When Did You First Play Doctor?


Please allow me to check your heart

Please allow me to check your heart

This will be a very short story and the only reason I’m writing it I guess is because it is one of my earliest memories and one of my goals for my blog is to document every childhood memory, no matter its significance. The more significant purpose in this endeavor, (I think), is that each time I sit down to write a story, it forces me to give thought about why I even remember the particular memory – why did I remember this and did the event have any impact on me as an adult?

Although I was born in California, my parents relocated to Ohio after my dad left the Marine Corp. I think we lived in California for only one or two years. My parents were both from Vincennes, Indiana and so my dad was looking for work closer to their home. As it turned out, Ralston Purina was building a new manufacturing plant in Sharonville, Ohio. My dad applied and ended up being lucky enough to be one of the first employees hired. And that is how we ended up living in Fairfield, Ohio on a street called Creech Lane.

I briefly mentioned my short time on Creech Lane in this story, but I do have one more memory of living there; I got caught playing doctor there as a 3 or 4 year old.
Wait a minute, I just recalled another memory! Many times as I’m writing these little stories, I gain access to a memory long forgotten. Such is this one – I remember my little brother Mike accidentally closing a car door on the hand of my brother Steve, Steve then having to go get some stitches at the hospital. I’m pretty sure that happened on Creech Lane too.

But back to my introduction to the female anatomy, (which to my surprise was not much different than mine at the time).

Someone was over at the house visiting us. Some friends of my parents were visiting I guess and they had one or two little kids. One of those kids was a little girl who was a year or two older than I, (I think). I don’t know if all three of us boys shared a bedroom or if I had my own bedroom, but I remember being underneath a crib in a bedroom. The little girl asked me to play doctor. I’m sure I didn’t know what that meant, (heck I don’t even know what it means today). Doctor? Give you a shot? What does that mean, play doctor? But next thing I remember is that she had her shirt off and my dad was pulling me by my ankles from underneath the crib. I didn’t even get to feel her pulse or take her temperature, (which I’m guessing was elevated since she felt compelled to remove articles of clothing).

Thus ended my brief tenure as a four year old Doogie Howser.

Many years later, in one of the few meetings I had with a high school counselor, when asked what I wanted to do after high school, what do I want to be when I grow up, I would reply that perhaps I would enjoy being a doctor (I excelled in Sciences and Math). It was either my low GPA or perhaps I was wearing the pants with the marijuana patch (link) that day, but the ‘counseling’ I got was that perhaps that was not in my future. What? Was that my dad pulling on my ankles again?!

Ok, so why do I really remember this?

I didn’t know what we were doing was “bad” until my dad told me it was bad. I don’t remember getting swatted, probably because we had company, but I do remember his cross talking, telling me what I did was bad, (pretty strange lecture coming from the guy who hid his Playboys in the laundry chute, wouldn’t you say?). I think that’s the only reason I remember this. Little kids, very young children, will remember traumatic events. If they’re not traumatic, we shouldn’t make them out to be. At least that’s what I think I learned. When my kids were very young, if something ‘bad’ happened and I didn’t want them to remember the event, I just didn’t make a big deal of it. If they remembered it, it would not be because I helped them to. This strategy came in pretty handy one night….a story to be written about someday

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