Charlene Parton shared some of her favorite parenting stories with me. Her eyes lit up as she relived those long ago moments. A mother of three daughters, Charlene's youngest, Kathleen, was born when Melinda was in high school. A special relationship developed between Melinda and Kathleen, despite the age difference.
It seems Melinda had a ball teaching her baby sister things. She taught Kathleen that her elbow was called a "knee."
"She mixed up all her body parts," Charlene said with a chuckle. "And she told her that 'zip code' is a bad word!"
Kathleen told her mother over and over, "I want to go coos." Charlene couldn't figure out what she was trying to say.
Then she learned that Melinda loved to take Kathleen cruising. Melinda would drive her all around town and toot the horn while the baby waved at everyone they knew. Kathleen loved all the attention and thought cruising was fun and exciting.
When Kathleen was about three years old, she wanted a pair of shoe skates, but she was so petite, they couldn't find any that fit her. So Melinda bought a pair of tennis shoes for her little sis and she fit the tennis shoes into the shoes of the skates.
Kathleen learned to skate on them, as heavy and bulky as they were. "She had a lot of muscles in her legs from those," Charlene said.
When the Olympics were on, Kathleen was impressed with the American ice hockey team. She got the plastic golf set her father had given her and skated around the kitchen, pretending she was on the ice hockey team.
"Melinda was quite a character," Charlene said. "Kathleen got the chicken pox when she was six years old. I came home one time and discovered that Melinda had played dot-to-dot on Kathleen. She drew lines and connected all the chicken pox!"
Did you get along with your siblings? Were you the oldest, middle child, or the baby? How did it affect you?
Do you have a parenting or grandparenting memory
or another story you'd like to share?
If you're not a parent, memories from your own childhood count, too.
Warning: I might feature your story in a future post.
(Names can be changed to protect the guilty!)
I'd like to thank all those who have shared their stories.
These posts wouldn't be the same without your input.
If you don't want to leave a comment but would rather contact me by email,
here's my address: lynkelwoohoo at yahoo dot com.
(A version of this story originally appeared in the Highland Community News in October 1999.)