Learning patience…

I don’t know what came first, my high level of patience or two very “sporty” uncles who trained me in that very art.

Dealing with toddlers has been a knack of mine for quite a while. Patience is the key to surviving a career around kids. When I was 12, I was lucky enough to have two uncles who were a little more than 15 years my senior. Their absolute favorite sport was playfully tormenting me. I enjoyed the attention immensely and learned the ways of practical jokes. “If you are going to dish it out, you must be able to take it.” Wise words indeed.

After three “dunkings” in the lake, while fully clothed, I put on my very last set of dry clothes. Certainly, there would be mercy shown after they had soaked me all day. NOT. I was in the family canoe wearing overalls and a tank top. Yes, it was much to warm for overalls but that was all that I had. They approached me in the boat with evil grins…”Hey, this isn’t funny any more!” , I shouted. Secretly, I thought, yes this is funny since it would be so horrid to take. Well, moments later, I was laughing, gulping,and choking under the weight of wet overalls. I was a good swimmer so it was not dangerous but totally exasperating! As I sat wrapped only in a towel, I just couldn’t feel angry.  THAT had been the perfect crime for sure!

So there my reign began. Getting even, instead of angry.

Covering the toilet with cellophane was cool. (You must loosen the bathroom light bulb in advance.) A layer of peanut butter on the toilet seat works well under those conditions also. Vinegar added to Listerine  and rocks in the pillows were winners. My best one was the muli-joke. Planning your victim’s moves were ever important. Once you have them “on guard” the rest is so easy.

My uncle cautiously put one leg into his pants. Then the other leg…no sewn up places…he was safe! As he reached to fasten his belt, a gob of ointment was well placed on the end! Yucky! He walked to the bathroom considering that he had been HAD. Grabbing the soap, he found more ointment smearing over his hands. The soap had an ample supply of the sticky stuff too! The ‘ole gotcha x 2!

That evening I climbed into bed still feeling on top of the “joke war”. There was an awful crunching and a rough scratchiness met my bare legs. I found a note under the sheets as I jumped out in shock…”There’s a spoon under your pillow, hope you enjoy your corn flakes.”

Well, there you have it. Squirt guns are for amateurs  and patience  for the “little” things has to be learned 🙂 .

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