter, bottom left Mother, bottom center, Connie 4th daughter, bottom right Marilyn the youngest. In the third picture, Mother is reacting to being kissed by Marilyn’s little dog.My brother Bill is pictured with my Mother in the top picture. In the fourth picture, a dear family friend, Elaine, joins us.  We had a wonderful night, laughed till we were exhausted, and enjoyed every minute together.

It Wasn’t My Fault

imageMy son ran in from the yard, smugly ratting his sister out.  “Sister threw a rock and broke a light on the car!”

Baby Girl was right behind him, protesting her innocence.  “I wasn’t trying to hit the car.  I was throwing it at him.”image

Bill and the Bed Slat

      Biil and his mean mama

Biil and his mean mama

My mother was hard on my brother, Bill. Totally unconcerned about his tender psyche and self-esteem, she spanked him when he was a tender child. She was a tiny, “not tall” woman with a squeaky voice to match, sounding a lot like Minnie Mouse. It was ridiculous seeing her flap away at one of us with a plastic fly swat, but she gave it her best shot from time to time, anyway. Not wanting to be part of such a ridiculous show and avoid further embarrassment was the most likely inducement to better behavior.

Bill maintains he got more than his share of spankings, but most of us feel she neglected him. One day when he was about six, he confronted her, “Mama, you wupped me five times today!” Stricken by this accusation, she answered him, “I know son. I should have wupped you more, but I can’t give you all my time. I have four other children who need wupping.”

The last time she brutally beat him, he was eighteen years old, over six feet four inches tall, and had ragged her one day till she wanted to murder him. After a final smart remark as he went out the back door, he bent over and waggled his behind at her. Overcome with fury, she grabbed up a bed slat conveniently standing beside the back door and threatened him.

“Bend over and grab your knees, boy!” He thought it was the funniest thing he’d ever heard. He bent over, grabbed his knees just as she demanded, and waggled his behind at her again for good measure, just in case she hadn’t seen enough the first time. She drew back and smacked him across the rear as hard as she could manage. POW! The percussion verberated across the woods like a rifle shot!

Bill fell to the ground, proclaiming, “You broke my back! You broke my back!

Terrified, she imagined herself going to jail for child abuse, even though he was past eighteen and towered more than a foot above her, leaving two little girls without the comfort of a mother. Mustering bravado, she threatened. “Get up from there or I’ll get you again, boy!”

He hopped up and strode around the corner of the house, laughing to my dad who’d enjoyed the whole episode. “That smarts! I didn’t think she could hit that hard!”

Happy Birthday Bill. Watch out for Mother!