They got it from their momma, my antics as a kid were far worse

I have rambunctious little children who often drive us nuts with their antics. The walls of our new house have been vandalized only after a few months of moving in, they’ve once flooded the entire second floor with water from the bathroom, and I continuously find random items in weird places i.e. biscuits inside our shoes, lego blocks in the fridge.

Husband says I’m pretty lax with my children I don’t scold them or punish them as much as I should be and here’s a confession.

I think they got it from their mother.

When I was my kids’ age I got myself in so much more trouble I make my kids look like saints. I was a lot worse. My antics were a lot bigger and I was much more rambunctious than both my children combined.

I shoved cotton balls up my nose

Yes, when I was four yearsold I shoved a cotton ball up my nose and left it there until my nanny discovered it after a few days.

It started when I saw my sister cleaning her face with her cleanser using a cotton ball. Afterwhich I asked curious:

“What are you doing ate [big sister]? What’s that for?” I asked while pointing at the big fluffy cotton ball.

“You use it to clean dirty stuff,” she answered oblivious as to what I was going to do with that information.

The following day while she was in school, I got a giant cotton ball and decided to clean my nostrils with it.

Swirled it round and round until it got stuck. The more I tried to pull it out the deeper in it got. So I decided to just leave it there.

I remember my nanny and my mom holding up a flashlight trying to see up my nose. My nanny smelled something funky and so they decided to investigate.

The next thing I knew I was in the ER and had a long tweezer up my nose. I could feel the cold metal kind of shivering inside my nose, because ofcourse the fine doctor was trying to stiffle his giggles. He wanted to laugh out loud.

About that time I let it snow in my sister’s room

When I was five I wanted to be a skater. You know those pretty princesses in sparkly costumes sliding and slipping all over the rink. I wanted to try it so bad I locked my sister’s door and converted her room into an ice skating rink using a giant bottle of baby powder.

I wore her fancy gown and a pair of socks that went up to my knees before pouring baby powder all over her floor. It was a splendid idea!

I finished the entire big bottle and her wooden parquet floor was covered in white “snow”. I remember feeling like a skating princess slipping and sliding all over her room before my mother found the keys and opened the door. I won’t forget the look of horror in her face.

My index finger almost got cut off in the fan

I still have a scar to prove it! I remember being four and my parents and older siblings telling me never to put my finger in the fan. Each time I would ask why and they would just simply say:

“It’s bad” , without talking about it in detail.

One time while they were all sleeping I got up off the bed to see for myself what “it’s bad” they are talking about.

And that moment I learned the importance of explaining things to children.

I screamed my head off and almost woke the entire village.

I shaved my face

When I was six years old I watched my brother shave his face and wondered what it was for.

It looked like something cool to do.

I watched him close the door behind him and then I sneaked in his room to see this tool for myself. And of course my curiosity got the best of me again so I shaved my face. Yes not just my chin, but my face.

Seemed cool until I washed my face and it felt like my entire face was on fire. Needless to say I never tried that again.

Painted brown boxes on the dirty kitchen wall

They were renovating the house and the painters went out a bit to have lunch leaving cans of brown paint on the dirty kitchen counter.

I remember feeling this uncontrollable urge to get creative like some force willing me to grab the paint brush and go for it.

So I did. Climbed over the counter, opened the cans, dipped the brush with excited hands and painted brown boxes on the dirty kitchen walls.

I drew alot in perfect order–from small to big.

I got down and marveled at my masterpiece.

I pulled an alarm clock prank on my other sister

I think it’s a known fact among those who know me that me my other sister, our middle child, did not get along well growing up.

She hated that I was born into this world, and took her place as the family baby, leaving her to become the misunderstood middle kid.

She used to bully me alot. One time I decided to get back at her by messing with her alarm clock. Her class in high school would start very early and her school was almost an hour away from our home. She was used to waking up in the wee hours of the morning before the sun comes out.

One time I readjusted her alarm clock making her wake up at 12 midnight. And as usual she went straight to the bathroom to shower and get ready. She wore her uniform, her shoes, and got down to wait for her school bus. She normally eats breakfast in the school cafeteria since she goes to school really early.

It took her awhile to realize that her school bus isn’t coming soon and everyone’s still asleep because it’s 1 am.

I got more years of bullying from her but each time I just reminded myself about that time I played with her alarm clock.

There are so many more antics I pulled in my mother’s house that I have been recalling each time I see my kids do something silly. I often think to myself I was so much worse.

My mother’s house had torn cutains, broken door knobs (she didn’t have a single functioning doorknob) , broken cabinet handles, tomatoes inside my father’s shoes, and loads of other things my mother had to deal with because I was quite a handful.

Now everytime I’m tempted to get angry at my children I am reminded of how it felt to be little, and curious. I know exactly how it feels to write on the walls, to play with pots and pans and drive parents insane.

Author: Loraine Balita-Centeno

I'm a Manila based journalist who's been working in the industry for 12 years. I've written pieces for newspapers and magazines based in Manila and some abroad. I'm a work-at-home-mom of two so I spend my days writing or editing with a toddler clamped around one leg and a pre-schooler asking me questions every 10 minutes.

6 thoughts

  1. This is an amazing way to look at children’s behavior! We spend so much time trying to keep them from misbehaving that we forget we did everything they are doing, and worse. Children do need to explore and learn on their own, with guidance. I think it’ll give them a sense of they can do something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading Kat! Yeah, Oh my gosh I was so much worse, more rambunctious than both my kids combined. When I look back at my antics I realize how well behaved they are compared to me when I was their age 🤣🤣 I get how it feels to draw doodles on walls and to destroy stuff to use it as a robot arm or something. They don’t really mean to make us upset its just that theyre super curious and imaginative.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. They really are! I often debate whether to just let them explore or enforce rules that will help guide them as they get older and keep mom and dad sane.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Having compassion will serve you well in the long term. Your house will be beautiful with love, which is far more lovely than unblemished walls. Besides, there’s a story with each ding and debt.

    Like

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