Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Thursday, June 7, 2012

In the Dark


Cute. AND can see in the dark!

My Baby Sister was the cutest little girl ever!
Really.
She still is
Cute, I mean.
But that's another story . . .
Baby Sister gave a whole new meaning to the word active.
She was born when our mother was nearing forty and slowing down.
Which gave a whole new meaning to the word ironic.
Mom would carry on with her usual daily chores.
And just let Baby Sister run laps around her.
And I do mean laps.
Mom would wash the dishes.
Baby Sister would run laps through the kitchen/dining/living/bed rooms.
And the hall.
Mom would do laundry.
Baby Sister would run laps through the kitchen/dining/living/bed rooms.
And the hall.
Mom would tidy the bedrooms.
Baby sister would run laps through the . . . you get the idea.
'Busy' would have described her very well.
As would 'independent'.
And that's where this story starts . . .
In the spring calving season, as the community's only vet, Dad hardly saw his bed.
Cows usually waited until the middle of the night before getting down to business.
Like many women.
Myself included.
Maybe it's a female thing.
Anyways . . .
The wee hours of the morning usually found him creeping through the house as quietly as possible, heading for his much-anticipated bed.
In complete darkness.
He passed the closed door to the youngest childrens' room and made the turn towards his own.
Then he heard something.
What was that?
He paused and glanced back at the closed door.
Had he just heard a noise from in there?
He looked down where the door skimmed the linoleum.
No light.
Another noise.
Okay. That was a 'thump'.
He moved closer and put an ear to the door.
Definite sounds emanating from within.
He could hear more thumping.
Then a small grunt.
He turned the knob and silently swung the door inwards.
Now I have to paint the picture for you.
The house is in complete darkness.
The only lights on a ranch this far from town come from natural sources.
ie. Moon. Stars.
Or from the mercury vapour lamps which light the feedlots and barnyard.
Neither effectively illuminated the scene before him.
Unrelieved, ebony blackness was all he could see.
But the noises continued.
There was nothing for it.
He would have to turn on a light.
Taking a quick breath, he flipped the light switch.
The room sprang into view.
Double bed, with two sleeping children in the far corner.
Crib, empty, directly ahead.
Wait.
Shouldn't there be a baby in there?
He looked down.
The noises he had heard were explained.
The not-yet-two-year-old 'Baby' had wet her training-pants.
Crawling out of the crib, she had found some clean ones and, seated in the center of the rug, was trying to effect changes.
All in near-perfect darkness.
I don't know about you, but I think toilet-training was moot at this point.
Although some sort of 'I-can-see-in-the-dark' career could have definitely been considered.
Maybe vampire-ism.
The little girl looked him and stood up.
Finished pulling up her pants.
Then crawled back into her crib.
Abandoning her used pants in a little heap in the middle of the carpet.
Dad just stared.
Then, grabbing said pants, he threw them into the clothes basket and turned out the light.
And made his way to his own bed.
Relaxing beside his sleeping wife, he stared up into the darkness.
What else went on in the dark?
Maybe he didn't want to know.

9 comments:

  1. It's a whole other world when the lights go out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It certainly was for my little sister. She could navigate just as well in the dark as in broad daylight.

      Delete
  2. Yes, she had zero fear of the dark. She had zero fear of climbing too, as I recall...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my goodness, that is hilarious... how incredibly cute:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can get away with a lot when you're cute!

      Delete
  4. What a fun story, Diane - I'm so glad our paths crossed!!
    Hugs from VA,
    ~Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Susan! And thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. love it! My eldest baby girl was very independent and would have done the same thing rather than get caught with wet pants! Thanks for linking up with us at NOBH :) Every blessing

    ReplyDelete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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