The consequences for sucking our thumbs were...
Yvette (my sister who's 7 years older than me) was just a little girl. I'm not sure how old she was but the whole family was dressed up and ready to go to a wedding. For some unknown reason my dad decides to take this moment in time to punish my sister for sucking her thumb and twirling her hair.
He told her to stop or he was going to cut off her hair.
He cut her hair only on the side that she was twirling it.
They were minutes away from going to this wedding and my mother had to take my sister outside and cut the rest of her hair off to match.
My sister had beautiful very blond (almost white) silky hair.
Years later, when I was about 8 years old my dad told me to stop sucking my thumb or he was going to take away all my toys.
[My MIL told me of a sermon she thought was true and funny - Her preacher said that if you tell a child that you are going to hang them by the toenails then by god you better hang them by the toenails.]
He took away every single toy I ever had. I had nothing! Not even a book. I had a big teddy bear that I slept with every night. I had the rubadub dolly that I took a bath with. It was all gone! I have no idea where he stashed it all. He didn't say if he threw them away or not. I didn't even see him take them.
I was crying to my mom that I was bored and had nothing to play with. She gave me an old rotary phone, notepad, calculator, and a pencil. I remember sitting on the floor playing with these things on the piano bench. I pretended I was a teacher and was grading papers. I remember that so vividly. Weird.
Wasn't long afterward and Christmas came along. Instead of getting toys I got a very thick down winter coat and a scarf to match that my mother crochet. I was confused. What do I need this coat for? I thought that was strange since we lived in sunny California. Mom must have been planning this for a long time even though she's quick at crocheting things.
The next thing I know I'm on a plane to Minnesota. I don't recall my parents ever talking in front of us about the separation. I don't recall what my mother told me as we left. It's all a blank. Actually it seemed as though my father wasn't even there when we left. Maybe he was and I just don't want to remember.
I was about 11 when my dad finally moved up to MN. He lived with us for a while. Slept in the same bed with my mom. I don't understand this because they were in the process of getting a divorce. My mom even had a boyfriend. It was actually her boss. She worked in an insurance agency. That was one of the first jobs she had. She was simply a housewife before. She had to start from scratch.
I don't know what my parents were thinking.
My dad was taking a bath (we didn't have a shower) late one night. I was in my bedroom just got under the covers for the night. My mom runs up the stairs laughing.
The stairs went directly to the front door where we had a front porch so there were two doors to go through to get into the house. On top of the stairs to the right was the bathroom. To the left was my room and my parents room right across from mine.
She knocks on the bathroom door and tells my dad that he's here.
I heard this going on while I layed there in the darkness. Something was up.
My dad swore and I could hear him splashing around trying to get out of the tub. He opens the bathroom door and runs down the stairs after my mother.
I got up at this time. I quietly went to the top of the stairs and sat down to watch the show. Thankfully, I only saw my dad's dripping wet legs at the front door. He was standing in the porch at the outer door.
He's yelling and cussing. My sister was downstairs and walked towards the front door and looked up and saw me. She ran up the stairs two at a time and ushered me back into my bed.
I could hear my dad stomping through the house. And then I heard my mother stop laughing and now she's saying she's going to call the police.
My dad had a knife. I think it was a pocket knife. He went back to the front door and by this time Robert got into his car and started to drive away. I guess he finally figured out the crazies lived here.
My dad got his keys and got into his car and took off after him. I don't know if my mother ever called the cops. I do know my dad was still naked as he chased my mother's boyfriend all over town in his car.
I don't think my mother worked there very much longer. And my dad moved out very quick too. Actually the divorce was final when I was 11 years old. It took 3 years for this to happen.
That is not a vision I want to have in my head of my middle aged father chasing another grown man naked.
I'm glad my sister made me go to my room.
When my dad came up from CA he bought a school bus and filled it to the brim with all of his junk and then some. I got all my toys back after I graduated from high school. My sister was scrounging around in the bus and found them all.