Little Problem Solvers

When Mama, Daddy and I moved here when I was 9 years old, there was a housing shortage and they had trouble finding a house, so we moved into a neighborhood of very small cape cods “for the time being.”  BTW, we were still living there when I got married 10 years later!

Anyway, these houses were all pretty much alike.  Luckily, our wonderful next-door neighbors, Betty and Lefty, had painted their house red, so we could always direct people to our house by where we were in relation to the RED house. 

We had alot of great memories in that little house, and two memories that come to mind involve some children who were real problem solvers.

The people across the street had 9 children!  You could practically see their house “breath” it was so full.  One day when I was a teenager, I was walking out our front door and saw the 3 year old over there walking across their front yard in just training pants.  (Hey, when you have 9 children, you’re probably glad the kid at least had underpants on when he went out to play and it was a hot summer day.) About the same time I noticed him, he stopped, pulled down his pants, took a large turd (can I use that word here?) out of his pants, layed it on the ground, pulled his pants back up, and walked on around the corner of the house!  I was shocked (and you know how easily teenagers can be shocked), in that “I can’t believe what I just saw!” way, but in his defense, I imagine you had to practically stand in line to get into the bathroom over there (I assume, like us, they only had one.), so even at his early age, he had just figured out another way to solved that problem!

Once, we had a family reunion in our little cape cod, when all four of my older siblings and their spouses and children came home for a long weekend.  One sister did live in town, so she and her husband were only there during the day, and I think another couple stayed at their house.  But ALL the children stayed together in a make-shift “dorm” of cots that Daddy set up in the family room in the basement — they loved getting to all sleep together in one very crowded room!  In general, for those few days, we were all just packed into that little house like sardines!  Well, as I mentioned before, we only had one bathroom, so it was a really busy room with all those people needing to use it. 

After the reunion, when Mama saw our next door neighbor, Betty out in the back yard, she told Mama a story that they shared a big laugh over.  My niece, Carol, who was about 6 years old at the time, had knocked on Betty’s door and very politely asked to use their bathroom!  She explained that there were just toooo many people at our house to get into our bathroom, and she realllly needed to go!

I don’t know what happened to the little “problem solver” across the street, but I do know that my niece, Carol is a very accomplished adult who I’m sure was aided in her successes by that same problem solving mind-set that was demonstrated when she was 6 years old and realllly had to go!

6 Responses to Little Problem Solvers

  1. karen says:

    LOL 🙂

    There may be something in that, as the two of my kids, who were ‘problem solvers’ as little ones, are also the two that have accomplished the most as adults. My other two, have also accomplished things, but it’s been more of a struggle for them.

  2. Sandra says:

    You’re right, Karen. I do think that “problem solving” at any age, is a wonderful trait to have!

  3. What a GREAT post! Very funny, and very easy to relate to, as we had nine kids in a house of about 1200 square feet. That story about the kid lifting the turd out of his pants CRACKED ME UP!

  4. Hilary says:

    That’s too cute. .even the diaper dumper. Teens sure do get shocked easily. 🙂

  5. Sandra says:

    HPKT — I don’t think it’s an accident that both stories are bathroom related. I guess there were probably LOTS of great bathroom related stories when homes traditionally only had ONE bathroom! (Especially in families like your with nine kids!)

  6. Sandra says:

    Hilary — Yes, it’s kind of charming how easily teens can be “shocked” isn’t it? Although, I think they aren’t “shocked” by nearly as much now as we were then!

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