Do You Smell Smoke?

I recently read something on Facebook from one of my dearest friends. It was a post she had written about how new mothers have certain ideas for their children and how perfectly behaved their going to be and it really got me thinking.

To quote her:

“When someone who is pregnant with or has their first baby and has all these ideas about how perfectly behaved their child is going to be… You poor, naive, uncrushed soul… I hate to break it to you, but your child is going to be an asshole. Like all of them. Not because of a lack of discipline or because “parents these days…” (Because you can tell yourself all you want that you were better behaved than kids these days, but you were actually an asshole too).”

No it didn’t get me thinking about my own kids because I don’t have any, nor did it get me thinking about future kids I might have.  It got me thinking about my own childhood and how she was a 100% right I was an asshole (still am), I mean I set a couch on fire!  That’s a bit dramatic but it caught you attention right?  I actually caught a small portion of a couch on fire. No I’m not a pyromaniac and no it wasn’t intentional it was completely on accident.

See I was what some people call a ‘latch key kid’ which from my understanding of it meant my mom word long hard hours to support me and give me everything I needed but as such I was often left to my own devices at home.  I was maybe about 6 or 8 and had a game that I would play that I totally knew if I was ever caught doing I would be grounded but that’s what alone time was for (To do all the things I couldn’t do when she was around). Anyway the game involved a candle, old newspapers and a bowl of water, I’m sure you get the gist of what I did.  So on this particular day my friend (the one I’m quoting) called the house and we started talking. EVERYTHING was going fine until she started telling me what her older brother had done to her younger brother. It was at this moment I go so enthralled with her tale that I simply forgot that I was holding a burning piece of newspaper in my hand until it burnt the tips on my fingers. In my panic I didn’t through it into my bowl of water but rather next to me on the couch.  What’s that? I didn’t tell you I played this game in my house, more specifically in my living room? My bad. Next thing I knew there was a small fire blazing on my couch, in that moment my tiny little life flashed before my eyes and threw the phone down and beat the fire out with a couch pillow (thank you fire department field trip), relief washed over me briefly before I realized that even though I had managed to put out the fire and save our home I was left with a large black burn mark on the cushion. Panicked I picked the phone back up and said something along the lines, “Oh god I just caught the couch cushion on fire there’s a huge black spot, moms gonna kill me what do I do?”  And my friend who to this day still seems to be the voice I hear in my head when I’m about to do something stupid said, “flip over the cushion.” “I can’t it’s got that leg piece on it. It’s not a perfect square.” “So take the end cushions and flip them over and switch them.”  My friend is a genius and I did just that, I was home free. Now I can here you asking what happened when your mom found it. Did you get grounded, sent to bed without dinner; did she destroy you and everything you love? No because despite all this I never got in trouble for it, I never was even asked about it. In fact my mom didn’t know until I told her the story when I was around 16ish. She likes to say now that she knew all along that I had done it, but if she even thought I might have had something to do with it she would have destroyed me and everything I loved.

I know the fact that I didn’t get caught means she never knew just how big of a trouble maker I was but I like to think the fact I even did it makes me an asshole. Plus there was all the stuff I did get in trouble  for which includes but is not limited to, breaking a lamp, helping my friend clean her bathroom only to flood it, caking a breaker box in mud and stealing basically anything I could get my hands on as a child. I think all this gave her the knowledge she needed to know she was raising an asshole.

So remember parents when you’re having one of those days where you wonder who you pissed off to me stuck with the tiny monster that is your child, that they have probably never caught a couch on fire so they have that going for them.

If you this made you laugh (like it does me, every time I tell it) then pass it on to brighten someone else’s day and since I shared my best trouble maker memory you should share yours in a comment below. Thanks for reading.

(Photo by Cris DiNoto on Unsplash)

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