Mom and I were visiting at my Auntie's house.
An innocent enough activity.
And from it, I got claustrophobia.
Maybe I should explain . . .
Mom and Auntie were in the kitchen chatting over cups of tea and home baked goodies.
My cousin and I had already done the rounds of the dessert tray.
And had retired upstairs to more important matters.
One of the bedrooms upstairs had no furniture in it.
Or at least, I can't remember any.
But it did hold a large carpet.
Rolled into a neat bundle.
It looked like a hot dog.
Let's face it. In my world, everything resembled food.
Moving on . . .
Suddenly, I got a marvellous idea.
“Let's play 'Hot Dog'!” I told my cousin.
“Okay,” she said enthusiastically, as though she knew exactly what I was talking about.
Which she didn't.
I unrolled the carpet and lay down at the edge.
“Okay. Now roll me up,” I commanded.
Wait . . . I can't breathe!!!
I began to scream.
Okay, I could probably still breathe.
The ability to scream would indicate this.
My cousin, understandably concerned, stared at me.
Or at the rug that contained me.
I struggled mightily (I should probably point out that it didn't occur to me to simply - unroll) and finally, managed to extricate myself.
I headed for the nearest safe place.
I burst into the kitchen, every white-blonde hair standing on end and eyes like saucers.
“Mom! I nearly died!!!”
Okay, so melodrama and me were close, personal friends.
Mom set down her teacup and looked at me. “What?”
“I nearly died! I couldn't breathe!”
Mom frowned. “What are you talking about?”
“We were playing 'Hot Dog',” I told her.
She stared at me. “Hot Dog?”
“Yeah with the carpet. And I was the hot dog. And I rolled up . . .”
Suddenly, Mom understood. “Oh.” She gave me a stern look. “Diane, don't do that again!”
I admit that I often disobeyed my Mom.
Often quite deliberately.
But this time, I listened.
I like to think it was because I discovered the joy of obedience.
But, actually, I think it's because I discovered claustrophobia.
Obedience would have been more fun.