This is the prequal to yesterday’s post about dog sweaters. I decided it might go nicely today.
My son John lives to torment my mother. Buzzy, our American Eskimo Dog sheds incessantly, making us vacuum every day to stay ahead of him. One day my husband Bud noticed a big paper bag on the mantle stuffed full of Buzzy’s combings, hair pulled from his brush, and hair swept from the floor. Amazed, Bud asked, “What in the world is this bag of dog hair doing up here?”
Mother chimed in, “Oh, that’s Buzzy’s hair I saved up for your sweater.” This was the first Bud had heard of his dog hair sweater. He thought maybe Mother had finally come unhinged. “What dog hair sweater?”
“The one you’re going to get the woman at work to make for you out of Buzzy’s hair.” Mother thought Bud was losing it. “John told me to be careful to gather up all the hair I could find every time I came over so that woman you work with can spin it and make it into a sweater for you. How long do you think it will take to get enough?”
Poor Bud had to break her heart. “John’s been pulling your leg, again. There ain’t gonna be no dog hair sweater.”
My son, John
The first and last days of school I got called down for running my mouth, and probably every day between. Born without a muffler or filter it paid off handsomely if not happily. My sister, Phyllis, on the other hand was the model of decorum and every teachers’ darling. It was unlikely she ever got scolded, but she often had to be told to “let someone else answer.” Of course, she knew all the answers, since she did all her homework as soon as she got in from school. From her earliest days, it was obvious she’d be a wonderful teacher, which she was. All her games revolved around playing school, especially after my teacher relatives passed discarded textbooks on to us. Many of those books were still in use in our classrooms. Imagine her joy when she poured over them and started school way ahead of her class. I was not so much interested in the textbooks and playing school. That’s where our trouble lay. She expected me to be her perfect student, as we went from reading to math to science to geography.
I was all in to the reading lesson, but ready to go when we moved on. That wasn’t how her school worked. She’d get her fly-back paddle after me, so school was over and the fight was on. I never hung around too long. She’d go to Mother to back up her discipline and get disappointed time after time. Home-schooling just didn’t work for her.
To my great joy, Phyllis did get in trouble one time. In the first grade, she shared a desk with Richard. Travis sat right behind them. When Mrs. Hanks passed back their work, Phyllis and Richard got an A. Travis got an F. Phyllis and Richard turned around and sang to him, “Goody, goody Travis.” Mrs. Hanks called them to the front of the class and made them sing to each other, “Goody, goody, Phyllis. Goody, goody, Richard.” Of course, Phyllis came straight home with the story of how she’d suffer, only to get more trouble. That took care of their classroom “Goody, goodies” but I think I still heard it at home a few times.