A couple months ago, I was nannying for a lovely family with two young kids, ages 2 and 3 and a half. Kids are hilarious and such a gift, but sometimes they do ridiculous things and I wonder, “What the heck were you thinking?” A good friend of mine was also a nanny. She once told me a story about a 5 year old boy who thought it was a good idea to put her phone in her coffee mug — with coffee still inside it!! Honestly, what was he thinking?
As adults, we often forget the rationale behind our own crazy, childhood antics. Luckily for you, my friends, I distinctly remember many a time when I carried out downright stupid ideas. Once, after watching Inspector Gadget 2, I had the brilliant idea to make my very own go-go gadget bubble gum. (If you missed out on this essential piece of childhood, click here to watch the bubble gum scene.) In my mind, it was a simple input-output equation. I would put bubble gum into the microwave and out would come go-go gadget bubble gum slime! However, I did stop and think maybe the bubble gum would stick to the bottom of my chosen vessel. I problem-solved that one by adding a couple drops of water to the container (childhood genius in the making, folks!). I put my little recipe in the microwave and watched, expecting to see bubble gum goop form right before my eyes. I was thoroughly disappointed to find the fruit of my labour to be a couple pieces of semi-disintegrated bubble gum. However, my original thought was correct — the bubble gum indeed stuck to the bottom of the container. As far as I know, there is still a measuring cup bearing the marks of a failed bubble gum experiment in my mother’s kitchen cabinet.
Another time, a friend and I decided to dye our hair with Kool-Aid. We did our research, bought some blue-raspberry Kool-Aid and enlisted the help of my wonderful mother (she didn’t know about the bubble gum incident at this point). Me and my friend both had lovely, natural strawberry-blond hair and wanted to add a few nice blue streaks (think mermaid from Aquamarine). We painted some sections of hair, wrapped them in kitchen foil and secured our berry smelling hair in a lovely up-do with cling-film. Somehow those pictures have disappeared (how unfortunate) but this picture bears an uncanny resemblance:
That evening we slept with our hair wrapped; every turn of our heads resulted in a delightful whiff of blue-raspberry Kool-Aid. Morning came and we eagerly unwrapped the product of our patience. Success! Little did we know, the blue would quickly fade to an interesting green color but would actually never fully wash out. I think three or four haircuts later I saw the last of that cursed green hair. Thankfully, we were in 7th grade and such oddities were considered normal.
And now, the pièce de résistance. I was young, maybe 5 or 6, and my family was running late for church. Apparently I needed a bath that morning, but there wasn’t enough time. I was still small enough that showers were a bit scary, so my dad came up with a great solution (or so he thought). He jumped into his swimming trunks and we both climbed into the tub. At one point, he was holding me in his arms (probably rinsing my hair) and as I sat, facing the shower wall, a stroke of genius hit me: the most fun thing to do in that moment would be to plant both feet against the wall and forcefully push backwards! My poor unsuspecting father. Without a single thought toward the outcome of my devious plan, I stuck my feet to the wall and threw my weight backwards. I felt every bit as powerful these Olympic swimmers look:
In less than two seconds we were a tangle of arms, legs and shower curtain, dripping wet, on the bathroom floor. My father must have yelled something from the shock and we probably made quite the ruckus which must have brought my mom running to the door… but all I remember was thinking, “Man, it seemed like such a good idea at the time.”
17 years later I told my dad that bizarre incident resulted not from a slippery tub, but from my pursuit of fun with an undeveloped prefrontal cortex.
Comment or email me some of your own silly shenanigans!