I have had the idea to write about "little stuff" for quite some time. The problem is, I just couldn't remember that much. I wanted to dig deeper into my childhood than big events. We all remember birthday parties, vacations, playing video games, etc. This article is about things I remember, but I'm not really sure why. Like most of my articles, I am interested in your own memories about this topic and would like to hear them.
To give you an idea of the silly stuff I'm talking about, the first thing is mini shampoo bottles. I don't know why these excited me so much. I think part of it is, as a child mini things seem a bit more secret, and that means a lot to kids. The babysitter had just run out of regular shampoo, so she gave me a bottle she snagged from a hotel or something, but I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I clearly remember it having a bright red screw-off top and tan body. Just an ordinary bottle, but still different enough from what I knew to be intersting.
Going along with mini, those tiny packages of cereal would also get me excited. For more than one reason. (How sad is that?) Again, they were little, so that appealed to me. But I also really liked that the box could become a bowl. It would have perforated edges in the middle that you could open. Slice down the middle of the wax paper containing the cereal, and add milk. It was like a spy kit for kids, well me anyway. But that's not all about the mini boxes. They normally came in a set of eight, with different combinations. You'd think I was deciding my next move in a chess tournament with the amount of concentration I put into this. This one has two Cornpops, but no Coco Krispies. This one has three Lucky Charms, but also two Cheerios. Decisions decisions. As children, we don't get to make many choices of what we get to eat, so picking out my own eight set was a big deal. The last part that I believe I deservingly should have been excited about, is why I got to pick out the cereal. It normally meant that we would be going camping, or some other trip where the little cereals would be convenient. All those reasons made something not that special, very special to me.
Sticking with food, I had to mention egg beaters. I was considering not adding this because I imagine most kids got excited about this, but it might be small enough that some forgot. When my mom would make cookies, or cupcakes, or whatever I would loom about the kitchen like a vulture. Ready to pounce on that unsuspecting beater the second my mom was done with it. For me, I got really excited when my mom would intentionally not scrape off a lot of the dough. A lot of times she would use a spoon to get as much batter to become cookies. So when she would leave a big glob of it still on, my heart would go bonkers.
But I did get excited about more than just food. I remember one day my dad gave me a deer scope. It couldn't be sited anymore, but still worked for seeing long distances. This scope was instantly a favorite in my arsenal. I had a toy gun collection that could make anyone envious. Real looking cap guns, battery operated space guns, some that you could change the noise and speed of the noise, knives, machetes, axes, hand guns, machine guns, it was awesome. Being a dork, I would tuck my shirt into my underwear, and load up my shirt with as many guns as I could without them making me moon the neighbors. I would then climb up our tree in the front yard and place them strategically on different branches to destroy all the tanks and aliens on our block. The addition of the scope brought this game to a whole new level. I could now see much farther and in greater detail when blowing up things around me. That simple little scope combined with a young boy's imagination made for many great times in a tree.
Being a little boy, many times I was disgusting, goes without saying. So the next couple of things are momentous in my mind, but may be a bit gross for others. I apologize. In second grade, my best friend and I dazzled our friends with our "pee trick". He would stand closest to the urinal and start to go, I would then go in-between his legs at the same time. One urinal, double the action. We did this trick quite a few times to impress our friends until he broke up the act when I accidently peed on his leg. It was bound to happen. I realize a pee trick may be revolting to some, but I hope it came off as humorous now and it really is a memory that sticks out for me. I got excited every time we performed.
A little less gross and probably more common, making fart noises with your armpit, and learning how to make yourself burp. Both of these things are silly, but I was super excited when I finally learned how to do both. Carefully cupping your hand around just the right part of your armpit and flapping that arm like a chicken wing is a learned skill for nearly every little boy. To not be able to do this means mocking from the other boys and you'd better start practicing at home buddy. Learning to burp is another essential to a boy's social life. I started off with soda, gulping down that carbonated elixir made it easier. But learning how to swallow air and burp on command was a very proud day for me. My best friend and I (yes the one I peed on) would have burping contests all the time. The easiest way to tell the longest was to recite the alphabet while burping. Don't think I ever made it past J, my friend normally won.
If anyone is still reading, the last couple are toned down and possibly more unique. As a kid, I loved semi crowded areas. Let me explain. I loved being around a descent size crowd, just so I could work my way through it faster than anyone else. My favorite was elevators. I would strategically and quickly maneuver myself through the crowd to emerge victoriously out the door first. This would also give me the chance to say the ever popular kid slogan, "What took you so long?"
Something I remember about the holidays is being able to turn on the Christmas lights. Why I got so excited about this, I don't know. My sister and I would take turns flipping the switch at night that would light up our house. The reason I think it's weird to be excited about this is because I was happier to flip a switch, than to actually see the lights be turned on. But as a kid, to be in control of something, especially associated with Christmas was super exciting to me, even though it was the same as turning my light out before I went to bed.
This last one isn't from when I was a kid, but I want to share with you anyway. When I was a junior in high school, my girlfriend at the time was over at my house. We were snuggling our something before we went out to meet our friends and then this happened. She went into the other room to start fixing her hair, and I asked, "What should I wear?" She instantly replied, "Something blue." At that moment, to me, we felt like a married couple. It was just a wonderful feeling at the time. Our simple exchange left me with a very excited feeling about our future. Just asking what I should wear left me with one of the warmest feelings I can remember as a teenager. If anyone is wondering, we are not together anymore, but we are still good friends.
That's all I could really think of, like I said it was hard to remember the little things, but enjoyable to do so. My goal is to share, entertain, and possible spark some memory with you, that you will share, and thus spark another one with me. Hope you enjoyed.