As I mentioned, I was a difficult child. Mostly in that my parents had trouble keeping me with them when we’d go out; I’d always walk away from them and go talk with other families. My mom says that the worst part was that I’d look so natural and comfortable talking to them that I was hard to spot. She also said that had they been invented in time, one of those kid-leashes would be strapped on me so fast it would make my head spin. The other important background tidbit is that I learned to talk very early and was speaking in complete sentences shortly thereafter. Mom tells me that if I was in the living room watching TV, I’d have one ear on the TV and the other ear on her conversation, and would often supply words she was looking for (ya know…whatddyacallit…), or she’d be able to tell me a grocery list and then take me to the supermarket where I’d recite it. Okay, so that has nothing to do with the story. Basically, what I’m trying to set up is that if I was left on my own and quiet for more than ten minutes, something was going on.
My mother was teaching a CCD class, which is kind of like a combination Bible Study/Class to teach children how to be Catholic to about a dozen fifth grade boys. I was around four and had been going through a karate phase. I’d wear my brother’s bathrobe and my father’s tennis headband and do karate chops and kicks around the house (I used to also put a dishtowel in the collar of my pajama shirt, tuck the shirt into my underpants and jump off the couch pretending to be Robin. But that too has nothing to do with this). Mom says that she was teaching the class and I was in the living room watching TV. She hadn’t heard a peep out of me in a while and told me later that her first thought was how good I was being.
About ten minutes later, I came into the kitchen wrapped in an afghan. I walked right into the middle of the room, stood, waited for them to stop talking and give me their full attain. Then, I simultaneously exclaimed “HA!”, threw my best karate chop and dropped the afghan to the floor, revealing my four-year-old naked self to a room full of fifth graders, and ran up to my bedroom giggling with delight.
Mom says that she had to cut the class short that day since there was no getting back on track after something like that. She admits that she too was laughing so hard that there wasn’t any more teaching getting done. That’ll teach them to ignore me.