I can only hope that everyone around my age was lucky enough to experience the shear joy of shmooshing down into a bean bag chair when they were wee ones.
I adored my bean bag chair. It was cream and yellow-striped vinyl and emblazoned with a big graphic of Dopey from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I’m not really sure what message my parents were trying to pass along to me at the impressionable age of 3 with that particular choice…do you? 😉
My greatest memory of my Dopey bean bag chair is also perhaps one of the earliest memories that I can still pull up with scary clarity. It’s also the memory of one of my first really stupid moments. See, I was quite the curious pup, always poking around where I shouldn’t have been. My dad always tells me the story of how, not long after I first started walking, I kept going over and opening the drawer to one of the end tables in the living room to poke around. He and my mom would smack my hands away and close the drawer, but not long after I’d be back in that drawer. I was also a quick learner and apparently I had deduced that if I heard my parents coming down the hall, I needed to shut the drawer before they caught me. Too bad I wasn’t clever enough to also deduce that I should move my fingers out of the way before I slammed the drawer shut. D’oh! Glad I don’t remember that moment.
Back to the Dopey bean bag chair. It didn’t take me long to discover the zippers. There was one on the vinyl shell and another on the interior fabric bag that kept all the little Styrofoam beans together. I remember unzipping both and discovering the beans. I also remember then proceeding to gather up some of the beans and stick them into my ear.
Yeah, maybe giving me a Dopey bean bag chair was a prophetic moment on my parents’ part. Or maybe I’ve just been a big dumb ass for a really long time.
The weird thing is that I can remember doing this. I can remember watching my dad, who was standing in my room’s doorway but facing my mom and talking to her, which meant that he only had a peripheral idea of what I was doing. I remember watching his profile as he talked, while I sat busily sticking Styrofoam pellets into my ear.
Too bad I can’t remember exactly why I decided this would be a good idea. Needless to say, when my dad finally did look into my room, he was less than thrilled with what he saw. I also remember my mom holding my head to one side while my dad looked into my ear with a flashlight. I had stuffed so many beans into my ear that I ended up having to go to the doctor to have my ear canal washed out. At least I didn’t stick them in both ears.
My parents let me keep my Dopey bean bag chair. I have a vague memory of silver duct tape being added to the zipper though. I had that chair for years after that, well into my fat phase when I’m sure I smashed all those beans flat. Sadly, however, my final memory of this chair was of it resting on top of the trash cans in our back yard, waiting to be dragged out front for the Monday morning trash pickup.
Ah well. I’m sure somewhere in the extensive slide collection at my parents’ house there is a photo of me sitting in my Dopey chair. Should I ever get around to scanning my parents’ slides, I will be sure to post said photo here. No, the photo won’t be of me with beans stuck in my ear…