Things I remember as a kid.
We lived in an old house, and from a very early age my parents would leave me alone, unsupervised.
I snooped through drawers and cupboards. I knew every nook and cranny. I found and ate food my mother had hidden. I knew where my dad hid his porno mags, and where mum hid the Christmas presents.
One day as they were going out my parents said to me “See that power outlet?”
I saw it. It was the old fashioned kind, black bakerlite – real old school dangerous.
I nodded “Yep”
“Well, don’t stick a fork or anything in it, because you’ll get electrocuted,” my dad said.
The instant I saw the car reverse out of the driveway, I was straight into the kitchen to find a fork. I climbed up onto a chair and I poked that fork into the socket.
I can’t remember what happened next exactly, but my parents came home many hours later, and my arm still hurt from the electric current that had shot through it.
Another time we went to family barbecue. There was very little for the kids to do – you know because it was the 1980s and kids were still expected to be seen and not heard- so me and some other kids were just wandering around this person’s garden.
Then my dad pipes up “See that bush over there?” And he’s pointing at the biggest chilli plant I’ve ever seen.
All the kids nod.
“Well whatever you do, don’t pick one of the chillies then touch your eyes or mouth or nose….”
Well, I think you can guess what happened next.
My little faced burned and tingled for hours after.
You might think the common factor here was me doing stupid shit repeatedly. But I think, that’s a thing all kids do.
No, in fact the commonality here for me is that even at that very young age, I knew that if I made a mistake, even one that put me in harms way – there was no one to tell.
I never said a word, and no one ever asked.
I’d learnt how to keep secrets.