So recently I was having a convo with the Cait-Cait (see blog roll) about my son’s …quirks. To which she responded by asking about my own childhood weirdness. This released no more than a million memories that will no doubt “explain” a lot.
What are the weirdnesses that were the Clemons childhood? Well, let’s start with the flat-out dorky facts. My sisters and I were homeschooled for preschool (they are older so this means I got to start school ridiculously early); one of the bedrooms in my childhood home was converted into a classroom complete with chalkboard and cubies and everything else A Beka ever suggested. Basically, we were all about the education. This would become increasingly evident when we took an interest in State Reports. During the summer. This means, we’d each choose a state and “research” it with our Britannica collection before composing a report and creating visual aids (state bird, state flower, etc). This…was summer. Summer was also book reading contests and sometimes daily visits to the library. (When we weren’t riding the light rail downtown to visit the cathedral or taking ridiculously long walks along the levee.) Highlighted memory: Ana was learning pre-algebra in school and when she came home, she would teach it to me. … For serious. It was a blast. (Insert memory of Ana’s first attempt at riding the bus home. We drove with Mom to the appropriate stop to pick Ana up and she wasn’t there. Mom freaked out. We drove to the school. Not there. Drove to all known bus stops. Called school officials. Went home – finally – to enlist Daddy’s help. Only to find Ana happily at home.)
Our next shared obsession would have to be the tape recorder. There’s a tape of Ana and Jenny singing Children’s church songs (and at some point, Mom comes in and rescues me when I start crying). I just remember Jenny pleading with Ana not to interrupt her song, saying, “I don’t do that to you!” Preciousness. Anyway, we would later record ourselves reading books. Mostly one about a forgetful family who can’t remember where they’re going or something about having their bags packed. They hire an elephant to teach them how to remember. I distinctly recall one of baby Christopher’s lines: “Maybe they’re tickets to a game in Hawaii!” And that one of the kids names was Phoebe which we all thought was so weirdly pronounced. Wish I could remember the name of that book. We recorded ourselves reading it dozens of times. We also would make up our own episodes of the cartoon, C.O.P.S (Fighting Crime…In A Future Time). But possibly the strangest recording obsession we had? …. A Raisin In The Sun. I’m…totally serious. My sisters and brother and I recorded ourselves performing A Raisin In The Sun on tape. Dozens. Of Times. Promise. O_O
We would later become obsessed with video recording. My sisters and I would make a dance troupe called Swat Team #3. (Crunch) Ana was Downtown Julie Brown, I was Sade and I can’t remember Jenny’s moniker. These videos entailed the three of us jumping on Anastasia’s bed to music. This is strange for several reasons. #1) We did this a lot. To lots of songs. Jumping. On the bed. #2) We did a lot of actual choreography for other music videos and variety show performances… so why did we just jump on the bed for ST3?!? Right. Anyway, these were interrupted by our trademark commercials. The Nordstroms Semi-Annual Sale was a big one. It entailed us strutting past each other on the bed in our most fabulous outfits. (Years later, all book reports were videos we made wherein we made as many commercials as legitimate thematic representation. The one I still have was for a junior high book report on some book in the Fear Street franchise. Commercials include: Pops, Java City, Dreyer’s Ice Cream, Britannica Encyclopedias.) We also loved our computers. Therefore we made several newspapers (complete with real and boring news reports) and then videotaped ourselves making a full-length broadcast from our backyard, complete with a news desk and mugs of water. This project ended up being so dry and boring that we fastforwarded through it every time. O_O
Then of course there was Shakespeare. Jennifer and I memorized entire acts from Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night and the like. (Twelfth Night would become my personal obsession.) We would recite them in a sing-song voice for the pleasure of our parents and any one in front of whom they requested a performance. (They were used to our Anniversary Variety Shows, Birthday Shows, etc – which always had singing, dancing, props…once I learned to play Bing Crosby’s “What’s New” on the piano and my toddler baby brother sang along.) Anyway, the Shakespeare was hilarious because before we actually began paying attention enough to care about the characters, Jenny and I would do this comical, almost robotic rendition complete with head jerking from side to side to the pantameter.
I guess I could go on forever… 🙂 Just some memories rolling around in my head. Maybe our childhood obsessions weren’t so run of the mill after all.