We resorted to playing ball in the living room. When I tripped on the rug and cut my eyebrow, I had to get four stitches. Boy was she mad, but at least I got to get out of the house!
Sometimes my mother would try to punish me with a spanking. She had a hairbrush, which she liked to use. Yet, she didn’t know I often put a book down my pants before she would swat me. I would feign extreme pain, letting her think she was really teaching me a lesson. After she would leave, I took the book out and gently put it back on the shelf.
Once she even made me do my sister’s chores, cleaning and scrubbing. I got out of that one pretty easily. I mopped the floor with Windex, and used Easy-Off oven cleaner on the bathroom sink. For some reason, she never asked me to do that again.
If I were to use profanity, she had a quick remedy for that: washing my mouth out with soap. Into the bathroom I would go, where she would rub a bar of Lux soap all over my bottom teeth. It tasted horrible, but she didn’t do it for long, because we were so poor, and she didn’t want to waste too much soap.
Overall, I was a pretty good kid. I always tried to make my mother laugh to give her a break from all our family problems. Even though she’s not here anymore, I commend her for trying to keep me in line.