Resolving Stubborn Behavior By Being Creatively Destructive

My cousin Patty died this week. In memory of her, I want to share this story, which I recall with loving humor.  

When I was ten and my cousin Patty was five, her mother, Millie, became extremely ill. Feeling a little desperate for a sitter, Darrell (Patty’s dad) and Auntie decided that I seemed old enough for the job. (Maybe so, if Patty had been an ordinary child.) Patty never fit the description of ordinary.

Although Patty and I had strict orders to leave Millie alone, Patty was equally determined to telephone her mother. All afternoon, Patty and I struggled over the telephone. Finally, when Patty picked up the phone, I took some scissors and cut the line.Old Telephone

“Oh my gosh! You are going to be in so much trouble,” five-year old Patty shouted. (Yes, I was a little worried.) Sure enough, as soon as Auntie’s car drove up, Patty charged out the back door screaming about what a horrible and unlawful thing I had done. Aunt Maggie walked in and looked at the cut wire. I watched carefully until I noticed a slight smile. Although Patty continued to rant, Auntie never said a word. The next day, a man from the telephone company repaired the damage I had caused. We never talked about the telephone event.

At that time, our phone number was 29. When we wanted to telephone someone, we held the handpiece to one ear until we got the operator. As soon as we heard a voice say “operator,” we told her the number to dial. The system provided a simple and wonderful communication device unless several people shared the same party line.

8 thoughts on “Resolving Stubborn Behavior By Being Creatively Destructive

  1. Reita Prewit

    A very smart move on your part. I’ll bet Patty could be a lot of fun with one who had the energy to keep up with her.

  2. Kirsten

    That IS a fun story. Aunt Maggie is full of surprises. Gives me some insight into your ability to see humor in somewhat serious situations. Life isn’t so serious, right?

  3. Jo Ann Boulter

    Love this story about your Aunt Maggie, Patty, and all of you!

    Would love to use this story of caring for the Pecos group, who loves all of you

    YOu do what you have to do, don’t you??!!

  4. Margaret Marchan

    You have the best stories. Thank you for sharing. I am sorry to hear of your loss.

    I can not believe you cut the telephone wire. I just cannot see Ms. Frandsen doing that. Thanks for the smiles and letting me get to know you even better.

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