I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic lately, and this has led to my parents asking me when I’m going to share THE STORY. The story that I’ve been sitting on, avoiding telling, and yet always seems to come up when my childhood is being discussed. So, without further ado, here is the story of the time my parents thought a rat had died in the wall.
As a child, I wasn’t exactly a fan of vegetables. That’s putting it mildly. To eat any vegetable (other than green beans), I would douse the vegetable in question with ketchup. I’m not really sure how I managed to eat that, because looking back on it, I get nauseous just thinking of it.
Now, I’ve always been stubborn, and as a child the main battle ground of my stubbornness came at the dinner table. I remember several occasions of sitting at the table for 2-3 hours after the meal ended, staring at a plate of cold vegetables. The stipulation was that I could leave when I had eaten all of them. Funny thing, looking back, it wasn’t even that much, but it was enough to make me think it was important to fight about.
When I was seven, I came up with what I considered to be a brilliant plan.
I had come to realize that while I was sitting doing a stare down with the vegetables, I was allowed to get up and use the restroom. I also had noticed that my parents weren’t too crazy about sitting at the table with me while I played my game of wills. Dad had work, and mom had her own responsibilities. Oftentimes, I would be unobserved for decent periods of time.
It was during one of these moments where I was unobserved that I put my plan in motion. I scooped my veggies into my napkin and stealthily made my way to the bathroom.
I have to explain something about the house we lived in at the time. It was quite a large house, and I had my own bathroom. While this may seem like a dream come true, I was also responsible for cleaning it weekly. Not exactly a dream come true.
So, when I got to my bathroom, I did what any kid would do. I opened up an unused drawer in the vanity and stuffed the napkin and its contents into the very back. I had momentarily considered flushing the veggies, but I was worried that they might plug the toilet, and then I would be caught. I was reasonably certain that hidden in the drawer, they just dry up and turn to dust.
Now, I started this behavior during the winter, and for about six months everything went swimmingly. Although, I did start to notice a weird smell, but I didn’t think it was noticeable.
Then, one day I heard my parents talking about this weird smell they had noticed in the house. Basically, the conversation boiled down to, “Do you think we had a rat die in the wall?” answered with, “It’s possible, I can’t think of anything else that would cause a smell like that.”
Fast forward to midsummer…
I was in 4H and we had a picnic coming up. I was responsible for bringing cookies. I had helped mom numerous times when making cookies, and since I had helped her so many times I felt confident that I was capable of making them on my own. I begged and pleaded with mom to let me, and she gave in. It was a simple recipe, and I had shown plenty of times that I was smart enough to use and oven without burning myself.
I had put the first batch in, and that’s about when everything fell apart.
First off, I noticed that there was something going seriously wrong with the cookies. Instead of rising and looking cookie-like, they were spreading out thin and bubbling. Just then, I heard my mom calling to my dad, “Come look at this.”
Next thing I know, my parents were in the kitchen asking about what mom had discovered filling the drawer in the bathroom vanity. It was then that mom noticed the strange bubbling cookies.
I learned two important lessons that day…
1. Vegetables will mold. Mold looks and smells disgusting.
2. There is a difference between baking soda and baking powder.